How intentional are you about how you spend your time?
Maybe this is typical of getting older, but in the last few years, I’ve become increasingly aware of how quickly time passes — and how deliberate I need to be if I want to use it well.
Of course, thinking about time forces us to confront uncomfortable realities — namely, that we will never be able to do everything we want to do.
We’ll never be able to achieve every goal, spend enough time with every person we care about, or pursue every life direction that interests us.
Realizing this can be painful, to say the least — one reason why so many of us avoid confronting this reality and instead pretend we have all the time in the world. As Oliver Burkeman writes in Four Thousand Weeks:
“After all, it’s painful to confront how limited your time is, because it means that tough choices are inevitable and that you won’t have time for all you once dreamed you might do.”
But avoiding reality doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still exist. On the contrary, avoidance makes it less likely we’ll achieve any of those dreams because we won’t be intentionally putting our energy into any one (or any few) things.
I’ve found that there are two strategies that help with this:
A) Get clear about how we want to spend our time (I.e., what is important to us at this moment in our lives?)
B) Create a schedule to organize our lives around those priorities
For example, my current priorities are writing, jiu-jitsu, coaching, learning, and spending time with people I care about. No matter what else is going on in my life, I make sure to schedule regular dedicated time for each.
Of course, that doesn’t mean nothing ever comes up — most of us can’t expect to control every second of our day. But having a schedule makes it much more likely we will spend our time on the things we care about rather than letting time pass without realizing where it went.
As the writer Annie Dillard wrote,
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
How do you want to spend yours?
What I’m reading (book)
Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be by Steven Pressfield
“Commitment = exposure. That’s why people don’t commit. They’re not stupid. They don’t want to risk falling off the mountain.”
What I’m reading
Rest in Motion by Nate Soares
“For almost everybody, inaction is boring. That’s why we pick up books, go exploring, and take up hobbies. The ground state is an active state, not a passive one.”
“Tell me to what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.” — Jose Ortega y Gasset
What I’m training
Here’s a fun, efficient workout you can do anywhere — no equipment required!
Three new workouts
Stronger Sandbag HIIT Workout (12 minute, sandbag or dumbbells)
Fight For It AMRAP Workout (AMRAP, plyo box or equivalent)
300 Rep Medicine Ball Challenge Workout (Time challenge, medicine ball)
You can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete.
Questions? Feedback? Content requests?
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