Spend Your Time Wisely

by Gabie Rudyte January 01, 2020 4 min read

a picture of a sand clock

Happy New Year!

I can hardly believe that it’s already 2020! As they say, the days are long and the years are short. This has been especially true for me in 2019. It seems like so much has happened, yet I’m still in awe that another year has passed by.

Have you felt the same way?!

In the last few days before the new year, I was thinking a lot about time.
More importantly, I’ve been doing some calculations around time. (note: I’m not good with math, but this kind of math was very important to me.)

How much time do you spend on your phone?

I was calculating that if you spend 3 hours on your phone every day for a whole year, in the end, you will have spent 46 WHOLE DAYS staring at your phone.
a woman holding her phone
That’s 1,095 hours of just looking at your phone.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at anything, and I realized that the last thing I want to do is be a master of staring at my phone. (By the way — most of us have already become masters at this!)

Doing these calculations wasn’t just about how much time we (or I) spend on my phone — this was how we spend our time overall. A slippery slope for me often is social media. I create content on social media; I make videos, I engage with my audience, YET, 90% of the time when I’m on there — I’m there mindlessly and with no aim.

I realized that in 2020 I want to be intentional with my time. I want to spend my time wisely.

More importantly, I want to be more intentional with EVERYTHING. My focus, my relationships, my creative projects, what I create, who I work with, what I consume, what I read — everything.

Intentional vs Mindless

We don’t realize how much time we spend on things that truly don’t matter. The reason we don’t understand this is because we don’t assess our time. We don’t track our time and see how it will affect us in the long term.

If we all were more aware of our time, we would realize that we, on average, spend 4 hours on our phones a day. We would realize that we watch 10 hours of TV a week. We would recognize that we have a lot of aimless, intention-less time.

Why am I doing this? What's the intention here?

Having said this, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have periods where we are mindless.

If you’ve had a tough day at work and want to go home and watch Netflix and not think about anything — that’s great. However, this has to be set as an intention to make this time meaningful and purposeful.

Before you hop on your computer, or before you pick up your phone to scroll through Instagram, ask yourself:

What’s my aim here? WHY am I doing this?

If you say ‘My aim is to not think about anything right now’ great! If you say ‘my aim is to answer emails, or check the news’ — great. The goal here is to know and be aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing. The goal is not to get rid of all activities that aren’t considered ‘productive.’ The goal is to simply be aware of what the intention is — even when it’s something as small as checking Facebook or watching a tv show.

Is this a habit?

This is where you have to think about your habits.

Is your Netflix watching a habit, or is it an activity that you engage in when you genuinely want to relax? We often do things without thinking about it, which means that it’s automatic — aka a habit.

“Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.”

Checking Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or even email, for most of us has become a habit.

You open those apps on autopilot and it requires 0 conscious activity. It’s a habit.

The whole idea behind being intentional with your time is that you start to recognize what is a habit and what is a conscious choice. Then, you can re-assess if you want to keep spending time this way. It’s not to change what you do or say that where you spend your time is bad. It’s merely to bring awareness and consciousness to how you use time.

Time is money

If you had $1,440 to spend every single day, you bet that you would really think about where you spend this money. If you are tight in finances, you especially will make sure that every single penny counts.

Yet, we don’t treat time this way. We have 1440 minutes in a single 24-hour day, and we don’t spend much time assessing how to spend it.

We partake in activities that are mindless, and most of the time, don’t add anything to our lives.

So, for this year, I want you to think about how you can be more intentional with your time. I want you to think about where you spend time out of habit, and where you spend time with intention and awareness.

Awareness is power

Awareness of your time and how you spend it is power.
It will allow you to focus even more on the things that truly matter, and it will enable you to appreciate the things you do. If you intentionally decide to watch a movie in the evening as a way to relax, you bet you’re going to be enjoying that movie much more.

Why? Because you know WHY you’re doing it, and you don’t want that time wasted. I can promise you that you don’t appreciate a movie as much when you’re mindless and are scrolling on your phone at the same time.

I hope this new year, and what you do with it, is intentional.

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