I’m the first to admit I’ve been asking myself this question.
It’s a common thought that time seems to move faster as we grow older.
The truth of the matter is time doesn’t speed up or slow down but it can feel different under certain circumstances. For starters we notice the passing of time more when we believe we have less of it left.
I remember school holidays when I was a child. My brother and I would stay at my grandparents’ house for six weeks over the school holidays. Back then, the holidays seemed to stretch on for a very long time. I didn’t have a lot of things to do with my time other than hang out with my cousins. While I did have chores to do, I didn’t have places to go or many responsibilities.
The fact of the matter is six weeks is still six weeks. As an adult with work, responsibilities, goals, a wonderful family and friends and one whopper of a to do list, I simply fill my time with more tasks.
The time itself isn’t different, it’s what I do with my time that has changed.
As I reflect on the coming year and ponder how and why 2012 seemed to fly by, I have some thoughts on making sure 2013 doesn’t fall into the same category.
Plan your year
Have a plan for what you want to achieve in a year. As importantly have an action list on how you are going to make it happen.
Grab a 2013 calendar right now (preferably one broken into months). Reflect on the list of things you want to achieve this year and write them down. Then it’s time to plot out what you plan to achieve or start each month. Break the action steps down further on a weekly basis (where possible).
While dreaming big is fine, you also need to be realistic about what you can achieve each week and month otherwise you may feel overwhelmed and give up your plan entirely.
Don’t over plan
Of course you can go a bit crazy and do too much planning. I am sure a lot of parents, particularly with children at school, often feel over booked when their kids have too much on. Some parents must feel like they are simply running from one event or responsibility to another.
Give yourself some breathing room. Allow yourself some time to stop and relax.
Watch out for someday
When a new year begins it’s wonderful to be full of enthusiasm for a fresh start. We think about all the exciting things we plan to do during the year. Then we get bogged down in work or other issues and we start to put things off.
Before we know it the weekend away we were planning in February turns into August, then into next year, then into someday.
As many of us already know someday often never happens.
Learn to say NO
Stop! Stop right now constantly saying yes to people when you really want to say no.
Learn how to say no. Be polite, there is no reason to be rude or obnoxious but learn to say no.
Don’t live just for the weekends
I love weekends as much as the next person. The trick is to realize that you only have so many weekends in a year. If you are fully focused on only living for the weekends, you are missing out on a huge chunk of the year and consequently your life.
It can be harder to schedule activities, catch ups and tasks around work, children and our sagging energy levels but it is worth the effort.
Don’t wish too far ahead
When it comes to holidays I tend to plan ahead, more for my finances than anything but also because I enjoy the anticipation and planning as well. What’s not a good idea is being so focused into the future that you completely miss out on the here and now.
Time will fly by when you are not living in the moment.
Don’t waste time
One of our biggest problems is that we waste our precious time.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have our favorite time wasters. For some its watching television, the Internet, procrastinating or simply being lazy. Take your time back. Understand what your time wasters are and start phasing them out of your life.
Work less – play more
This one really speaks for itself. As much as we may love our work, sometimes we need to take a step back and simply spend more time at play.
Have you ever noticed the weeks that fly by the quickest are usually the ones where we do long hours at work and have nothing else exciting happening in our lives? Nothing will make a month fly by faster than working too much.
Step away from the to do list
For a blog that often talks about achieving goals and getting stuff done, it’s equally important to point out that there are times you need to put away the to do list.
There are times you need to give the chores a miss (the ironing isn’t going anywhere folks and you have much more fun things to be doing).
Put down the to do list and pay attention to people. Get among your friends and family and have some fun.
Often we can spend so much time trying to work through our to do list that we completely ignore or neglect the people around us.
Fill your time with love, fun and laughter
I can’t guarantee time will feel like it’s moving at a slower pace if you are enjoying yourself more but I definitely believe if you fill your life with love, fun and laughter you will have one hell of a good time.
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By the way, it’s great to be back writing on the blog. More on that in my next post. See you then…