One of the most radical changes today's generation must deal with is the constant bombardment of stimulation with less quiet time and less control over your own time.
I was sitting in a hotel room last Thursday evening watching an interview with musician, song-writer phenom James Taylor.
He talked about his life, his influences and the normal celebrity stuff, what struck me as most interesting though were his thoughts around creativity and being able to write songs…
He mentioned that as a child and teen his generation had a TON of free time…so they had time to think, had time to be creative (which often comes simply from giving yourself the time to combine thoughts and experiences until you find something new) and had time to balance their lives with what would later turn out to be fulfilling accomplishments.
Just as passionately though he made the devastating conclusion that we no longer have that luxury…the luxury of boredom that can lead to greater control over our time and creativity is gone.
Today, we get hit with 300 channels, social networking, gaming, tons of organized activities for our kids, information coming from all angles and a growing need to work more often and travel more frequently.
None of these things is overly damaging on their own (outside of a small percentage who become addicts that is), but the sum total of all of this comes down to…
- Lack of control over our own time…we hand over the keys to our mind and body to everyone else
- Stress – lack of control and more demands is the perfect formula for the worst kind of stress
- Weaker Mind & Body – our minds become anxious, fearful and less confident while our bodies exist in a constant state of chronic stress
So, how can we break from this vicious cycle and take back control over OUR time?
1. Make YOUR Time #1
For most of us, dozens of things (our kids, jobs, parents, friends, chores, etc…) comes before our time…we have to stop handing OUR time over to everyone around us and reclaim it for our own
This means setting aside a mandatory part of the day for…
- quiet introspection – this is not a time to plan or improve yourself, but rather quiet time to just think, reflect and clear our minds
- mediation – a critical factor to bringing harmony and control back into our lives even AFTER we are done with our time
- exercise – a wonderful way to keep our mind and body healthy, launch some positive hormones and help clear our mind of being controlled
- left-brained activities such as music, writing, art or anything that requires left-brain creativity to come to the forefront
With as little as 30-minutes each day you can take back control and make time yours.
2. Restful Sleep
A huge percentage of today's population gets an inadequate length of time and quality of sleep. The result is that you are not in the proper frame of mind to effectively plan and use your free time during the day. The key tips here are:
- Give yourself enough time to sleep…6-7 hours minimum and no more than 10-hours is the optimal range
- Learn to control and manage stress in your life so that it's not impacting the quality or quantity of sleep
- Deal with physical/health issues such as acid reflux, muscle cramps, back pain and other conditions that tend to severely impact the quality of sleep for many today
- Make it dark…a good deal of research tells us today that having electronics on in the background is bad for quality of sleep. I personally use the TV to help get to sleep at times, but I always set the sleep timer to go out in 20-30 minutes so my night is dark and quiet
3. Focus = More Time
Put your hand up if this sounds like you…
You start off in the morning making breakfast for someone else, getting up at a time that is required by someone else (employer, kids, spouse, etc…), working for someone else, taking your breaks when others allow only to come home to make food for someone else, help someone else with their work or problems and then go to bed at a time that is more or less dictated by someone else.
Rest assured, you are dancing to the tune of SOMEONE each day, the question is WHO?
What you really want to improve is being more focused on a small set of purpose-driven objectives each day so that you put your priorities ahead of (or at least even with) those around you.
This is done with purpose and focus on the key outcomes you desire in your life. Inside Attracting Greatness we share the 5 Pillars of Greatness…the key factors that radically change people's lives allowing them to regain happiness, excitement, energy and confidence in their lives. Purpose is one of those pillars…and we share the way you can find a purpose in your life that drives you to incredible heights in your life.
Learn to focus and you will find that suddenly you have more time, that you are more fulfilled and that you become a better, more productive person – after all – you have taken back YOUR time.