October 21, 2018
The frosty grass crunches under foot. Yorkshire’s cold breeze wraps it’s talons round my neck and down the back of my usually warm hoodie; I really should get some scarfs on the website. The peach-pale sun slowly rises over the trees on the far side of the field, gently bringing some warmth into the mid-morning.
I’ve never been much of a football fan but here I am, standing on the sidelines, hopping from one to to another pretending the intensity of the game is too much but in reality it’s just to keep warm. The conversations on the sidelines are usually more pleasantries rather than mind stimulating debates, but often you find in flippant comments a deeper intent.
It was in such a flippant comment that I was reminded that Time is a perception afforded only to us. Time is only important to us because we realise how finite it really is. That time I spend watching my son dance around a football pitch is precious to me. I will always remember these times because I make sure that I make time to have these experiences to remember. We are all guilty though of allowing those spare moments to slip into the ether.
Don’t Bite Off More That You Can Chew
I wrote recently about searching for better questions. The idea that travel gives you a better way of questioning the world around you. Travel, and the time it takes to travel, is the best way of allowing yourself to succumb to the passage of time. The time you spend on the train, the time you spend on an aircraft is time that you can spend on yourself. Travel, and the time it takes you to travel, is the best way of rescuing yourself from yourself.
I thought I’d read some articles about reclaiming time. The funny thing about reading about ways of reclaiming is that all these articles and blog post are telling you what not to do. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Don’t spend more time at work than you have to. Actually, all these articles are written for people who work for someone else and in a way they are saying that your work isn’t important. I know the majority of people do work for someone else and really work isn’t as important as health and wellbeing.
Seize The Day
We are always at a loss. Time, our most valued asset, is constantly slipping through our fingers. We are working harder and longer then we were 20 years ago for either the same, little difference or less. Everything else has gone up in value except your time. Yet time is more expensive than ever.
Reclaiming time lands firmly at your door. We can’t change the passing of time but we can change our perception of it. We often talk about trying to ‘seize the day‘ and ‘make each moment count‘ but all of this depends on your definition of what waist is. You can’t waist your time if it’s beneficial to you just because someone else can’t see the benefit?
Procrastinating is supposedly a bad thing. I don’t think so. When you think about it, it’s not always about putting off something because you don’t want to do it, sometimes it’s that you aren’t actually ready to complete the task. I do it all the time. Ex’s of mine would get really furious with me for procrastinating because as far as they were concerned I hadn’t achieved anything. Let’s be fair, they were more often right, but actually I had my thoughts in a far better order than before.
The Mind Palace
Sherlock Holmes has his mind palace, actually a device first developed by Loci in ancient Greece. The Mind Palace is a technique whereby the ordering of thoughts, experiences and knowledge is ordered in such a way where you don’t forget anything. Part of that technique though is to remove things that aren’t important. We all get cluttered thoughts and sometimes it’s really hard to even process one thought let alone multiple ones.
Last Friday, as I entered the school playground, the other parents, making conversation, were asking what we were doing for the weekend and what I thought of the football match last weekend. I’d just raced from meeting to meeting and my brain hardly has time to catch up. My mind was full. I hadn’t even thought about what we were doing for dinner that evening let alone the weekend. This fella needed a reboot. I must have looked like a complete fool. You are allowed to let yourself get consumed by thoughts but you are also allowed to let them go. You are allowed to order your thoughts, file them but don’t hoard what’s not important.
How to Reclaim Your Time
Allow yourself to do some mental house keeping. We have no idea what’s coming round the corner and to cling onto thoughts and feelings that no longer matter can be wasteful. We can only make our minutes count towards something that can be better so look forward to the future.
Try not to regret anything
Each of our stories has a journey and every moment on that journey has lead us to be the person we are today. And if you don’t like yourself then maybe it’s time to change the person you are.
Allow yourself to say no
We too often end up saying yes through guilt or manipulation when we really don’t want to do something. You are allowed to say no.
Go Procrastinate the Fuck Out of Life
Wonder around that creative mind of yours ordering though super sexy thoughts. Rework old ideas and play with new ones but delete those the ones that don’t hold water.
Those seemingly meaningless conversations on the sidelines, reading between the lines, can be self improving. Grabbing those moments when you have the ability to bring yourself back to centre is a way of forging a more positive path ahead of you. Focus on the now by preparing for the journey ahead.