Hello best life seekers!
Do you feel exhausted, pressed for time, frazzled or overwhelmed by all that you have to do? Do you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time for everything, least of all time for yourself? If so, you’re not alone.
We gain a sense of fulfillment and meaning from the amount of time we spend on activities we enjoy or that are in service to our goals or dreams. These special hours are called life hours. Conversely, time spent on activities we hate or resent brings us down emotionally and mentally, wrecking our well-being. We want to therefore maximize our life hours. But how?
Many books have been written on time management and efficiency. Tons right? So many of these treat the symptoms, not the cause. If you have few life hours and hate the rest of your life, no amount of automating or multitasking is going to change things. Neither is carving out five minutes here and there for yourself.
We only have 24 hours in a day to accomplish what we want – and we spend almost a third of it in needed sleep. So how do you get more life hours so that you feel like your life is actually yours? Here are 3 pointers from time swaps to philosophical shifts that impact the quality of your life.
#1 – Reduce Your TV Time
As a society we spend a little over 5 hours a day watching TV. This is not time well spent. Even if you need to relax and vegetate, there are better ways. You might also ask why you are so drained at the end of the day that you need to mentally check out for 5 hours or more, ignoring family or friends and not doing other activities you enjoy.
Your daily TV consumption numbers is a litmus test about the quality of your life. High numbers mean you are not actively interacting with loved ones which can hurt your mental and emotional well-being. You are also not engaging in physical activity and thus negatively impacting your heath. Lastly, you are not pursuing your hobbies or goals at the expense of your sense of accomplishment or self-fulfillment.
#2 – Work Toward Your Vision
If your alarm goes off every morning and you just want to hide under the covers, that’s another reality check. If you dislike your job and life, you’ll feel miserable most of everyday, pressed for time and burned out. Doing the same thing you are doing now won’t change that and neither will managing your time better. What needs changing is how you’re living your life.
What is the lifestyle you envision for yourself? What would it take to live it and how can you start working toward it? If it seems overwhelming, pick one small thing to change. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn wisely pointed out, nothing changes until you change. Once you change, everything changes.
When you are working toward your dreams, you have purpose and meaning behind your activities that invigorates and inspires you. This will move time out of uses that don’t serve you and into your life hours column. Your well-being and happiness will improve as a by-product. You’ll be surprised by how much.
#3 – Simplify Your Commitments
We only have so many hours in which to spend our energy. If we spread these hours across a multitude of tasks, activities and people, we will naturally feel fragmented and overstretched. Packing in so many things requires constantly shifting gears, causing us mental whiplash and costing time. For instance, how much of your life is spent simply hurrying from one thing to another? Meanwhile, you’re focusing so much on the next thing that the current task is rushed or hardly enjoyed.
Is trying to do everything really worth it or do you just feel stressed?
We love to either relax or cram the day full. Moderation isn’t something we do naturally. The same can be said for prioritizing our cares and concentrating on them. Instead, we love distractions and the more the better. But when you limit your priorities you actually maximize your energy and get more satisfaction from it than spreading it across a multitude of things or people and lacking quality results or interactions.
What are your priorities? Are you using your time on those or on distractions and time wasters?
Focusing on What Matters
Everyday the world bombards us with new products, entertainments, activities, technology and social groups that demand our attention but rarely provide value for the energy, time and money we give them. We can only prioritize a handful for our lives or risk being overwhelmed.
Do you really need so many social networking accounts? What about those acquaintances or relatives you feel compelled to keep up with at the expense of time with core family, best friends and working toward your dreams? Are you on five committees for the social prestige or because your social class demands it but resent the time commitment and get little out of it?
Only you can decide how your life should be spent but so many activities are time and energy sucks that don’t ultimately enliven us. Stay with the people and things that you love or which bring you a sense of well-being. Ditch the rest and see how much more refreshed or happy you feel as a result. This is easier said than done, of course, but taking the steps to do so will give you more life hours and a better quality of life.
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