Remember back in elementary school when our report cards were determined by how well we used our free time and whether we stayed focused and concentrated? Little did we know that time management was as vital as any history or math lesson.
Being young often allows us to feel that we have ample amounts of time. But as we grow older, time condenses, and 24 hours in a day is never enough. So, we make small sacrifices. We spend less time with our families. We dedicate ourselves to our to-do list and then panic to get our work accomplished. This condition of being overwhelmed by a lack of time has provided us with a new phrase: Time Famine.
Time Famine refers to a universal feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to satisfy those demands. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Time is money.” But the truth is that time is more valuable than any currency. Even Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, admits the only thing that he cannot buy is more time. When you lose money, you have the potential to earn it back. With time, once it’s lost, it will never be seen again; therefore, equating the two is inaccurate.
One of the benefits of being confined during the pandemic has been the usage of the word NO. Because we cannot travel or take on more projects, we don’t have to say no — the pandemic controls our calendars. By restricting our physical appointments, we have discovered more time in our day. We found Zoom. We found Slack. We found new ways to do old stuff, which then allowed us to have more hours in our day.
Now that we know Time Famine causes health concerns, we must take this condition seriously. We need to return to our elementary school days when we made time for the essential parts of our daily life.
- Quiet time: We need to put down our phones for at least three hours per day. Spend time thinking, observing, and allowing our minds to relax—This means no social media.
- Recess: Spend time outdoors, go for a walk, work out, do something physical. No one is allowed to sit during recess.
- Writing Class: Journal in the morning, take time to write your thoughts on a piece of paper, allowing your mind to wonder.
- Community Circle: Limit the number of people you allow to evade your time, become integrated into your calendar. Tighten your community.
- Silent Reading: Spend an hour a day reading. Plan the hour on your calendar. A person who does not read is no better off than a person who cannot read.
If we do these five things each day, we will find more time, be able to focus more clearly, and, most of all, reduce the stress caused by Time Famine.
Live today well, be unique, and smile.