“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
I’ve been imagining what others would see if they had open access to view me and my actions, hour by hour, like a fly on the wall.
I’ve not been doing this because I think my life is so interesting. I’ve been doing it as an exercise.
I’ve been on a quest to use my time more wisely, to live according to my priorities and values. I’ve written about how difficult it is for me to make plans, to motivate myself to do what’s most important for me to do.
This quest has led me to a question: How do I want to spend my time?
Which leads directly to this question: How am I spending my time now?
It’s not a pretty sight.
If others had open access to view my life, they’d see a picture of a woman who sleeps too much, spends too much time in indecision, eats without thinking. It’s a picture of a woman who wanders through her day.
How do I get to a place where I’m using my time to do the things that matter the most to me? How do I reach the point where what I’m doing reflects my values and gives my life meaning?
I’m feeling rather desperate. I’ve read books about time management. I read a great book about how habits develop.
I know that habits that I developed from having OCD are ingrained and it’s going to take a lot of work to develop new ones. I know that chronic depression makes it harder sometimes to take action.
But Lord help me, I’ve got to do better than this.
Remember what my therapist told me about what happy people do?
What they do, he said, is choose to do things according to their values. They do things that are meaningful to them, that make their lives meaningful.
I have finally taken the time to sit down with paper and pen to write. I usually compose on the computer, but when I’m trying to figure something out, trying to make plans, set goals, I find that physically moving a pen or pencil along a page helps me.
I made a list of my priorities in life. That wasn’t hard. My priorities are my relationship with God, my husband, my cats and my writing.
Under each, I’ve begun listing ways that I can better spend my time to reflect the fact that they are my priorities.
For example, to build and experience my relationship with God, I can spend time meditating and reading scripture.
To build a stronger writing life, I can spend time on my memoir, journal and read.
My next step is to start building those things into my schedule.
And there are all the connecting parts of my life to consider, too, like making time for relaxation, exercise and fun.
Once I put pen to paper and started writing, I began to feel better about my prospects. I’m planning now, making small changes along the way.
I’m moving towards making the most of my time.
How do you decide how to spend your time?