Time doesn't like you very much. Time doesn't even need a good reason to hate you — it could be the way you look. Maybe you broke their toy back in the day. But whatever the reason, TIME. DOES. NOT. LIKE YOU.
Time is never ever EVER on our side. Ever since our cave-dwelling ancestors walked the Earth, we've still been trying to find ways to get our hunting, travelling and exploring done before nightfall. Even when fire was brought into the equation, we knew that the source of the flame would only last so long before the darkness took control once more.
“So,” you say, “We get it. Time is the enemy.” I'm happy for you. But tell me — how do you defeat an enemy you can't touch? Can't see? Can't STOP?
While time will always control you and your life, what you CAN do is make the arrangement a little less PAINFUL.
1: Finding Time for Yourself
Following the same concept as with money where you should always put some money away for yourself FIRST out of any paycheque you get, you should try to find a few minutes out of each and every DAY to claim for yourself. It's not always easy — especially as you get older and your life more hectic — but those are the times where that solitude becomes even more important.
Try to block off at least 15 minutes daily to do something you like — it'll make a world of difference!
2: Fall Not Into Temptation
We all have the feeling of missing out now and again, as in: if I don't go to this event, I'll be missing out! Everyone else will have stories and I won't know what's going on!
But how often is this actually CORRECT? How many parties have you been to that weren't as amazing as you'd expected? Looking back on your younger years, can you remember EVERYTHING you did? Do you recall each and every time you hung out with friends until the wee hours of the morning because you didn't want to miss out on anything?
Time is fleeting. We should focus more on pursuing things that WILL happen than those that MIGHT happen. You're never missing out if you always make the most of wherever you are RIGHT NOW.
3: You Can Multitask… but Only Up to a POINT
For some reason, we all believe that we're all able to do multiple things simultaneously with any problems whatsoever.
But how many mistakes happen because we fail to focus? When you spend all of your time trying to balance multiple things, the part of your brain that's dedicated to focus and ensuring accuracy can get spread pretty thin, leading to all sorts of disastrous consequences. So remember that while you can try to do multiple things at once in an effort to “save time”, you may in fact spend MORE time trying to fix the mistakes you made before!
(A key example of this one was the time where I had to pull an all-nighter IN MY OFFICE as an intern to fix the numbers on 50,000 entries for a presentation we had in a couple of days…)
4: It'll Often Take More Time Than You Think it Will
We try to budget our time to fit in as much as possible into our days. Unless you're immensely disciplined, though, this is an exercise in futility. Meetings run late. Traffic gets delayed. Emergencies come up. You are less in control of your life and your time than you ever think you are. So that to-the-minute itinerary? Optimizing your schedule to run through a gamut of tasks and events for 15 hours of your day? That's something you may want to reconsider — you only GET so much time; why not spend it doing things that matter to you?
5: Make Time for Those Who Matter to You!
Finally, in this world we find ourselves in that obsessions over productivity, profit, presence and procreation, we often forget about another P: our PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. We get so obsessed with the things that society tells us to chase after that we lose touch with our family, friends, lovers… they get knocked down a peg or two on our list of priorities due to the job, other events we want to attend, or just poor planning. Be not the person who turns their family and friends away, for in the time where you really need someone to get you through a difficult time, THESE will be the people you rely on. And trust me, you’ll make ALL the time in the world for them THEN!
Time is a fleeting and fickle thing. As a species, we’ve tried to harness it and make it ours, but time is not meant to be trifled with or tamed so easily. So get a reality check — stop wasting all of your time being things you don’t want to be, doing things you don’t want to do, and going places you don’t want to go. Figure out what you can cut from the busy life you lead. Find the help that you can. Get to using your time WISELY, and you just might find that you had more time than you ever thought all along!
–Casey E. Palmer