“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
There are only 24 hours in a day.
That is all we get.
And if by some miracle a 25th or even a 26th hour could appear, we would just fill those hours up, too and then continue to wish for more.
Here are five ways we can add more time to our day simply by changing our attitude:
1. Lower Our Expectations
Could it be possible that we really don’t have to do as much? Or do it so well?
Our world is packed full of instructions about how by performing better, we can get more done.
What if “simple,” “easy” and “not too much” were our life mottos instead of “do your best,” give it your all” and “don’t settle for second best”—sayings that have been shoved down our throats since we were children?
If we were to lower our expectations about what we expect to accomplish in a day and what the quality of those accomplishments were meant to look like, then we would find that our days would feel more spacious, providing more space to breath; more time to just be ourselves versus trying to become a self.
2. Follow Your Bliss, But Not All Today
It is so beautiful that we want to have bliss in our lives, that we want to make our passions a priority and ensure we’re spending our time doing the things we love.
But it doesn’t have to happen all today.
That master’s degree you want to obtain so you can do more work in a field you love, that yoga course you want to take, the sailboat you want to buy—these are great dreams. But they don’t all need to happen today.
There may be times we feel like a failure when we don’t see our dreams becoming realities in the timeline we want them to.
How about just letting it go?
How about just having the dream and letting it float away, waiting for it to float back in its own time?
If it’s meant to be, if the dream is ripe and ready to happen, there won’t be much of a struggle.
But perhaps that’s not today.
Perhaps today, following your bliss is lying on the couch and taking a nap.
This isn’t avoidance. This is sanity.
3. Patience My Friend
In today’s fast paced world, we have forgotten about patience.
There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little. Maybe we have an idea of something we want to do, but we can see that we are too busy right now. We decide to just wait and do it when we aren’t so busy.
There will definitely be more time in our days if we aren’t pursuing all of our goals all at once.
Some things just need to be shelved in order to make room for what’s happening now.
4. The Three Stages of Saying No
“Yes” is such a beautiful word. It can feel so positive and light.
It can be exciting and vibrant. But it can also be claustrophobic and stressful.
“No” is a beautiful word, too.
It sets boundaries. And boundaries show compassion.
There are three stages of saying no that will free up more time in our days.
First, we need to learn to say no to the everyday little things that aren’t necessities. If we say yes to everything we are asked to do, those 24 hours will be filled up before we even know it.
Secondly, we need to learn to say no to the people we love. This is hard because we want to do things for the people we love. We want to be there for the people we love. If we get burned out doing everything for everybody, eventually we’ll be of no use to anyone.
Thirdly, we need to learn say no to ourselves. Just because we think of something, doesn’t mean we need to do it.
Have discretion. Pick wisely.
We don’t need to do all the things we think we need to do. And that’s the truth.
5. Enough is Enough
You are enough. This moment is enough.
How many times are we filling our days with busyness because we don’t feel like anything is enough?
Our bank accounts, our relationships, how we look, how we parent how we perform at our jobs—they’re never enough. We rush around filling our days with remedies to this feeling of everything not being enough.
Cultivating a feeling of enough will help make it possible to implement the above suggestions for finding more time in our days.
When we feel like we are enough we can lower our expectations, take our time following our bliss, sit with the patience and have the courage to say no, especially to ourselves.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Carrie Marzo / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Eddi van W. / Flickr