Take your time. That’s such a loaded statement. Time is so many things, date, minute, even down to the seconds. Some days, just knowing the date is about all I can tell you for certain. In all fairness, the only reason I can usually tell you that is because I see it on my phone or my computer. Thank you technology for at least keeping me on track there.
We live in a world surrounded by technology, reminders of the day, the time, and even our location. Those metrics of information are secondary to the bubble of our world. In the ten years since losing my son, I haven’t focused on a date unless it was a birthday, anniversary, or important for an appointment, and even then I have to put it in my calendar most of the time.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t pay attention to the passing of time. I can tell you “Last month I did *this* and it was great.” On average though, to be able to tell you the exact date wouldn’t happen. I would have to look for reference material on the time frame.
With all that being said, we need to learn how to ‘take time.’ I know that seems like a rather generalist term, but think about it. We ‘lose track of time’, time is ‘stolen’ from us, time ‘flies’, and a bunch of other terms about time fleeting or passing at a certain rate. Why not take it back?
Take It Back
We never talk about the ability to ‘take back time’ because most of us stick with the idea that time is fleeting. The idea of taking back time is more along the lines of making every moment matter. Every moment of our day is a moment that should mean something. Now, that doesn’t mean that every moment should be memorable. What that means is that there should be purpose. Those first moments in the morning when you’re drinking coffee or eating your toast… Those moments are the mental ‘start-up’ to your day. They should have the purpose of you assessing what you need to do. For some it is just waking up the synapses to tackle your day. For others it may be just deciding what you’re going to wear to work.
Through your day you have a schedule, no matter the time of day you do things. We all have a set path of how our day progresses. You wake up, start of the day rituals, work, errands, lunch, dinner, unwind before bed, and sleep. All of these things are different moments in your day, and each of them should be done with a purpose. As you begin to look at that thought process, you will realize that you can ‘take back time’ simply by owning it. You can take those lost minutes in the shower by singing your favorite song… Sing that song that is just part of who you are, and at the same time it warms up your voice for any talking you need to do through the day. You can take those lost minutes on your commute and listen to an audio book of something you’ve been interested in.
Every moment of your day can be done with some sort of purpose. You just have to assign that purpose. I can spend hours on a call with my favorite person, and time will ‘fly’ by. Hours pass by without realizing it. Now, one could say that nothing was accomplished. Some could say that those minutes we spent talking and listening to music were wasted. Some could even say that the time we spent just sitting in silence while we both did our own thing were pointless. However I have a different view. I see the time we spend together as valuable. I see those moments, regardless of how fleeting, as moments shared. Those are moments where just the presence of the other is more than enough. I’m able to find my calm, unwind, and just be.
Moments With A Purpose
Once you realize that you are the keeper of your own time, things will begin to change. You will see that even in a moment of silence while you sit on the edge of your bed, there is a purpose. You are the inventor of your own purpose, and the keeper of your time. Use that to your advantage. By seeing that the moment of silence is a way to gather your thoughts, it isn’t ‘wasted.’ The hours I spend on a call with one person aren’t wasted, they are important to me. Therefore, regardless if it is one hour or ten, there is purpose. In today’s society, one could joke that it’s responsible social distancing. I, however, view it as quality time. Being able to spend time with someone and the silence feel just as comfortable as a conversation speaks more than words convey. At that point, there is a connection, security, safety, and an honest affection. Those are things that are worth their weight in gold, and give purpose to those moments.
Being the keeper of your time is a valuable thing. You now determine the purpose of every action and moment. What do you want your purpose to be? What do you want that moment to stand for? We don’t need to make a million memorable moments, ain’t nobody got time for that. However, by putting purpose into what we do, and how we do it, every moment counts. Once again, this isn’t about making everything memorable. This is about making every moment have purpose. I keep repeating that statement, but that is because it is important.
So we can talk about a million things about time. How fast it flies, what it means, and how to take it back. However, until we change something, we’re just talking. So I have a challenge for you: Make one moment have a purpose. Find one moment in your day that you think time is flying, or just “there.” Give that moment a purpose. I can tell you the point of this, I can tell you the what and why. What I can’t tell you is the how. You have to create that for yourself.
Now, I know that this sounds like a simple challenge. I know that there are probably some who will think of a profound purpose to give a moment. However, I want you to think smaller. Take back your time one small moment at a time. That moment after your shower as you’re getting dressed, own it. Perhaps when you are making dinner, own it.
We are so much more than just the physical actions of our bodies. Our minds are beautiful things. We can do something physical while our minds are doing something deep and profound. Take one of those moments, change your take on it, and give it purpose.
We’d love to hear from you on this, share with us your moment, your change, anything you’d like to share. Take back your time, we’ll catch you on the flip side.