Time. We never seem to have enough of it. Modern life is epitomised by the pressure to ‘get things done‘, the quicker the better.
Let’s face it: we‘re all just very busy!
Indeed, it seems many of us are now paid up members of the cult of ‘busy’. We only value ourselves and others according to how much we have on our plates. We have swallowed the corporate culture’s mantra that rushed means busy and busy is meaningful. This lets us believe that a busy schedule equals a purposeful existence.
Is this true? Being busy does not entail being productive; nor, indeed, does it make our lives more worthwhile. In many cases .
Most importantly, our obsession with busy-ness distracts us from what’s really important – our own and other’s wellbeing.
Blyth believes that we can take a number of practical steps to manage our time more efficiently, and effectively slow the rate at which our lives seem to pass. For example, the mornings are best for tasks that require concentration, so save the multi-tasking, the emails and the internet surfing for later in the day. It may seem obvious but it is worth remembering that the distractions of open plan offices and digital media can make tasks take longer to complete.
Find a quiet spot, turn off the wifi, and you will get the job done faster.
But what do we the do with all the extra time that we then have? Epicurus tells us that the key to a happy life is to truly come to terms with our mortality. Once we understand that death is nothing to be feared, we realise that life gets its value not from its length but from its joys.
“Just as the wise person does not simply choose the largest meal but rather the most pleasant meal, so in life he savours not the longest time but the most pleasant.”
Once we appreciate that our lives are finite, we can focus on making the best use of the time available to us. Remember: you won’t be lying on your deathbed wishing you’d spent more time answering emails or reading blogs (apart from this one, natch!).
Time – however much we have each been given – is a currency that we have no choice but to spend. Nevertheless it is ours to spend as we wish. Let’s invest it wisely.
Imogen Smith – Happy City Contributor