Thursday, May 15, 2014

De-cluttering Your Time

Earlier this year I wrote a few posts about Living Deliberately. Click Here to go to those posts!
I wrote about how clearing your house of material clutter can bring about many positive changes to one's life. Now I am writing about de-cluttering your time. Yes, our time can become cluttered. Soccer practice, swim lessons, club meetings. While all these activities can be fun on their own, when combined in a short time frame, they can be overwhelming.
Activities can sneak up on us. We have lots of free time, so we decide to take a few extra classes. Then we're ask to help out at school or take over a committee and before you know it, you meet yourself coming and going. 
Just like material objects, activities can pile up. Society, advertising and our culture are all guilty of convincing people that being busy is a sign of prosperity - just like they try to convince us that more stuff is better! We have been told (in a very subtle way) that we have a need for these activities so that we may define who we are. And rather than take a long hard look into ourselves, we buy into this myth. We are not defined by the groups we belong to, nor the classes we take, nor the positions we hold in a certain club. We are defined by our thoughts and actions. Something many people are afraid to confront. And the only way to do this soul searching is to have free time. 
Time clutter also prevents us from living and enjoying each and every moment. Something that is ever so fleeting. When we are busy, we are always thinking ahead to the next task. We feel we must rush through  this project - possibly causing us to not do our best - so that we might have time for the next one. When we rush, we fail to appreciate each moment for what it might bring. Opportunities may be overlooked. Precious moments are never seen. So slow down, take a deep breathe, and relax. Unplug for awhile and spend some (true) face time with your family. When was the last time everyone ate dinner around the table? And actually conversed with each other? 
Maybe it's time we all took a look at how we spend our time....
We are given only a certain amount of time. Use it wisely.


Aine O'Brien said...

I completely agree! I joke about being a "quitter" but quitting was my first attempt at decluttering my time. Now I'm more a non-joiner. Most people don't know how much time is spent on activities/groups. Yes, we don't want to turn into hermits, but I agree with you that we are taught that being really busy is a sign of success. Around here, people seem to need to be on committees in order to feel good about themselves.

the dogs' mother said...

You know the saying, 'want something done, ask someone who is busy'. Is how I went from volunteering at school, to PTA president to Chair of a multi-million dollar bond campaign all by the time the twins were in second grade. I'm much better now... ;-)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Very true! Like that saying says "we are BE-ings, not DO-ings."

The Artful Gypsy said...

Great Post! I relate to this on so many levels. As someone who constantly feels there isn't enough time to accomplish all that I want to do, I also realized this year that we often take on 'too much' in our lives....too much stuff, too many obligations. And as a result we are constantly feeling depleted and unfulfilled. This past year forced me to forgo everything that I enjoyed just to survive a mountain of obligations stemming from an unfortunate series of events. It not only put into perspective just how much I love doing certain things, but how much I loathe others, and how hard it has been in the past for me to just say "NO" sometimes. I've learned to say no now, and take the time for introspection and self nourishment. My life is fuller with less. It means some things have to give...and finally that is okay! :o)

Justine’s Halloween said...

This is so true:

"We are defined by our thoughts and actions. Something many people are afraid to confront. And the only way to do this soul searching is to have free time."

I've known a few people who didn't allow themselves free time because they didn't want to be alone with their thoughts. I think alone time is healthy and needed. Having some time to reflect helps you do everything better! I wish more people would do some introspection and become less hung up on status. This is a very smart post!