In today’s world we seem to be busier than ever and life seems to be going faster and faster. We are overwhelmed at work, with kids, obligations, even our fun social times seem to be busier than ever. This is an epidemic in our world today where we have no time and are just to busy. We are time famined!
Time famined people are more stressed and less happy or satisfied with their life. When was the last time you sat on a chair and did nothing? I know when I attempt to do this I am often very uncomfortable. I am thinking, oh my goodness I need to get this done and that, why am I sitting here doing nothing, I am not busy enough ….. on and on beating myself up for taking a time out! Research has shown that we desperately need these time outs to restore ourselves. We need them for our minds to wander so it can be more creative. If we are always so busy going from one thing to the next we don’t give ourselves time to ponder and come up with creative solutions for a problem we may be having or just letting ourselves be for a moment. I often think I am a human BEING not a human DOING!
Tim Kasser and Kennon Sheldon came up with the research and term “time affluence” as an alternative model for improving employee well-being. We all know that money cannot buy happiness and neither can material affluence. In their research they found the experience of time affluence was positively related to subjective well-being.
In order to be a human being I need time to savor my life. To take the time to live in gratitude and appreciation for all that I have and also where I have been and where I am going. How many times have you achieved something only to be going on to the next project without savoring the one that you just accomplished? Often times we forget to take the time to look at where we have been and how much we have grown or accomplished.
Spending time in awe is a miraculous thing to do. Taking the time to listen to the loons singing or observing a flower blossoming or children laughing can be so fulfilling. Recognizing all of the beauty around us each day can open up doors to happiness and well being knowing that there is so much wonder around us that goes unnoticed. Spend some time in awe today and see how it uplifts your heart.
Simplifying our lives is another way to become more time affluent. Map out your life by looking at where you want to spend your time. What do you choose to do with this wonderful life that you have? How much time do you want to spend working, socializing, being with your kids, spouse, family or friends? Take a look at where you are spending your time and think of ways that you might want to shift gears in some areas. What can you let go of? I think a lot of us could let go of our iphones or computers which would free up lot’s of time! Taking a technology break is always an interesting exercise to try.
Research has shown when we give time away we can feel more time affluent. As counter intuitive as that may seem when we offer our time in service we often feel more fulfilled and gratified. Giving to others is often more giving to ourselves.
Tal Ben-Shahar says by having an abundance of time for the things I need and desire to do is one way to feel rich. He says in his book Happier:
Time affluence is the feeling that one has sufficient time to pursue activities that are personally meaningful, to reflect, to engage in leisure. Time poverty is the feeling that one is constantly stressed, rushed, overworked, and behind. All we have to do is look around us – and often within ourselves – to realize the pervasiveness of time poverty in our culture.
Protect your time. Downsize your to do list and your calendar of events. The slow movement has extended not only to slow food but also slow exercise and slow thought! Giving yourself the time to think can be amazing. How can you capture more time for yourself ? What can shift in your life so you have the time to do the things you want to do like listen to music, read a book, play with your children, enjoy a delicious meal, enjoy your partner? I would love to hear your thoughts on Time affluence and how you could create it in your life.