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Slow Living Challenge – Week #4 – Time

Mar 8, 2020 | Slow Living

time

Today marks the return of Daylight Savings Time for much of the country, and the whole thing about losing an hour and gaining it back in the fall. Isn’t it odd how whatever time the clock says, is only what everyone has agreed it’s going to be?

Let’s talk about time. It’s such a source of frustration for most of us because we constantly feel like we just don’t have enough of it.  We speak of having “more time” or “less time” here and there, and we can move the clock around for whatever reason, but actually we all have the same twenty-four hours from one sunrise to the next!

Most of us will likely claim that we often don’t have the choice about how we’re spending our time, creating a self perpetuating narrative of scarcity around it. Of course, we have jobs and families and everyone has to get to places and eat, etc. But what if we could shift that lack of control and replace it with a feeling of more space in the unfolding of our day, even while doing everything it is that we have to do? Let’s examine the belief that we have no time or control over our days.

Much like the gleaners from ancestral times who would go into the fields after the harvest to find food that had been left behind, we can gather more time for ourselves by gleaning the many moments that are simply lost to unawareness or poor habits.

Join us this week as we explore ways to find more time in your day, without actually taking time from it. Curious? Subscribe below to receive this week’s email, then follow along on Instagram at #SlowLivingChallenge to learn more about putting these steps into action.

Take a minute or two in the morning to think about how you are spending your day.

Observe your thoughts and feelings regarding everything that needs to happen. Throughout the day, try to determine when you do have a choice about how to spend a moment (look at my phone, or look at the view?) and try not to judge things that are out of your control (stop lights, lines, etc.)Welcome to EditPad.org – your online plain text editor. Enter or paste your text here. To download and save it, click on the button below.

Consider extending last week’s challenge to go the entire week without buying any nonessentials.

Observe your thoughts and feelings regarding everything that needs to happen. Throughout the day, try to determine when you do have a choice about how to spend a moment (look at my phone, or look at the view?) and try not to judge things that are out of your control (stop lights, lines, etc.)Welcome to EditPad.org – your online plain text editor. Enter or paste your text here. To download and save it, click on the button below.

Create some parameters around your use of digital devices.

Having the whole world of communication and information literally at our fingertips is helpful and time-saving in many ways. Yet as most of us engaged in the digital universe know, its constant siren call can also rob us of many precious moments and personal interactions throughout the day. If you think this might be the case for you, try coming up with some easy boundaries that allow a feeling of freedom rather than deprivation. One suggestion is to simply put your phone out of reach for certain periods of time, even if you are by yourself, beginning with a few minutes or even an hour or two. You’ll likely find yourself confronting the impulse to look at it every few minutes. When that happens, just ask yourself if you really need to go get it, or if the task can wait. This not only has the potential to free up time in your day, but also to create an awareness of your own level of digital distraction.

Reframe the time you spend waiting.

Remember that it doesn’t have to be “wasted” time. Common examples are stoplights, checkout lines, carpool pick-up, etc. Observe the thought that whatever you are doing is keeping you from something else, that you “should be” elsewhere, or that you are being held back. Consciously replace it with an appreciation for the pause, relief at the chance to be aware of your breathing and your surroundings, and embrace it as an opportunity to practice changing your perspective. This is powerful!

At least one time this week, find a place where you can spend five minutes just sitting quietly and doing absolutely nothing.

Check in with yourself. Embrace the pause. Tell yourself, “I have this time.”
Notice how slowly the time seems to pass!

At the end of the week, look back…

…and take note of when you were able to “glean” any moments that might have otherwise been lost. Did you have any sense of found time or relief from the pressure of time moving too quickly? Has your sense of time, or lack of it, shifted in any way?

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