What comes to mind when you think of time well-spent?
In a world oriented to clocks and calendars, productivity and problem-solving, it’s easy to fall into the trap that in time well-spent, things get done.
In time well-spent, you make a noticeable dent in the to-do list. You feel on top of things--organized, efficient, and productive.
While part of the human experience certainly involves work, I would bet that most of us don't want to equate time well-spent with time spent on tasks.
So how do you want to relate to time?
Left unchecked, I fall into the trap of thinking I need to earn my time.
Time to rest.
Time to play.
But only after my work is done. (is it ever done?)
What to do about time
Running out of time involves left-brain dominance. Society teaches from an early age to rely almost solely on the left hemisphere of the brain, through the framework of clocks, calendars, and productivity.
So we’ll continue to run out of time unless we retrain our brains, to relearn what our wise minds and bodies inherently know--and that is to engage in more right-brain, and whole-brain activities.
Productivity isn’t the measure of time well-spent.
We know that to be true at a physical and emotional level.
At the end of our lives, we want to know that our time was well spent.
What is time well-spent?
To me, times well-spent are those when I lose track of time. It's when I’m so intently engaged in what I’m doing that I have no idea how many minutes have gone by. There’s just me in my body.
In time well-spent, I’m alive to what I am doing, who I am with, and my immediate surroundings.
Time well-spent isn’t spent in worry or confusion. The past or future isn’t more alive in my mind than the present moment.
Time feels purposeful and deliberate, no matter what it is that I’m doing.
This is time spent in right-brain and whole brain connectivity.
You see, time well-spent has little to do with productivity.
What do you notice about how you spend your time?
What if rest and enjoyment carried equal (if not more) weight than productivity? How might you spend your time differently?
When I think about time using my whole brain, there's nothing to be earned.
I don’t need to hustle now to enjoy later.
There is just this moment to be enjoyed.
I hope this weekend brings more time well-spent.
And if you'd like to practice more right-brain activity, try a mindfulness walk.