Are You Making the Most of Your Time?None By Homaira Kabir
There's a narrative that constantly runs through my mind. Wherever I am and whatever I do, it has a way of creeping in and reminding me that I don't have much time. And it shifts me toward a heightened sense of stress from which I live my life.
I've tried to change this narrative. But it’s an upward battle in a world where the incessant onslaught of information leaves us little time to step back and watch the unfolding of life. Moments shift, seasons end, and years slip by, almost as if we never lived them. And it's affecting us in profound ways. We don't have the time to reset our internal state as we rush from one activity to another.
We don’t have the time to connect deeply with others in a way that calms and heals both them and us. We don’t have the time to watch the sun set in all its glorious splendor and make us one with the larger flow of life. We don’t have the time to read the books that inspire us and pursue the passions that once made us feel alive. And we don’t have the time to engage in the causes that take us out of our little bubbles and make us part of something much larger than ourselves.
At least, we think we don't. And this relationship of scarcity is not only harming our physical and psychological health, it's also changing us as human beings. We're at a moment in our history when compassion is our most urgent need and our greatest savior. And yet, as a famous psychological study showed, most people in a hurry are less likely to help others, even though they believe it's important. Unless we create the time to nurture the muscle of compassion, we’ll continue on our trajectory of increasingly divided and unequal societies, and plunder through our planet's resources with little concern for the generations that follow.
Perhaps the best way to create "more" time is to take a page from the lives of some of the people who made the most of it.
Work with Intention
The Roman philosopher Seneca wrote that we would have enough time in our lives to accomplish great things if we were to use our lives fully. But we often don't. We live most of life through habitual patterns of thought and behavior that don't serve us well. We may waste it in ruminating, or in perfecting a project that is already complete. We may waste it in splintering our attention among a hundred different tasks, or in distracting ourselves with the buzz of our phon