Ahhh, the gift of time. Imagine if you had an extra 30 minutes a day to do whatever you wanted? What would you do with that?
Well the good people at Brighterlife asked me that very question. They wrote an article on the gift of time and asked me to share what I’d do in my free-found 30 minutes a day. Update: The article is no longer posted on their site but read on for my response.
An interesting question! I often say I’d like a 9-day week so I can squeeze in more of the stuff I want to do (both in work and life). When they asked me to think about an extra half hour my first reaction was ‘Only a half hour! Why not a full hour?’ But beggars can’t be choosers. 30 minutes more a day adds up to 3.5 more hours in a week.
What to do? So many choices and my first inclination was to be more productive. More writing; more work on my projects; more ‘doing’. But then I switched gears and decided to choose activities that were quite different. I couldn’t come up with one so in this blog post, I am indulging and listing a few of the many ideas I have.
What I might do with my 30-minutes a day:
– Take a more luxurious walk/run in the morning before work. On those days that I do manage to get out for a run or walk, it’s a mad rush to get it in and get back on time for work. Imagine having an extra half hour to truly zen out on my walk or run (I mix it up…some days I walk and some days I run). And perhaps I might even have some time for some good stretching after.
– I would take more time reading the papers, magazines, blogs, tweets and other cool stuff that comes my way. I find there is so much stuff to wade through. My interests and subscriptions are a plenty but my time to read ’em all isn’t so plenty! More often, I just manage to skim and save for later but later never comes because there’s soon another tsunami of other interesting cool stuff coming my way to read.
– I’d go to a coffee shop and read or just hang out. I don’t get out to do that much. On those occasions that I do, I find the change of scenery and the focus time to read or think very refreshing.
–I’d journal at a more leisure pace. Reflective practice through journaling is a big part of my life. I often really enjoy starting my day off with some quiet thinking and journaling — but alas, with the competing demands of morning, I don’t get to indulge as deeply as I’d like. With an extra half hour….wow, delicious time to pause, park, reflect…and get lost in thought. A nice way to begin the day….and complete it too.
–I’d do nothing. Nada. Zilch. Or I’d at least try. You see I’m pretty good at the ‘doing thing’. Do, do, do….but I feel like I’ve lost the art of doing nothing. I used to be good at it many, many years ago….hanging out, relaxing and ‘zen’ing’ out. So with an extra 30 minutes, I’d try to rekindle that nada skill. Maybe meditate, maybe just relax and let my imagination wonder….. There might be music involved. Or not. Oh look — so many choices even in the ‘do nothing’ mode.
And more. But that’s a good start. What about you? What would you do with an extra 30 minutes a day?
I gotta go — and practise doing more of nothing.
To your professional and personal wellbeing.
Postscript (a few years later:): the article they wrote is no longer posted — but you can read more about how to clear the cache and recharge in my book, Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy.
If I had an extra 30 minutes a day, I would make sure I did something not related to work or busyness – but I’d want it to be something that gave me a reward. So that 30 minutes would be working/playng/training my dog – he’s a Golden Retreiver rescue dog and he deserves more attention and training than I’ve been able to give him. So if I could spend 20 minutes training and then 10 minutes just playing – the reward back to me in terms of relaxation and receiving his unconditional love would be priceless!
Carleen – I love this!! What a wonderful use of time. I hope you find this time….even if not everyday, than at least a few times a week. It will be a reward for both of you!