By Tyrice Johnson
86,400 seconds = 1,440 Minutes = 24 hours = 1 day. It’s amazing how life works. When you’re a kid a day feels like forever; you can’t wait for the school day to end, for your favorite TV show to come on, or for the weekend to come so you can hang out with your friends. You probably wished you had a life remote that allowed you to hit fast forward and skip to the fun stuff that you liked to do. When you’re an adult time feels like it’s permanently on fast forward, and you’re trying to find the pause button. It seems like there’s never enough time for us to get done what we feel we need to do. “It’s Monday already?!?”, “What time is it? Darn, I haven’t eaten all day”, “It’s already October? 2016 is almost over!“ Time becomes like money: it seems like you never have enough of it and it disappears as fast as it came. We spend time reminiscing about how we spend our time, and thinking of ways we can reinvest our actions so we can do more with what feels like less time each day. Crazy how the mind works, right? Sadly, we often overlook the most important investment we can make with our time, the investment in ourselves.
As adults we have 3 relationships that we can spend our time on during our days: the relationship between us & our work, us & our circle (family, friends, associates), and us & ourselves. Our relationship with our work usually involves us giving our time and mindshare to a company or customer in exchange for pay. The relationship between our friends, family, and associates usually is our social life where we spend time enjoying the company of others (ideally). Lastly, our relationship with ourselves involves dedicating time to us. These could be hobbies, activities, or anything you do “just for you”. These relationships guide our lives and shape who we grow to be. With “us” being a critical piece of these relationships, you would think we have a major focus on our “me” time to make sure we’re always at our best, right? Well for most adults I know this is how their time is spent.
Does this look accurate? Maybe I am surrounded by too many workaholics. The reality is many of us put ourselves on the backburner of our schedules. It’s almost become an epidemic. There’s a perception that “With so little time during the day, so many things that have to be done, and so many people that need us, how could we possibly have time for ourselves?” Then when idle time happens to come across our day where we could spend some “Me” time, it’s uncomfortable. “I must not be being productive”, “I am wasting time”, “I’m so bored, (scrolls through social media) I should probably go back to doing more of X, Y, & Z”. I have said some of these things myself and hear a number of people say it all the time. Our culture in the U.S. reinforces these excuses with the idea if you want to be professionally successful you should spend more time working, if you want better relationships with people you should spend more time with them, and that’s what makes you a successful person. If you’re spending a lot of “Me” time you probably are not using your time wisely, probably don’t have many friends, or probably selfish. To those people that spend time finding new hobbies, learning and doing things on their own because they want to…Shame on You!
Do you know what the words “YOUR” and “SUCCESS” have in common?.... They need “U” to make sense. You are the most important piece to being as successful and as happy in life as you want. You are talented, you are unique, and you are gifted. We are taught to give these away to others, but rarely are we told the value of reinvesting them in ourselves to grow and become better people. With only 24 hours in a day, and a constant race against the clock you may be asking as you read this as I did “How can I make time for me when I feel like I don’t have time to do all the other stuff I need to do?”. The amazing thing about our brains is that we control the perception we have on something. Although, it always feels like we have no time in the day we find time to do things like: take a shower, brush our teeth, eat, even check social media. It’s almost second nature now for us as people to ensure no matter what these activities are incorporated in our day. “Me” time has to start being included in those activities as well. We owe it to ourselves to dedicate time to ourselves. (Said it twice because it is THAT important) In Pt. 2 I will point out things we all can do during our “ME” time that can help us grow.
Photo Credit: Lee Chapman