There's nothing more valuable in this world than time.
Not that other things aren't important too. Relationships, health, peace, you name it... We devote our time to these things that we consider priorities. But, I think life happens too fast for most of us. That's what I'm discovering anyway.
After finishing my B.A. in December, I remained unemployed through the Christmas holiday and right after New Year's started working remotely for an internet start up company (they're really cool people). I did that for about two weeks before I spent two weeks touring Italy and Greece with a group of students and chaperones from the University of Sioux Falls. I'm now in the thick of my second full work week at the office for KosLo.com (that super cool internet startup I mentioned before).
I don't have all the ins and outs of being a full time employed college grad down, but I'm well on my way. I spend my lunch hours in the common rooms usually eating a salad and some fruit that I packed from home, so I'm at the office about 45 hours a week. That sounds like a lot of time, but my perception of time is a lot different these days
Opening the office and getting to work by 8am isn't the hard part, and staying until 5 isn't so bad either. Some days 5:30 rolls around and I have no idea it's already that late! Training my brain to be productive for the 8-9 consecutive hours I work each day is what I'm convinced ultimately drains the average professional.
What is time anyway? I keep asking myself this. Other than the obvious explanation of the way we measure time with years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds, how do you define time? The jury is still out on this one. At least mine is.
I think time is the name we give to quantify the importance any one action has in our life.
After working, I get a quick and intense 30 minute workout in after I leave the office (most days...sometimes motivation is hard). I FINALLY don't have a job that makes me work weekends. For the first time in my life I can honestly say I have "free time".
That's where my perception of time really gets off balance. I used to sprint through life. I hurried to from one moment to the next until my eyes refused my brain's demands to stay open just a little longer. Even though falling asleep wasn't hard for my body, my mind always reminded me over and over every night of the things I failed to cross of my to-do list that day.
I thought this was normal.
I was under the impression that the busier I was, the more "things" I had to do, the more people that were "relying" on me, the more important I was. Important to whom? Yeah--good question.
You see the problem is that as a society we categorize "free time" as the time we have left over to do what we want, when we want. That's not true. How someone chooses to spend the 24 hours they have in each day is a reoccurring daily choice. Working a 10 or 12 hour day isn't your boss's fault, it's yours. Spending the last 2 hours of your day watching mindless tv, that adds up.
Stop making excuses.
When I was in school I wanted to get plugged into a Bible group, or get more connected in church. I kept telling myself that I didn't have the time. I was too tired, I had to work, or my time was better spent doing homework or studying. Some days, that's the truth...but that's not because of life. It's because of the choices you made leading up to that point.
If I'm going to continue my current trend of signing off blog posts with a small piece of advice from my personal life experience, today's is this:
It's not a matter of finding time, or making time. It's how you prioritize your time.
It's okay to say no, and you should.
Make a list of the things you love, do them.
You're going to get off track, and some days will swallow you more than others. Don't get discouraged. Pick right back up where you left off!
The amount of time you and I have is numbered. Your guess is as good as mine on what that magic number is. Don't wish your life away while you sit back and let the demands of others keep you from the things and people you love.