How to “get” more time…

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you – Carl Sandburg

Here we were, closing in on the end of April and I was thinking, “Slow down, 2015! You’re going too fast.

It’s natural to adopt scarcity thinking towards time when the weeks and months seem to go by in a blur. But what if we could adopt an attitude of abundance instead? In Repacking Your Bags, authors Richard Leider and David Shapiro ask why do we imagine ourselves living in the top half of the hourglass where time is always running out? Why don’t we see ourselves in the bottom half, where every minute is another minute streaming in, where every hour is followed by another hour, and each day is the first of more to come.

One minute is always 60 seconds, a day always 24 hours – the only thing you can change is your perception of time. Consciously enjoying each moment as it arrives gives each day a fullness that counteracts the sense that time is slipping away.

How else can we change our perception of time?

Just. Stop. Oh, I know, you can’t stop, you’ve got too much to do. But doesn’t all the frantic multi-tasking leave you feeling frazzled and out of control? And are you really getting things done or just worrying about how much you have to do? As personal efficiency expert Kerry Gleeson points out, “This constant, unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have to do is the single largest consumer of time and energy.”

Get sensory with it. Caught up in the relentless drive to get things done, we shift into automatic pilot, going through the motions and feeling disconnected from our lives. To snap out of it, use your body – specifically, your senses – to ground you in the present moment. Get tactile with the most mundane of activities, like washing dishes: feel the warmth of the water on your hands while you listen to your favorite music and smell the scent of the detergent.

Protect your time. Time is our most precious commodity — it is, after all, most literally your life. As Matthieu Ricard says in Happiness, A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill: “Despite its great value, time has no way of protecting itself, like a child that can be led away by any bystander.”

You have the power of choice – you’re not obligated to stay out for hours with friends who are constantly checking their phones. Because if you don’t guard your time from being kidnapped, who will?