I’ve been requested to talk a little about time management, so let’s give it a go. I’d like to first try and define time, or at least come to an understanding of what it is. Then we can dive into how to maneuver through the time we have. I aim to make you feel more comfortable with all the time we have.
The advice that I share here is not something that I expect you to follow or do. My intention is for you to absorb the wisdom behind it, and apply it in your own way. We each have our own idea of what is considered valuable and our own set of responsibilities.
We find value in different activities and behaviours, therefore there can’t be a guide on what to spend your time doing. We can try and find healthy habits, which enable us to find more time in our rigorously busy schedules. Again, we each have our own idea of healthy, so let me elaborate on what I mean by that.
Healthy to me is something that enables you to find fulfillment, contentment and contributes to longevity and endurance. Let’s try and form some healthy habits, which can enable us to spend more time on what we consider to be valuable.
What is time?
Such an arbitrary concept. Something we’ve made up to allow us to fully utilize the changing of the seasons and to form some structure. Like an opinion, time is perceived differently by everyone.
The young (who often have less to do) feel it passing by slowly, anticipating boredom. The old (who often have much more to do) feel it slipping between their fingers, hardly able to hold onto a few minutes.
Tomorrow is a fiction of our imagination. Yesterday will never return. Today is all there is. Keeping that in mind, let’s utilize the present moment with structure, consistency and some balance.
Structure -Necessary as a base.
This is forming a skeleton of your ideal day. Think of it as the foundation of your empire. How do we form structure? By setting out goals and objectives, each and every day. To do lists work exceptionally well here. Before you start the day, set out specific tasks that you’d like to accomplish.
This cannot be random. You need to look at your schedule, and fill in the gaps with whatever you need to get done. I cannot emphasize how important it is for you to have a solid morning routine. If you haven’t already, check out my post on The 5 AM Club.
Writing down objectives of the day is relatively simple. Following through and respecting it is a completely different ball game. To actually notice a difference, you need to be committed to your craft.
You need to love yourself enough to keep your promises. So don’t treat the list like it’s insignificant.
Follow through. Work hard. Don’t end the day without ticking everything off. Find the satisfaction in pursuing the targets. [Reasonably of course]
Here are a few examples of what I put on my list everyday:
- Morning Routine (Pray, meditate, journal, 10-20 min exercise)
- Read (30 min a day)
- Blog (I’m ticking this off rn!)
- Attend lectures and complete tutorials for the day
- Gym (or some other form of exercise)
- Cook (or just prepare lunch)
You don’t want your day to be overloaded, but you don’t want it to be bare either. Find slots in your day to fit in important activities and don’t allow procrastination to push you off track. Watching series aimlessly or scrolling on your phone for hours will definitely suck up valuable time.
Leave your comfort zone. Be ambitious. Dream wildly.
Structure curates a space for spontaneity and creativity. It only becomes mundane or boring when you allow it to be. Continue to explore in your free time and find something to learn.
Consistency– Necessary in order to keep the structure in tact.
This is something else I love speaking about. Consistency! Little by little, a little becomes a lot. To be successful in any aspect of your life, there are certain actions which you just have to repeat.
Want to be fit? Exercise consistently. Want to be smarter? Read and learn consistently. Want to form healthier relationships? Show your love and care consistently.
So in order to manage your time better, the key most definitely lies in consistency. When you’re consistent with the structure you’ve formed, it opens up time for you to do more. You gain confidence from consistency because you know what to expect from yourself (to a certain degree). That confidence enables you to move forward and make progress towards your goals.
So with structure and consistency, we need to find balance. To ensure we’re living a wholesome life, where we’re constantly contributing, and being leaders to those around us.
Balance – Resting is necessary.
Having such a rigorous schedule definitely sounds exhausting, that’s why we should always account for some rest time.
Your structure should include time for you to rest, recover and reload. Make sure that you’re getting the right amount of sleep every night. Make sure that you’re putting in exercise at least 2-3 times a week. Make sure that you’re spending some time in nature too.
I can’t emphasize how important it is to spend time around nature and to just let your mind wander. Being bored can be very healthy. You need to give yourself time to allow thoughts and ideas to manifest and come to fruition.
Find a balance academically, spiritually, mentally and physically. My post on equilibrium explains it in much more detail.
Salah (Prayer). One of the most fascinating aspects of Islam to me, is that we have 5 obligatory prayers each day. This kind of puts what I’m speaking about into the spotlight; structure, consistency and balance. The structure and consistency of these prayers, enables us to revive our spiritual relationship with God each and everyday.
Knowing very well when it’s time to pray, allows us to work around it. Making it easier to slot things into an organized schedule.
I know everyone follows a different belief system, but it’s still critical to form some type of spiritual practice.
I want to change the self-fulfilling prophecy that people say: “I don’t have enough time”. It’s just not a good enough excuse for your strive towards mediocrity.
We all have the same amount of time, some people learn to use it more effectively than others. It mostly depends on what you choose to prioritize.
Utilize your time more effectively by building some structure. Form a schedule that works best for you and respect it. Being consistent is the best way to show yourself some love, and to build confidence in your ability to follow things through. Lastly, find balance within the structure. Your mind, body and soul all need to be taken care off.