The human race has obtained ownership of every existing resource there is on this planet. Except for one.
While we’re able to get our hands on pretty much everything, everywhere, at any time, constantly connected in a global network of production, distribution and communication, it is time itself, we cannot control. We cannot save it, cannot stop it, cannot trade it. Time is the only resource, that we have to obey. It travels in it’s own speed, equally, second by second and we won’t ever change that, for all times to come.
At the same time, the happiest people are those, who’ve stopped fighting against it. Those, who ‚live in the moment‘, not worrying about what had happened or what will happen. Those, who have the ability to appreciate the moment, mindful and content, calm and in tune with whatever is going to happen. Monks, for instance, or indigenous tribes, who live peacefully in the jungle, isolated from our poisoned civilization in harmony with nature and its own stoic rhythm, we once decided to call „time“.
Unfortunately I am not a monk and neither am I planning on spending my days in the wilderness of the Amazonas.
I live at the heart of this civilization, I work in marketing for a global brand, I am a father, boyfriend, ex-husband, homey, partner and since one week, I am happy co-owner of a whippet puppy called bob. At the same time, I need friends, sports and music in my life. I want to work on learning more skills, more languages, instruments, recipes – more about the secrets of living a fulfilled life. In short: There is a lot to do.
Eventually, I get rid of wanting.
Once I do the things I love, I’m surrounded by the people I love, all these things won’t require effort, won’t cause stress, but will lead me to this little time in space, I call presence. That is, when the constant longing disappears.
I became somewhat intrigued by the secret art of ‚living the now‘, by reconciling a personal vision for myself inside a jam-packed schedule.
I started experimenting with time-management and task-management, project-management and people-management. I developed my own life-management framework, I realized that I will have to start with my inner dimensions of existence, body, mind and soul, before successfully connecting with the world around me.
A few of things I have learned on this journey.
1. I give every week purpose.
Once a week, mostly on Sundays, I take a bit of time to find my current key topic, as part of my mission, my contribution to the world or just a theme that reflects my inner direction. I choose these topics based on the situation in my life I am in. This week’s topic, for example, is „preparation“. After three weeks of holidays, and on the verge of starting a new chapter in my life, I need to prepare this transition as thoroughly as I need to prepare the next milestone in my personal transformation.
Preparing in this context helps me focus on the bigger picture, my very own, overarching life-story, once a week.
It means not only focusing on job or family related aspects, but also on stuff I want to learn, I want to get better at, I want to develop. So that every week would include a piece of evolution that would provide me with this golden shadow, reconfirming that this journey is in tune with my dreams. Preparation – this idea made me write this text – what you read is part of my personal preparation, and maybe part of yours too.
I even wrote the letters PREP on my hand with a permanent marker, so whenever I was tempted to distract myself with meaningless crap, I was reminded that I actually had an idea for this week, a task to accomplish. So I would immediately switch back from „distract“ to „mindful“ mode to actually get stuff done. The following week’s topic will be „positivity“, because I just read a very interesting chapter in the book „The Awakened Ape“ by Jevan Pradas about the power of positivity. This truly resonates with me, which is why it became clear, that the week following the next week, will be filed under „positivity“.Whats your topic? Write down a few themes, keywords, tags, etc. and choose one you feel in tune with. Write it on your hand with a permanent marker. Remind yourself of this key theme everyday and be surprised how it impacts your life.
I become time’s best friend.
In the first place, that means, I get to know myself better every day. Like everyone else I have my weak spots and my strengths. I work best in the mornings, I’ll want to nap a bit at around 5 pm every day. The best time to walk the dog is before I get my boy to school, the best time to meditate probably even before that. The best time to play is at night, the best time to run, when the sun comes up. The best time to learn is always. Once I somewhat decoded my biorhythm, I became more effective and joyful in accomplishing my tasks. Maybe not always in time, but at least more in tune with myself 😃
Before that, it is always helpful to actually know my tasks, thus the first thing I do on the sunday or monday morning, is to write down what needs to be done this week. Yes, a fancy list of all things to do, in order to transform my vision of myself into reality. It includes anything from running regularly as part of a marathon preparation, to preparing my boy’s first day in the new school-year, from preparing going back to work (emails, documents, phone calls) to experimenting with new habits and life hacks.
Now I go through that list and create time-slot windows for these tasks in my calendar. I’ll make sure I’ll leave enough room for unforeseeable events.
This exercise may appear very basic, or come across control-obsessed, but in fact it provides me with a clear agenda every day and I don’t have to worry much about what comes next, since I scoped it all out in the beginning, which is why a good preparation truly helps me, to enjoy every moment when it happens.
I invest myself by enjoying life to become efficient.
When planning a week based on this simple method, I sometimes realize that there is just too much stuff to do. A while ago, I would take my daily sports routine off the agenda, to gain more time for work. I would work late and sleep as long as I could, willingly skipping my morning stretch & meditation. I wouldn’t go to the sauna or to the movies with my girl. I wouldn’t take time to cook at home or draw a picture to send a friend. But I found that, the less time I invest in exactly all these things, the less happy I am and hence less productive. Its a good exercise in self-discipline that results in effectiveness and independence and gives room for those things in life, that I would want to remember, when I am about to die. And the ability to focus, to get awesome things done, to use the flow is closely connected to the ability to understand my needs and act accordingly.
- I meditate daily to prepare my soul for the many challenges I need to focus on every day, without losing my mind, my mojo, my mindfulness, my focus.
- I work out and stretch regularly to prepare my body to house an alert and vivid mind and a balanced soul
- I write down my findings and share it with the world, reinforcing the insights I generate every day, to prepare myself for constant transformation
- I prepare tasty and healthy food every day to obtain the energy I need for all of this.
- I unclutter my inner and outer home and get rid of stuff I don’t need regularly, to lose ballast, that keeps me from moving in sync with the beat of time.
Sidenote: I wrote a few things about „time
“ recently, in German, in case you want to know more about how to manage yourself efficiently…
How do you prepare?
Please share in the comments.