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Time Poverty: Freedom in 4 steps

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Doesn't it seem like weeks pass as months used to and days now pass like hours? I am constantly amazed by how fast my days fly by, and honestly I don't think it's because I am having too much fun. Nor do I think it's just a case of “you're getting older”. There are still 24 hours in a day, but it seems like I wake up, blink and it's time to go to bed, just to try again tommorow.

I started to think that maybe it was just my perception of things. If I were living on a farm in the country with just open sky and no wifi, away from Twitter and Facebook, rush hour traffic and cappucino machines, maybe I would feel like I had all the time in the world. After all, it's all happening right here, right now. They say the past is a memory, the future is a fantasy and this moment is a gift. That's why it's called the present. The only moment really is this one right NOW.

Yet, a lot of us are living in a city, not moving to a farm anytime soon. Here's four simple things you can do to free your perception of never having enough time.

1. Always Enough

The first step is recognizing that you always have enough of everything. The universe provides. The key is recognizing what you already have. Acknowledge it, and be grateful. It's ok to start small. In fact , I recommend it.

For example, you can be thankful that you know how to read, that you have shoes, that you have a true friend. Even if it's just one thing, recognize it and say “thank you.” The shift in perception can start small, yet be very far reaching.

2. Look At Your Habits

What are you spending your time on and is it satisfying? If you work for a paycheck, which most of us do, are there ways to get your job done faster so you can take extra time to do what you really love? Do you have a habit of doing Facebook polls instead of whatever else you may be dreading, therefore prolonging the whole process? Do you habitually check your email every 15 minutes, just to be sure you catch every last spam email as soon as it arrives? What are the habits you have that are wasting your precious time? Just recognizing and realizing this is the first step to change.

3. Change One Thing

Just pick one habit to change, starting today. Tweak one thing that you have recognized as a time waster, then spend that extra time, even if it is only 5 minutes, doing that one thing that you always wished you had time for. Ahh, but what is that?

4. Recognize What You Want

What do you really, REALLY want ? Figure this out and it will help motivate you to change. What is it that makes you happy when you do it? What moves you? What is your goal? Sometimes these are easy questions, but often it takes a little bit of thought and feeling. What did you dream of doing as a child? Who did you always want to be? Ask yourself those questions, and write down the answers when they come. When you begin to free up your day, go to these answers to decide what to spend your time on. By doing the things that make your heart sing, you free up all kinds of energy and opportunity to take your life further than you ever could imagine. Time stops being a warden and starts being an open door.

After all, it's all here now, but sometimes we have to get ourselves to a place where we can see that this is true!



  • Jamila: March 18, 2010

    Thanks so much for your comments Guy- I really appreciate your thoughtful response and am very impressed with your universal education project! More power to you and may the force be with you!! ;)

  • Jamila: March 18, 2010

    Rachel! Thank you SO MUCH! I of course need to follow my own advice too…I should read this post every day ….

  • Guy Duff: March 18, 2010

    I really found this post to be useful and uplifting and for a variety of reasons. Given that it is so extremely relevant to my life situation I thought it would be appropriate to say a few words to serve as an illustration to these principles in action.

    I am doing some of what you are saying. In particular, I have decided to focus on being grateful for all the good I have and am receiving and then two get really clear on what I do want. For me its come down to discovering who I really am. Since I was a boy I wanted to compose and play rock and roll music. I stopped for a very long time and now I’m starting again. For over 15 years I’ve thought there was a way to get most people access to a great education through combining the best aspects of the human spirit with modern technology. I’ve started that at and I need a lot of help with that one. I’ve decided not to play right/wrong games or learned roles of being emotionally and materially subservient or cow towing even to those whom I’ve been close. I’ve always wanted to have greater intimacy with people and break out of a life time of thinking myself less than. Yes, these changes are creating turmoil in my “routine” and in my existing relations. And yes, these choices are also starting to make me feel that I finally being true to me.

    Your wise and concise post are greatly appreciated confirmation that by choosing to be grateful for what is and to focus on the most authentic desires and dreams is the path to living more fully in the now and making time less and less a reality of being for me.

    Thanks for the post and for reading my lengthy response. By the way, Patrick is one of the very best Yoga teachers I have ever had the privilege of learning from. Sorry to end on a preposition.


  • Rachel: March 18, 2010

    THANK YOU!! This is so inspirational and exactly what I need to wake up and read every day. I will be asking myself all of those questions a lot more often… You’re the BEST!!!

  • Patrick: March 18, 2010

    Wow, wow and more wow. Brilliant and inspiring thoughts once again. Thank you for taking the time to put this out there. SO many people need to hear it. Keep on truckin’!

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