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  • Writer's pictureevansph2

How to find time

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

In our old lives, most of us were very busy – too busy. Everyone I know needs more time. And, oddly enough, it’s still true even in Corona virus time where our activities have been seriously curtailed. Some of us ( read ME) are still “too busy”.

I’ve just been thoroughly enjoying a little book by Rob Walker titled; “The Art of Noticing;”131 ways to spark creativity, find inspiration, and discover joy in the everyday.”

In this book Walker has one exercise that is designed to give you more time! I’m a sucker for ideas like that! The way to find more time, he says is paradoxically, by donating time to someone else. He reports a study where half of the group was given the instruction to spend time on themselves. The other half was instructed to spend an equal amount of time on someone else. At the end of the study, people were asked how whatever they had done impacted their feelings of “not having enough time”. Oddly enough, the group who spent time doing something for someone else reported they felt they had more time than the ones who spent time on themselves. He speculates the reasons for this which I won’t go into here. But, I am going to leave you with the suggestion of giving it a try. Let’s see if it’s true for us. See if you can think of someone to whom you could give some time to in the next week. Then do it and report back if/how it expanded your own sense of having “more time”. If so, why? If not, why?

My guess is that doing something that we enjoy for someone else that we really like will somehow increase our sense of well-being. If we do it out of gritted teeth duty, likely it won’t help us with our sense of being overburdened. I find it a fascinating challenge. So, this mission, should you accept it, will expire in one week! Walk someone’s dog for them. Help someone clean out their garage. Write letters to 5 friends. Make a cake for your neighbor. Take someone’s “Goodwill pile” to the goodwill for them. Let us know how it went!

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1 Comment

Mary Allan
Mary Allan
Nov 09, 2020

If I wait a week, I'll probably forget to respond! :-) From past life experience, I can totally resonate with Rob Walker's findings. Whether it was a small act of kindness OR flying back to Minnesota 8 times in one year to help with my dad's declining health, "not having enough time" was a non-issue. I think it has something to do with the sustaining power of well-being and joy that comes with companionship and connection. I am re-energized when doing something for others, and that renewed energy makes me feel like I have more time to do what needs to get done.

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