This happens to all of us: you’re sitting in a comfortable chair, on your phone, and then some kind of YouTube or social media vortex draws you in and when you look up, it’s suddenly been three hours and it’s dark outside. Yeah… not the best way to spend our time, is it? I know I’ve been there (usually around the time of two in the morning), but recently I’ve decided to get intentional (that word keeps coming up) about how I spend my time, but more importantly, how I view it. That perspective we talked about in my last post is imperative to shaping our lives overall to be positive and fulfilling through our use of our limited time.
Now, when it comes to negative situations (and reading into them, as we covered last time), thinking about everything on the big picture track is usually best. However, when we’re talking about wasted time, we want to zero in on the now, this very moment. Here we have more questions to ask ourselves: what is the best used of my time right now? How could I make my tomorrow better right now? How can I work to achieve my goals right now, even just a little bit?
And now it’s time for the personal anecdote. The other week, I was driving in the first snow of this winter. It was coming down pretty hard and my vision was definitely compromised with my regular headlights on. So, I tried the fog lights. They worked much better. I couldn’t see as far ahead on the road, but I could see what was right in front of me perfectly clear. In the storm of life, when things are hectic and it can be hard to see what’s right in front of us, we need to put our fog lights on and see the current moment completely clearly. Things in the periphery can wait. What’s right in front of us is what matters right now.
In order to get to the summit of the mountain, you need to focus on the step at hand. When I live stressed, and anxious, and helplessly, that’s when I become overwhelmed and I’m less productive than I was before. But when I live in the moment, focusing on how I could spend my time right now to propel myself in a positive direction, that’s when I can decompress and get things done. It’s a de-stressor, deciding to focus on what matters most in this moment to amount to the ProsPer mentality that we discussed last time. I want to prosper, and therefore, I need to keep my own mind in check. When it’s stressed, it’s out of control. But by focusing just ahead, I can unpack the situation and make the best use of my time to get things done.
However, and most importantly, what I’ve learned about living in the now is that it’s all about the moments you can’t get back with loved ones. If we’re distracted with the many things to come and our extensive to-do lists, then we aren’t going to be able to fully appreciate and acknowledge the people who are right in front of us. It’s not just about seeing the moment just ahead, but the people who are there, too. Be present, not just to cut back on your wasted time, but to spend that time fully engaged with the people you love, the people who love you. Happy holidays!