HopefulShrimp :

Lessons learned about time

Time. It’s the one thing in our life we cannot buy more of and it’s the one we give away most everyday. It’s the thing we are scared to be honest about and it’s the thing that hurts us the most. Time is most underrated and under appreciated aspect of our life.

I found out the hard way. My father passed away in 2016.  On the drive from my college to my parent’s house, I spent the entire time thinking not about how much more time I wanted to spend with my dad, but about the time I did spend with him while he was alive. I use those memories as the context to how I approach my view of time. I remember thinking about so many times he had things he needed to do, but instead made time to attend my soccer games or drive my friends to get food late at night to name a few.

I vowed to prioritize the people and things I love over the things I felt like I needed to do. Here a few lessons I’ve learned since then:

  1. Prioritize. Actually prioritize the biggest things in your life because if you prioritize everything then nothing is a priority. For me, I prioritize family, sports, businesses, and work.
  2. Hack Work Time. When I determined my work hours, I included commuting time and lunch hours. This allows me use my commute time or extra time after lunch to do things such as read, browse social media, etc. This frees up time after work and before sleep for my loved ones or for things I enjoy.
  3. Schedule blocks of time not tasks. At work, there seems to always be more things that NEED to get done. Those work to-do lists can be overwhelming. Ditch the work to-do list and just work. Things at work need to stay fluid and we need to stay adaptable because meeting times change or get cancelled and if our day revolves around those activities happening it throws our entire day off when it changes. Instead, let the day flow and look for ways to use your work hours to add value to the people inside of your organization. I promise everything else will get done one way or another.
  4. Buy into the Tim Ferris’ Four Hour Workweek philosophy. Mr. Ferris made the four hour workweek famous. For most, four hours of work a week may not be feasible. I’m not saying that you can (or cannot) do it, but for things outside of work and sleep, this philosophy can apply. For example, if you have a DIY project you want to finish this month, setting aside four hours a week may be a good way to get started.
  5. Be flexible. If you’re like me, you’ll give this new idea of time a good try, but sometimes you just wake up and don’t want to do anything you planned to do no matter how minimal it is. That’s okay. I suggest not doing anything and completely ignoring what you have on the schedule. You should never fight against the current of the river, the river always wins.
  6. The things you love to do, you will always make time for no matter what. This is ancient advice. Regardless of what is going on in your life, if you love doing something, talking to something, being with someone, etc there will always be enough time. You have to choose to carve out that time for it. It’s that simple.

These lessons were not easy to learn and unfortunately may require a catastrophic event to wake us up and realize that there are no more than 24 hours in a day with 8 hours of sleep and usually 8-11 hours of work. That does not leave a lot of time during the workweek to do things that you love or spend time with those that you love. So quit looking forward to drinking every week and choose how you spend your time wisely. You don’t have a lot of it to begin with and now, a lot less.

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

Charles Darwin