Learning to live in the moment

Charles Buxton, an English brewer, philanthropist, writer, and member of Parliament, said “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

At a recent business breakfast, the folks at my table were talking about never having enough time. Not enough time to complete daily business and personal tasks. Not enough time to enjoy a leisurely lunch hour. Not enough time to play, etc. etc. The words “stressed out” were peppered throughout the conversation. Frankly, I was happy to learn that I wasn’t the only one suffering from this syndrome.

I decided to ask a life coach friend for solutions to this challenge. Here are a couple of good ideas my friend shared:

  • Begin with the basics. Give yourself permission to dispose of anything that clutters up your life, no matter what it is.
  • Home in on clutter. Make time to take inventory of what you need and what can be pitched. Create a clutter-free work zone, which can give an immediate feeling of peace and awareness.
  • Stop multitasking. This only feeds anxieties.
  • Don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.”
  • Live in the moment. Focus on what’s happening and what’s important right this minute.
  • Create a weekly or monthly schedule that includes some flextime for yourself. Decide what you consider important and zero in on those essentials.
  • Set time limits and stick to them.
  • Just say “No!” Reject involvement in unnecessary activities, no matter how worthwhile they may sound. William James, the American philosopher and psychologist, said, “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
  • Delegate and simplify.
  • Get rid of the guilt. While it’s hard to escape the feeling that we should be able to “do it all,” we don’t actually have to do it all.
  • Breathe, relax, and notice the change that you feel.

I’m reassured that there are actually things we can do to help to beat the stress of not enough time. Rather than feeling totally frazzled when the clock says there’s no more time, we can take some deep breaths and shift our attention to what can be done right now in the moment.

I’m going to work on the decluttering aspect first. I’ll probably never get around to reading all the catalogs that have been piling up on the bookcase. I must have made a mistake when I placed an online order because suddenly I began getting catalogs from every merchant that sells anything similar to what I purchased from company number one. Hopefully this first step will fuel my incentive to purge and get back to the basics. Now I just need to find the time to do it!

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