Time is life. Lessons along the way – Part Eight

Of course, I have always known that there are 24 hours in a day, but it was only when I had my first child that the reality hit me. Time ceased to exist as I knew it. The day didn’t start at 5 a.m. when I usually woke up and didn’t end when I went to bed. It was one continuous blurred series of events that I could only measure from midnight to midnight…one day. Those first few weeks with an infant were completely not regular and with the irregular came new perspectives.


With the wisdom of a new mother living with sleep deprivation and extreme exhaustion from the pregnancy, birthing process, and then from caring for a baby, I posted this on Facebook:


“I now understand perfectly that the day is made up of 24 hours – and that it starts at 12 midnight, not at 5:00 am like it used to be for me. Interestingly, we come into the world with this conditioning but later start thinking differently. Time is indeed a wonderful asset.”


This realization left me with a gift. The gift of using time properly. I believed that outside of the regular hours, I could do extra work. I realized that between midnight and when I’d usually wake up, there was time that could be utilized, and I could freeze certain activities to make time for what was a priority.


I am perceived as a very busy person. What I am is a productive person. I insist when people tell me I am busy that I actually don’t do too many things. What I do is focus on the ones that need to be done, those activities that I believe are worthy of my time. This is how I filter demands on my life – because that is what time is. When someone shares with you their time, it is their life they have shared. So I am very careful to include time to rest and refresh, time to travel and explore, time to impact and share, and time with my family is all carefully and intentionally given.


Here are two hacks that help me maximize time:


  1. The principle of prioritization

I have honed the skill of being able to properly prioritize and put tasks and activities into four buckets using the urgent and important metric. Someone else’s emergency does not become mine automatically. This helps a lot!


  1. The ability to say no.

I do not go everywhere. I do not accept every opportunity. In fact, to be able to properly prioritize I have to say no quite often. The more you give off your time and skills the more you are asked to give but knowing what to not do is essential to being able to do what aligns with your purpose and your journey.


I read somewhere that one of the signs of maturity is your ability to say no but my toddler has made me question this statement.


He learned how to say no and said it with authority, months before he said yes. So, I wondered, what changed between when we were toddlers and had the audacity to say no to everyone and when we became adults and began to find it hard to say no? Acceptance. The desire or the intense need to be accepted and to belong can push you to say yes to things you would rather not do.


The more you seek to please other people instead of staying true to your purpose and journey, the more you will be unable to prioritize and properly execute your goals.


What you give your time to, you are giving your life to. Ask yourself, is it worth it?


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