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Spending Time Wisely

May 18, 2010

I wanted to talk a little about time today. I am a firm believer that time is our greatest asset and how you spend your time is how you spend your life.

This is such a big topic for me that, last year, I prepared and taught a class on this subject at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It was a series of exercises that allowed you to see where your time went and see how well it aligned with the things you want to do with your life. This is not about accomplishments (though those too) but about living your moments with mindfulness. Actively choosing to do the things you love.

I am often flabbergasted at the amount of time I waste in a day. The amount of time I spend checking my mail. Reading mail from advertisers or other crap that I decide to put in the trash as opposed to actual, valuable email. Refreshing the sites I visit or checking Google Reader. Facebook. Twitter. I am not even talking about the time I spend reading these sites (that time is valuable often) but the time I spend refreshing or going to the window to see if there’s anything “new.” The amount of times I walk up and down the stairs to put something in the wash, or cleaning up dirty dishes or vacuuming the crumbs my little one generates like nobody’s business. I can go on and on.

I’ve noticed that if I am having a challenging day, I waste even more time than usual. If I am tired, I waste more time. If I am angry, I waste time.

I know a lot about being busy. I have two kids, a full time job, and several ongoing commitments. So when people tell me how full their life is and how they have absolutely no time to do the things they really love to do, I know they are not telling the truth. Who doesn’t have 20 minutes in their day to take a walk, to read 10 pages of a book, to add an embellishment to a piece of art? (if you think you don’t, make sure to read this article by one of my favorite authors.)

When I created the class, it was eye-opening for me. Just to see where my time went. How I used all those bits and pieces of empty moments. It was also wonderful to make my list of wishes and hopes of how to spend my time. It helped me be more mindful and that’s something I’m constantly striving for.

So here’s my challenge for you. If you’ve been playing along with us for all these weeks, look back through your art, your words, your gratitude and pick one or two things you’re grateful for: things, people, places, etc. If you haven’t been playing along, just make a list of ten things, people or places that you think would make you happy. And then find a way to spend a little bit more time on those things this week. Go to the places that make you happy. Laugh with the people you’re grateful for. Choose an activity that brings you gratitude and vow to do it three times this week.

Just for a week. Just for twenty minutes.

I think seeing that you can make time for the things that make you feel grateful will end up making you feel even more grateful. Time is really our biggest asset and we each get a limited amount of it everyday and at least a few minutes of it should be spent doing something you love.

Something just for you.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lynn McGinnis permalink
    May 18, 2010 8:55 am

    Thank you once again for an excellent post! I am the Biggest Time waster and I get very frustrated with myself. I know if I used it wisely everything and more would get done. Yes , I am grateful for Time.
    hope your day is filled with all you would like

    Lynn

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