it's about time
Just an hour into sleep and I was woken up at 5 am – startled by a revved up, screaming mind. ‘Dude, you’ve got a long list of to-dos…you can’t sleep…get up, do your work…tomorrow there will be even more burden! Get up dude, get up!’ It shouted.
Energy depleted, I just knew that another sleepless night would only find me all burnt out and collapsed. ‘Sleep sleep sleep sleep sleep….’ I couldn’t really count how many repetitions it took but I did finally touch base.
The warning was quite legit though. Here I am all loaded with some pending and new tasks in the new day despite a fairly early sleep-deprived start.
Come to the point, shall we?
Time is such a relative concept yet a majority of us are always complaining about it. I started off with a lament on how I am finding it hard to manage work and sleep in my time. Someone on the other side of this screen might be concerned about their struggle to fill up their extra time. While the alchemist would be laughing right now at all this petty commotion about time.
And some are definitely concerned how you are wasting their time!
Am I, now? If you look closely, I am, in fact, trying to make you understand that our complaints about time are, more often than not, superficial. What we hate to accept is that our time is exactly spent the way we’ve designed it to.
How did you spend your last two hours? Was it any different than the same time yesterday? I am pretty sure, it wasn’t. Mine was almost the same. I was quite closely following the same path through my time yesterday, the day before, and before. Weekends could be exceptions. But then weekends have their own specific patterns which are simply reiterated every 5 (or 6) days. Who do you think laid out this pattern? Well superhero, you did! As I did mine.
Am I still wasting your time? Are you still tied to the same delusion that your time is going haywire on its own? I gladly welcome you to your wake up call.
You, my friend, are edging on the offensive territory now!
I sure hope I am. It takes a real rattling to make us see how flawed our concepts about our own lives are – one is bound to feel offended. This feeling, by the way, is mutual. I am not against you; I am not blaming you for anything. I find myself equally disgusted every time I run a self-critique on how I ruin my time. Here is how I mess it up:
- I feel drained, both mentally and physically, when I do not get good sleep.
- This exhaustion slows me down and I take more time to tick off items on my to-do list.
- In turn, as the duration of each task prolongs, the urgency to get things done before the day ends starts building up.
- This intrinsic alarm translates into repeated panic strikes which signal my cognition that I have a lot to do before I sleep.
- Hence, my mind becomes hyped up, pushing me in a sleepless zombie state where I just chug through my tasks at a sorry pace with compromised levels of quality.
- Result? Jump to 1 and enjoy the loop.
Surprised at how many times you’ve been caught in exactly the same loop too? I am not. Why? Because, like I said, we are all equally guilty of messing up our time. Now then, do you really think we still deserve to complain? I sure don’t think so.
Okay! Alright! Got your point. Are you going to suggest a way out now or what?
Hey, relax. Don’t have to get so worked up…Oops, there you go – I just spilled it.
What? Do not get so worked up?
Yes, that’s it. Simple, no? Look, you really don’t have to get so beat. ‘Getting more done’ and ‘overachieving’ are definitely fancy words and really inspire all of us but remember, the best inspiration you can find out there comes through life itself. And no, life is not about work alone. It is about your ability to absorb all the moments of a balanced day. This means your day should be spread out between:
- Time for your personal self (could be a workout routine or reading a book or writing a daily blog or a nice walk in the park),
- Productive (but limited) hours of good quality work (whether it be in your job, or your own thing, or the trending combo of job and a side hustle),
- Time with family and/or friends, and,
- Of course, time for a good sleep.
- And you should definitely use the weekends for some fun stuff to break the monotony (like travelling or catching your favorite flick in the theatre while it lasts or trying that new diner out or whatever crazy you can think of).
I didn’t ask for too much there, or did I? Well, that is how I am trying to design my time around my days. And trust me, it’s very much possible and tremendously helpful.
By the way, this pattern also works perfectly well for my friends struggling to find ways to fill out their days. Trust me, it’s totally worth it!