What is the most prized possession you own? Basic human needs such as food, clothing, and shelter aren’t really the most valuable assets you have. Its not your house or car. You can work to earn the money to buy those items. Love and friendship can’t be bought or manufactured but those can be nurtured and encouraged to grow. Maybe its your health. We all make choices to eat, drink, or breathe things that can negatively impact our health but most of the time we can also work to regain our losses. I already blogged about my journey so I won’t get into the impact of our daily choices here. This blog post is about the one thing you can never make more of or replace once it’s gone: your time!
This is where I start my ‘Simplify’ class because this really is where it all begins. I got to the point where it became clear I wasn’t going to be able to DIY my way out of Multiple Sclerosis, or even power through it. I had to face my biggest hurdle: asking for help. What this actually came down to was needing to do more than I could physically accomplish each day. So I turned to what I could still do and worked to maximize my time and energy. Even though MS isn’t going to shorten my time here it does take longer to accomplish various tasks. It makes sense to delegate what I can to people around me and even call in the professionals sometimes.
When it comes to simplifying your life the best start I can think of is decluttering your schedule. We have some amazing tools today but we just aren’t using them. Part of the class at Lynda.com ‘Going Paperless’ was learning how to filter email to automate some of the filing tasks and use labels to make it easy to find documents when you need them. At one point I had three different digital calendars so I picked one and consolidated to save time and avoid the gaps that were inevitable. But its also important to declutter your commitments. I don’t know an American mom who isn’t overwhelmed sometimes with the demands of their calendars. And if you are volunteering ask yourself if there are others in your organization who might enjoy taking on some of those commitments.
Then there’s media. DVR, Netflix and Hulu has freed us from the tyranny of the TV schedule but how much have you taken control of your time by using streaming services and your DVR in a purposeful way? Another time waster is social media. I curate my Facebook feed when I notice it takes longer to scroll to something I really care about like pictures of the grand-kids. And I unsubscribed from several YouTube channels when they turned so unprofessional recently. It really is up to you how much time you want to spend on each platform.
What pursuits feel like truly wasted time in your life? Let’s talk about it in the comments!