If there’s one thing that I have learned to value the most during this isolation, it’s time. Before all this, I took time for granted. After work, I would always do my tasks at the end of the day, sometimes even during the dead of night. What was I doing when the sun was up? Nothing in particular. Just mindlessly floating from one device to another.
Now, when I have all the time to do things I wanted, I became more mindful. Granted, I still watch or play or kill time casually now and then. But my time management has drastically changed.
Then, I realized something. My thoughts went back to the pre-isolation period and, well, I have wasted so much time.
The time I used to casually surf the net or play video games every single day before and after work, was time I should have spent practicing my craft or learning new things. Not that there’s something wrong with enjoying yourself now and then. But, if you gobble entertainment 80-90 percent of the time, then that’s something that should be addressed.
Equal in Time
We all have the same 24 hours. Most of the successful people we see on media pretty much say the same thing. It’s what we do with our time that makes all the difference.
So, when we wake up in the morning, or the afternoon because of staying up late, let’s all practice to always have a clear vision of what we want to do. This can be done by many things, like having a planner and writing in advance all the important tasks that need to be done for today. Let’s make a habit of doing this every single day so we could avoid the sea of procrastination, nonchalantly floating on our ship of games and videos.
If you need a stronger argument to help you be more mindful of your time, then allow me to indulge. Life is basically the things you repeatedly do every day. Take a moment to look back at your life a week, month, or a year ago. Do you see any difference now? Were you doing different things that help your character learn and grow? If yes, then continue doing the things you do. If no, then it’s most likely you have wasted a year to one of humanity’s greatest enemy, decadence.
If you want to be a better version of yourself every day, then be conscious of the time you’re wasting and do something that you love. It doesn’t matter what that thing is. As long as you know it’s what you want to do, it makes you happy, and it’s not imposing harm on others, then go. Start with something small, make it a habit, and soon, you will realize that you are now a better person than you were before.
“If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream”John C. Maxwell
Stoicism and Time
The ancient Stoics have written a great number of things about the concept of time. It is one of the major concepts of their philosophical thought and that’s why they have written a great deal about its cosmic inevitability. For them, a person’s time is nothing but a brief, fleeting moment in the grand scale of the universe.
These philosophers argue that anything that can happen at any time can happen today. That’s why time is such a central point of their thought. If you think that the thing you fear the most will not happen to you now but in the future, then reconsider that thought.
In summation, our time is limited and short. But the great and terrible thing about the human mind is that we never get scared by this macabre concept. We choose to ignore this because we’re either ignorant or scared. In this modern life of almost endless distractions and activities, we tend to feel as if we’re going to live forever. We put things off because there’s a small voice at back of our mind, whispering that there’s always time to do it later. We don’t know that, and we will never know that.
Sometime throughout the day, in the plethora of things that you do, if ever a fleeting thought has crossed your mind that too much time has gone by and you’ve done nothing productive, then absorb that Stoic concept of time. Live by it.
So, my dear reader, let us be more mindful of the activities that we do every day. It’s not completely our fault that we’re always distracted. Our brains are wired to always choose comfort. The entertainment industry of the modern age has done such a wonderful job of grabbing our attention. However, if you love yourself and the thing you’re aspiring for, then work for it. Don’t waste all of your time just thinking about doing it. Do it.
“Think of the universal substance, of which thou has a very small portion; and of universal time, of which a short and indivisible interval has been assigned to thee.”Marcus Aurelius
No matter where you are and what you do, time always moves forward. It is like a river, eternally flowing. It cannot be stopped, it cannot be reversed, it can only flow on. There’s nothing we can do about it.
Our time is limited, so, let us make most of what we have. We will never know when the hourglass of our lives will run out. That’s why it’s important to do the things we love, no matter how daunting it may be. The hardest but most fulfilling undertaking of our lives is to remain true to our purpose.