The weekend is almost here. What have you got planned? Taking care of household chores? Socialising with friends and family? Catching up on work you didn’t get done during the week?
All of these are important. The week only has seven days and each day only has 24 hours. You probably would like to add a couple of hours to each day to have time for yourself. Chances are, if you had these extra hours, you’d fill them with something ‘productive’.
I remember a study that came out in the late 1980s, which concluded that then, we achieved in a month what we achieved in a year a century ago. Do you remember the 80s? That was when we communicated via fax and mobile phones were bricks with only one function – to make calls.
Since then, life has sped up and we now get done in a week what would have taken a year in the 1880s. But amidst all that productivity you barely keep up with yourself. This is why, if you had a few extra hours in the day, your smart phone with email, messaging, video and social media apps would make sure that you’d fill this time.
You cannot add more hours to the day, but you can do something else – decide that the day has enough hours and reprioritise.
Turn your phone off. Get present with yourself. Tell the people around you that you need alone time. Make time to do nothing. Reflect on what is going on and get in touch with your emotions. They will let you know what’s working and what’s not, so you can course-correct rather than continue to plow ahead, stuck in habit and routine, no matter how stressful life and work is. Detach from stress and drama. Create space for contemplation.
Great ideas don’t come to you when you are in the middle of your everyday routine. You may not have paradigm shifting insights like Newton when the apple fell on his head, but you could put away your Apple, sit under tree and do nothing.
Remember: You are a human being, not a human doing.