Harry Chapin wrote a song called, “Cats In The Cradle” in 1974. It described a father and son’s relationship from birth to old age. The song revealed a precious void in their loving relationship called
The one recurring theme across all socioeconomic groups, genders, races, and religions is the lack of time. This excuse is the most prevalent one used to explain why people are in the situations they find themselves. In reality, if the day was extended by 12 hours, people would continue to complain about their limited time.
If there’s one common denominator EQUALLY shared in life, it’s the 24 hour day. Do we ever really consider this fact and determine how to use it WISELY to improve the quality of our lives?
Approximately eight of those hours should be committed to restful sleep. Approximately eight of those hours are committed to work. This provides most of us approximately eight hours (during the work week) to plan our day.
What Priorities Must We Commit To In These Eight Hours:
Daily Meal Preparation and Eating (2 hours)
Prayer/Meditation/Stretching (one or more each day) (15-30 minutes)
Family Time (excluding meals) (1 hour)
Exercise (30 minutes)
Travel Time Work (1 hour)
Evening “down time” (30 minutes)
Computer/Reading/Television time (30 minutes)
Miscellaneous (ex. food shopping, pay bills, etc….) AND Your CHOICE (≈2 hours)
On the weekend our typical 8 hour work day can be substituted for activities including:
***I know some people work on the weekends.***
For those reading this post and INITIALLY THINKING TO YOURSELF, “I need more time because I handle more responsibilities,”
With only 24 hours in a day, we must learn to PRIORITIZE within this time frame. If you don’t follow this advice, it is just a matter of time before you become OVERWHELMED and implode. Take a moment to think to yourself whether the path you’re following is helping you achieve your GOALS in life (within a reasonable limit of stress), or simply helping you SURVIVE LIFE?
HOW DO MOST PEOPLE HANDLE THEIR TIME?
They live day to day without a plan of action. Rather than re-allocating additional work assignments and other responsibilities, they add on tasks without considering the time frame required. This results in more work than is possibly achievable within a given time frame available. For the average person, this approach to life carries over to their financial side where people begin to have more expenses than available income. Whether it’s TIME or MONEY (OR BOTH), the average person is accumulating a
This would help explain why so many people turn to destructive behaviors (ex. unhealthy eating, watching television or sitting in front of computers for hours on end.) These behaviors act as a temporary escape from reality de-escalating a growing dissatisfaction with life. We are already short on TIME (based on our lack of planning) and spend EVEN MORE TIME (we can’t afford to spend) doing “NOTHING” (ironically) to make us temporarily feel better.
THIS HAS BECOME A PATTERN FOR SO MANY OF US THAT IT HAS LEAD TO:
The SOLUTION BEGINS by recognizing and accepting responsibility for the circumstances that exist. To improve future outcomes, you must be willing to accept a change in THINKING and BEHAVIOR.
To start the PROCESS, create your own 24 hour day ON PAPER. Although this may seem unnecessary, it provides a VISUAL outline of YOUR PRIORITIES. Seeing these priorities each day reinforces your new thinking and ultimately, your new behavior. It will also teach you how to create achievable BOUNDARIES that will REDUCE STRESS by reducing WASTED TIME taken up with destructive behaviors.
Complaining about a lack of TIME won’t ever change our 24 hour day. Applying this exercise, however, will give you and your family an opportunity for a more PRODUCTIVE and ENJOYABLE QUALITY OF LIFE.