This January, for the first time in my adult life, I made a New Year’s Resolution. It wasn’t a simple one like “eat more greens” or “join a gym”. It was a long term goal with many parts and small mini-goals to push me through the whole year. It was one that would involve a great deal of time – the one thing I was endlessly complaining that I didn’t have enough of. I happen to know that I am not alone in that complaint. I hear so many people in my life saying “if I only had the time..” Oh the things we would do if we only had more time in a day!
In the beginning I took my journey of time management to the self-proclaimed experts of the podcast and blogging world. There are some wonderful bits of inspiration and knowledge there. It was through following some of these tips and tricks that I came across an app that tracked my time – the results shocked me!
In one 168 hour week I was at work for 43 hours, driving or running errands for 8 hours and at home for 118 hours! From that 117 hours I was asleep for 41 which leaves 76 waking hours at home. Now, a good amount of that time was spent doing chores, making 21 meals and, showering and being a mother, but how much of that time was lost on Facebook or Netflix? How easy would it have been to spare 7 of those hours to work out? Or even just 4! How about all of that reading I didn’t have time for? It seems a lot more reasonable to schedule in my goals when I see how much time I have to work with.
Joshua Fields Millburn, one of The Minimalists, often says “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you your priorities.” Last year I am not sure what I would have told you that my priorities were, but 76 hour chunk of time in my week with its unaccounted for minutes watching James Corden or playing games on my iPhone. But I will tell you that today I listened to a podcast, I worked out for 1 hour, I cooked a healthy meal and did my dishes, I read Acts 3-11, I encouraged my son with his homework, I wrote and soon I will take a book to bed with me. I still made time to watch an episode of the Flash with my son, that is our show after all, but I didn’t sit still and watch the clock tick.
If I am going to live more intentionally than it means paying pretty close attention to those 76 hours. William Penn once said “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William was born in 1644, before iPhones and Netflix. Wasting time isn’t unique to this generation, in fact there were times when people thought books were detrimental to society as people wasted time with them. The way in which we are wasting it is what makes it unique.
I know you have hopes and dreams for the future. We all do, but how you are spending your minutes today is shaping your tomorrow. We are all given the same 24 hours. How are you spending yours?