Time Is Precious, So Spend It Wisely

Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Even with the best of intentions, we still waste certain things every day. We waste money on things which we don’t actually need, but we think that they will make us feel happy or accepted by others. We also waste energy, whether it’s mental energy by stressing and worrying about things which don’t actually matter, or might not actually happen, or doing things for others’ benefit which we really don’t want to. The damage here can, to a certain extent, be undone. We can work to develop a healthy relationship with money by doing things like tracking our spending and bills, but more importantly, as long as we have a job or an Ebay account, we can always earn more money. As for energy, that gets renewed automatically after a good night’s sleep. Obviously, if your energy is being drained because you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope with depression, you can take action by speaking to a psychologist and tackling your demons. In this way, you can learn to better control your emotions and stop your mind from working against you. The result? Less stress, better quality of sleep and more energy. And if your energy is being wasted running around after others, learn to say no and prioritise yourself instead.

However, there is one thing that we waste on a daily basis only to regret it later on. Time. Once it’s gone, there is nothing that can be done about it. We can’t recoup lost time. Once it’s gone, it becomes history.

Time is precious and we do need to make the most of that allotted to us. BUT… this is not a rant about how you should stop watching tv and instead spend every waking moment working on your goals. You, and you alone get to decide what counts as wasted time in your life. Downtime, in my opinion, is crucial. Whatever you need to do to relax and unwind, whether it’s reading, going out with friends, watching a movie or anything in between..do it.  We are not machines, designed to keep going relentlessly. Our energy levels and attention spans are limited, so we have to take time to unwind and have some fun too. Do what makes you happy. Time is only truly wasted if you are spending it engaging in something which you don’t want to be doing, or later regret.

Every day, other people make demands on our time. Whether we give them our time, though, is our own decision. Spend your time working on yourself and your goals and doing what makes you happy. And if working on your goals is what truly makes you happy, that’s even better. But…whatever you do, just remember that it’s your life which you are living so your time should be spent on whatever you want.

It sounds selfish, but it’s necessary. Naturally, we want to help others, but that comes after we have helped ourselves. So, before you spend time helping others, make sure that you have first taken enough time for what you want and what you need. In order to be selfless, we must first be a little selfish. This is nothing to be ashamed of.

Time is limited and precious, so make sure you use it in a way which will make you happy.

 

Time is the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing they can’t afford to lose

Thomas Edison

A Dream Within A Dream (Edgar Allan Poe)

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

The untapped potential of your morning commute

For many people, the morning commute is something to be dreaded, whether it involves getting the bus, train, driving or walking. It’s regarded as nothing more than a necessary evil, which gets them to their workplace so that they can earn a living. Does it really have to be that way though?!

It’s easy to understand why this one particular journey, in the morning, is a source of stress for so many people. You wake up, wash, get dressed, have a quick breakfast and then leave the house to head for work. As you leave the house, you put on a pair of blinkers, which provides a dose of tunnel vision for your journey. You then either get in the car and fight the slow-moving traffic all the way to work, or find yourself fighting the crowds of fellow commuters to get on a train or bus. All that then happens is that you arrive at your place of work bored, tired, angry, annoyed, a bit flustered or just in a daze. None of this will set you up for a productive day.

Maybe i’m wired differently, but I enjoy commuting. For me it presents the perfect opportunity to get the day off to a positive start. In total I spend 3 hours every weekday getting to and from work, and I enjoy it because I make the most of the time spent travelling. I love to watch people and observe their behaviour, and it never ceases to amaze me how much time we waste. I see a lot of people listening to music, playing games on their phones, watching a film or just napping. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this. Not at all. But what if, instead of playing games or absentmindedly leafing through a newspaper, we chose to fight boredom by doing something a little more productive during our commute?

We have become so accustomed to leading fast-paced lives that we feel anxious whenever we have to slow down. The commute is seen almost like a race to work. We rush around to get ready, then rush to the car or station and then try to get to our destination as quickly as possible. Every day, without fail, I see people start checking their watches or nervously tapping their feet on the floor as soon as the train leaves the station. It’s almost as though they believe that their nervous energy can help the train to go faster.

I strongly believe that the morning commute to work is the ideal opportunity to get your day off to a good start. I love to read, and will spend the majority of my travelling time with my head in a book. Not only does this mean that I spend this time learning about a topic which I am interested in, but I arrive at the office more relaxed, more focused and with my brain wide awake and contemplating what I have just read. I don’t need time to adjust or get myself ready for the day ahead. I just make a coffee and then get started. Reading on the train really works well for me. Alongside the knowledge which I gain or the enjoyment which I experience, I also become immune to the many irritations that come with being in a confined space with lots of people. I don’t care if I get bumped, nudged or someone is talking loudly. I am focused on the book in my hand, so much so that even on the worst of days when delays and other irritations come all at once, I still arrive at work calm and happy.

If you don’t read, or drive a car so you can’t read, what then?! Modern technology has blessed us with audiobooks and podcasts on almost any topic you can think of. Pick one, and enjoy a dose of knowledge or escapism. Try to either read a book or listen to a podcast/ audiobook, for a week. Monitor your moods and how you start your day when you get to work during that time. Has it helped in any way?

As I said earlier, we tend to go about the majority of our days with tunnel vision, focused solely on what we are doing or where we are going. In doing this, we miss so much of the beauty of daily life, not to mention the opportunities it presents for happiness and enjoyment. Reading a book or listening to an audiobook focuses the mind. We are no longer fighting tiredness or daydreaming, because we have to be present in the moment in order to understand and make sense of what we are reading or listening to. As a result we turn off autopilot mode, and become more aware of what is happening around us, becoming more conscious and less ignorant of the people around us.

We spend so much time reviewing our daily routines and planning how to improve them as we chase our goals, but we overlook the greatest opportunity of all. The time we spend commuting not only presents us with an ideal opportunity to focus our minds, learn and develop but also ensures that we arrive at work motivated and ready for the day ahead. As you put your daily life under the microscope and look at how you can make improvements, take a good look at your commute and how you can harness its potential How can you use that time to make progress towards your goals?