Making the most of my time.

by Mike Aux-Tinee.

It never fails. Every day I hear someone say something along the lines of  “If there was only more time in the day…”.  We’ve all been there and know what the problem is – too much to do and not enough time to get it all done.

Time is finite. Once the big and little hand on the clock run past, it’s all she wrote. The good thing, when we wake up tomorrow, there is another twenty-four hours! And maybe that’s part of the problem, we know there is a tomorrow so we kick the can down the road with the mindset that we’ll get to it tomorrow or the next day…or the next day…

By putting off until tomorrow, what you can do today, you are missing out on some awesome opportunities to accomplish something remarkable, have a new experience and even improve your life. The thing is, most of us are wasting valuable time on activities like watching television (the average American watches an average of six hours of TV a day!), playing video games or surfing the internet. Doing these things (we believe) make us happy, helps us to unwind after a stressful day or stay connected

I was paddling along in the same boat. My routine was nearly set in stone and went something like this. After work, I would head home, make dinner, turn on the TV and spend the next three to four hours staring at whatever was on. That was my life five nights a week and Sundays was even worse. I was stuck in a rut.

When I did make it out of the house to run an errand like going to the grocery store, I rushed to get it knocked out and be back home in time to watch TV. This was starting to take its toll. Frustrated, I decided that it was time to make some changes and discover for myself what life was like… out there…

When I began, my goal was to simplify my life and make the most of everyday. It was time to change my focus and establish priorities. It’s about spending time wisely on meaningful and quality activities instead of sitting around like a bump on a log.

I did a little brainstorming and established my priorities and here is (a very short list) what I came up with:

  • spend time outside
  • exercise
  • personal projects
  • take care of me first

With my priorities set, I had to come up with the time and that was the easy part. I was spending almost 21 hours a week watching TV. Then came countless hours spent on the internet; checking e-mails, writing blog posts and surfing websites (sometimes I would do both at the same time!). I cut down my TV time from 21 hours to 2-4 hours a week (including Sundays). I keep my internet time down to 2 hours at a time. Once the buzzer goes off, it’s time to move on to something else.

But there is more…

I hate to rush around from one task to another. I never sit and relax, taking the time to enjoy whatever I am doing at that moment. I discovered another problem – scheduling and multitasking.

We have been conditioned. We must get as much in as humanly possible every waking minute of the day. Because heaven forbid that something or someone wait a minute longer than whats ‘acceptable’. You know what I am referring to. Someone comes to us wanting something and we are expected to put down whatever we are doing, give them what they want so they can move along. There is a fire and we have to put it out…

To remedy this, I work to prevent over scheduling and multitasking. I make sure that I cover the basics, eating, sleeping and work. I have streamlined my life, paying bills when they arrive, shopping and doing laundry the same days of the week. Once those things are done, it’s then time for me to do whatever I want. When I head out and ride my bike, there are no plans to do anything else afterwards (other than eating, napping and taking a shower). This way, I can take all the time I want.

There have been some very noticeable benefits to this change. I am calmer and not as stressed out. I have become better at getting things knocked out so I can move onto something more important. I do not feel the need to be everywhere, do everything and have learned, that it’s not about the quantity but the quality.

If you have any suggestions, ideas or would like to drop in and say hello, I’d like to hear from you!

Peace Dudes!

Mike

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