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« The One-Hour Gift | Family, Friends, Nature & Clutter »
Friday
Jun042010

The 25-Hour Day

The other day I was talking with my brother, Tod. He described to me the 25th anniversary event he is planning for MIT’s Media Lab. For the celebration, they are creating a 25-hour day full of programs. Aside from this being a clever concept to build an event around, it made me smile at the thought of us actually being able to randomly add hours to the 24-hour day all of us have.

I began thinking about why we wish we could add more hours to our day. Two ideas came to mind. We either feel like we have too little time (as in 24 hours just isn’t enough to accomplish what we want) or we have too much to do. Either way you view it, on most days, many of us feel like we could have or should have done more in the time we had to manage. Thoughts like, “If only I hadn’t wasted so much time surfing the internet,” or “If only I had one more hour to finish this project,” or “If only I didn’t feel so completely overwhelmed with everything I’ve said ‘yes’ to.”

So being that we don’t have the ability to add more hours to our day, what can we do? Even though our commitments vary, it’s essential that we discover our personal balance between work, fun and rest. The mix will vary based on what is on your plate and feels most comfortable for you. But if you only work without any time to relax or have fun, you will quickly become overwhelmed.

The word “overwhelm” is one I hear most often from clients, friends and family. Frankly, while I write and think a lot about life balance, there are times when I too feel overloaded with all the things I want to accomplish or have committed to doing. I know that when I’m feeling this way, it becomes essential to return to one of my basics, which is reconnecting with nature. With spring in full bloom, lately I’ve spent more time by the rivers- walking, sitting, eating, and just being. There is something restorative about water. My mind quiets enough to simply focus on the scenery before me. The “must dos” and “should dos” take a back seat while nature works it magic, bringing me to a calmer, clearer place.

There’s nothing wrong with expecting a lot of yourself. But especially if you do expect a lot, it’s crucial that you also figure out how to rejuvenate yourself. So, whether it’s taking a walk somewhere green, slowly sipping a large iced tea, or doing nothing at all, it’s well worth your time to make time for you to stop, relax and restore.

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Reader Comments (8)

So true! I especially love the last paragraph.

June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanine Adams

Thank you, Janine. What are some of your favorite ways to relax and rejuvenate?

June 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda,
I love this post, too, and,I will apply the advice to my life--like I do with so many of your other pearls of wisdom!

June 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacy Lytwyn Maxwell

Stacy- Thank you for your encouraging feedback. I appreciate that you found this and other posts useful. Always great to hear from you.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thank you Linda! I too love the last paragraph and how you tie it all together. It's common sense. If we expect too much of ourselves we also have to get into the habit of recharging somehow.
Of course, it all depends on why and how we got into this "spinning my wheels" and "chasing my tail" mode. How important is it to feel overwhelmed and burnt out? How does feeling this way fulfill a need? And . . . how comfortable are we with being in our company, in silence?
I've observed me through these no-win cycles and realized that - as legitimate as the reasons for wishing for longer days may seem - if I were to be honest with myself, I have all the time I need to do what matters.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYota

Yota- You've said something so important..."I have all the time I need to do what matters." That is the essence, isn't it? Once we understand what's important, what our priorities are, what balance we need, then time begins to work for us. As always, I love hearing the wisdom you add to all the conversations. Thank you for being here.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda -- Such a great post! I'd love to remove "should" from the world's vocabulary -- or at least my vocabulary. Love your blog. Life balance is difficult for most to find, and you're so on-target with your thoughts on this subject. Thanks!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Blinder

Robin- It's great to "hear" your voice. Removing "should" from our vocabulary is a great goal. At the very least it's an indicator to pay attention to. For most of us, life balance is constantly shifting. Perfect balance isn't attainable, but having a perspective about what's most important, what we value, and what we do and don't need, certainly helps.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us. Will I see you at ICD in Denver? I hope so.

June 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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