Time is an invaluable gift that most of us take for granted. Nowadays, especially, we are blessed with far more time than ever before.
Ultimately, it’s not about having time, it’s about making time. Yep. I can’t tell you how often I hear, ‘I wish I had more time to exercise’ or ‘I wish I had time to meditate’ or ‘I wish I had time to read’…
‘But I don’t’.
Add up the numbers
Not that long ago, I sat with a class and asked them to carry out an exercise on where they invest their time.
First, I asked them to write down what TV shows they watched during the week. Some individuals had two to three TV shows a night, whether they were on channel 7, 9, 10 or Netflix or even Amazon Prime. The next step was to calculate how many hours they invested in front of the TV in a week. Keep in mind, this was not including the weekend.
Some came up with responses like 20 to 30 hours a week.
Then, as prework for our next class, I asked them to keep count on how many hours a day they invest in social media or their devices. It could include watching videos, listening to people talk or simply interacting with friends or pages they follow.
When it was time to share our findings a week later, some individuals said anything between 5 to 10 hours a day.
Are you still standing up? So, when you add it all up – and we are talking from Monday to Friday – we can average it out to 40 hours a week, give or take.
If you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities
As a society, we waste so much precious time on activities that do not expand our mindset, increase our wellbeing or widen our perceptions. To become aware of how critical the issue is, just look around and see how many individuals are walking in the streets with their heads down and faces in their smartphones.
We fall prey to social media and our devices – a black hole that keeps us hypnotised and stuck in this vortex of nothing. And lost time is never found again.
Now, when I hear anyone say they don’t have time to – insert great habit here –… I challenge them on it. If you can invest that much time in social media, TV or your device, you can surely invest some time in you to read, write or exercise. I still have individuals who challenge me on it by saying but ‘I have kids’, ‘I have chores’ or ‘I have a business to run’ and the excuses mount up.
If you really want to invest in you, all you have to do is to prioritise your time.
Your brain has too many tabs open
The physiology of this robotic walking, fuelled by the black hole of social media, affects your brain more than you can imagine.
If you walk around with your head lowered, face in your device, your body language – which is 55% of your communication – is telling your brain there is a perceived threat. When your head is lowered, it covers the neck with the chin, acting as a defensive posture to the threat.
It doesn’t stop there.
When your eyes are lowered, it is a sign of submission. Thus, it is yet another signal to your brain that there is fear in your environment and you don’t feel safe.
Of course, if you look into body language, there are numerous other reasons. For instance, lowering your head is the equivalent of telling your brain – ‘I am tired’, ‘I am exhausted’ or ‘I don’t have the energy to go on.’ By walking around with your head down, sucked into this black hole, you are actually making yourself smaller.
Why not put your device away? Walk tall, with your head raised to the sky. Be in the ‘now’ and look around you. Enjoy the beautiful environment and your surroundings.
Joseph Campbell said ‘the goal in life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.’
How can you do that if your head is down with all these tabs open?
Time has a way of showing us what really matters in life
We have more time today than we did 50 years ago.
They didn’t have mobile devices. They didn’t have all these different streams of TV shows from Netflix, Amazon or iTunes.
Even more, they definitely had to work way harder than what we do today. Everything was done manually. They didn’t have the luxury of the internet or technology.
Although they worked so very hard, they still made time for their family. They came home and had dinner as a family and shared stories around the table.
Today, all I see is kids in front of a TV or electronic device, even at the dinner table.
And we wonder why our young generation is so introverted in their approach and not really knowing how to connect with human beings.
Start making time
One of my teachers shared this quote with us:
Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.
Don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you genuinely want to do in life today. The truth is that tomorrow may never come. I really encourage you to write a list of all the things you want to achieve in this lifetime. Then, do a little investigation and work out where you invest your time.
What steps will you take to make time for experiences that enrich your mind, body and soul?