Well intended resolutions with a focus on decreasing time wasted resonate thru the halls of the counseling office. Across the land, there’s mixed messages about time, its existence, and the oxymoron that perpetuates when attaching management to it. Individuals tend to feel that they either have too much time or not enough. Either is a barrier for feeling one’s best self. Perception is the culprit; for time hinges on it making inefficiency possible, and allowing psychological motivation to factor in.
How to Approach Time Mindfully:
1. Make time for what really matters.
We can rediscover what matters to us by making a list of desired outcomes. For example, if improving the ability to play the guitar, is of importance, creating time for practicing is a given. We can then begin to identify ways to achieve the desired outcome. In order to make time for what matters, there may be a need to discard some activities deemed “ wasteful”. We can identify the “wasteful” habits in our schedule and reduce these. For example, watching 3 shows in a row on Netflix robs 1.5 hours from spending time in what really matters.
2. Remember Time is not really running out….
The time we spend in the present allows for creative interactions which heighten self awareness. Being able to accept uncertainty in the day, and being receptive to cooperating with unexpected changes are the two main tasks impacting one’s perception of time. We can identify how time is being perceived, in the reaction to an unexpected change. If perceiving the unexpected change purely as wasteful, time thins out. By finding a relevance to topics that matters, time is appreciated.
3. It’s a good time if I am feeling great while doing it; and it is a bad time otherwise.
Value is placed on time spent doing things that improve us psychologically. Good times leave us too early and bad times linger forever. If there is a psychological reward attached to the time spent; it likely will be classified as not wasteful and ultimately good.
4. STOP the cycle.
Working endlessly creates a cycle of waste; while working mindfully allows for time spent in what really matters. The cycle of working long hours typically incorporates poor choice making, exhaustion, and an inability to feel worthy. By working mindfully, and incorporating things that matter into the day, time becomes valued.
5. Inner Calm helps keep time flexible. Quiet time helps reveal the concept of timelessness.
The unending chatter in the brain dissipates best while quieting the mind. The ego is depersonalized and timelessness kicks in during meditation. As the brain quiets the boundaries of time do not exist, and this flexibility allows for improved processing. In essence, taking time to meditate will increase time available to work on things that matter.