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As the year has recently changed I wanted to write a post about the new year resolutions. But I didn’t have time. Plus most of the self-development blogs have already done it. Later I thought in a post about what I learnt during 2016. I even started it, but I finally abandoned because I didn’t have time to finish it. And while thinking about another topic, I realised that the last post was like 2 months ago, because I didn’t have time. Do you start to see the link?

TIME. This is all we have in life, time. By definition, our life is the time that passes since the day we are born until the day we die. Simple, right? So how could I say ever “I didn’t have time” when time is the only thing I have? Quite a paradoxical statement. Thus I got a new new year resolution: change that sentence for “I didn’t find the time”.

So this is the topic of this new post, and also my new year resolution, and what I have learnt during last year, all in one: use your time wisely. Because time is all you have.

By wisely I don’t mean to be super-productive all day long, eat in front of the computer, arrive late home, sleep few hours… Well, is you are happy with that, and you can sustain that rhythm forever without a burnout, it’s OK (although I doubt it), but to me the concept of using the time wisely would be something different.

Think about time in the same manner as you think about money. You have a certain amount, and you can either use it, invest it, or waste it. Although you need to be wiser with time than with money, because life doesn’t give you credit, you can never be in negative numbers. Now the question:  Are you aware on how are you using your time?

Awareness is the first step prior to change something. Maybe you find you are doing good, then awareness about this fact can make you feel rewarded. Maybe you have a lot of room for improvement, then awareness is the driving force that make you urge a change. In any case, it is important to have a way to monitor your time consumption. Something is needed in order to be aware about your time balance. Yes, I know that clocks have already been invented. I mean a way to easily visualise how you are doing with your time.

Thinking about this issue I serendipitously found a post where this idea is already perfectly placed and explained. Please take a moment to have a look to this Tim Urban’s post from WaitButWhy called “100 blocks a day”.

Done? Good, so now you have a new tool to measure how good you are doing with your time. Choose wisely how you spend your blocks. Get some coaching thinking questions to reflect on this. Are you using them, investing them, or just wasting them? What’s the proportion between these three now (use/invest/waste)? What would be your ideal proportion? What is in your way for getting your ideal proportion? How are you going to achieve it?

An easy trick to optimise your time would be to plan every day and/or every week beforehand in your magic notebook. But don’t be so strict with yourself. For example, if you are tired or feeling blue, don’t feel guilty if you use a couple of blocks watching a chapter of your favourite comedy. Be aware of why you are doing this, think that those blocks are being invested in having more energy afterwards, and just enjoy the show before resuming other activities.

The final advice in this post is to try to work your enjoy-the-moment brain muscle, it will help to improve your happiness levels. For example if you are in a diet, but for some reason you feel like eating a piece of cake, be aware of this feeling, and if you decide to eat the cake, enjoy it, avoiding all blame. Negative thoughts are much worse than that cake, while enjoying it may help you to continue with your diet with more strength afterwards.

And that’s it for the moment. Back to use/invest my blocks in another tasks 😉

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