Time to read: 3 mins
Some of the hardest goals that we set for ourselves are those that are long term. Long term goals require consistent action, over an extended period of time. With long term goals the element of time is unavoidable. In these scenarios time can be used to learn, grow and mature.
In other circumstances time is avoidable, when you are clear on what you want to achieve and the steps that need to be followed; there is no need to wait or procrastinate.
So what can you do with your idle time while you are:
Learn, grow and mature
As I mentioned earlier learning, growing and maturing as a person are associated with long term goals. You might be completing a degree or saving for your first home or training for a marathon. Seeing the end is hard, especially when it is so far away. Imagining what it means to achieve your goals may give you enough motivation and momentum to keep yourself going and stay focused. If you have a long term goal in mind, take some time to think about how:
The small steps you take are leading to-> The lifelong habits you are developing-> How these habit are needed to -> Reach long term goals.
If we are in the latter (b.) we most likely don’t have clarity on what we have to do (i.e. the next action) and there is a deeper reason why we haven’t taken action (usually around fear), but it hasn’t surfaced. A combination of the two is used to make up excuses.
The definition of an excuse is: A justification for not doing something; but it’s not a reason, it’s more of a revision of the facts that you use to make yourself feel better. It’s an alteration of reality.
I recently read The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone and one of my favorite chapters was on excuses. Everybody has excuses and we all have a few that we employ over and over again. So rather than ignore them it’s better that you confront right now.
There is a third way we spend idle time that hasn’t been mentioned up until now.
We need idle time for our mind to be creative, inventive and find solutions to existing problems.
For most of us, when the words ‘solution’, ‘problem’ and even ‘invention’ is mentioned we naturally try to return to a model, or process that exists within our domain. This is not what I am talking about here. In fact, anytime where we are repeating something that we already know; this is not creative.
In its purest form, creative work has no purpose and no outcome; idle time is used to allow your mind to be silent and do nothing. We just need the time and space to let out minds moodle. Now, few of us have this luxury, because we live in an environment where results, productivity and outcomes are king. But think about this…
Capital isn’t so important in business, experience isn’t so important, you can get both these things. What is important is ideas, if you have ideas you have the main assets that you need and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life – Harvey Firestone
Understanding how our idle time is spent helps us to identify where our time is being used and what to do. When we are learning, growing and maturing; reflecting upon your goals will help to keep you motivated and focused.
When our time is being wasted on procrastination, identify the next action and drop the excuses to be more productive.
Finally (although it is less understood) allowing our minds the space and silence provides us with an opportunity to generate original ideas and thinking. This act may have greatest value and impact not only in our own lives but the lives of those around us.