Not sure how often you and I have thought or expressed this frustration. While we are all given the same amount of time each day, it often seems there are not enough hours in a day to set out all we want to accomplish and we are left dissatisfied and feel a self-imposed pressure of “doing more”.
Sometimes I wonder if this self-proclaimed problem is due to modern life and technology. But reading Seneca’s “On the Shortness of Life” (written already some time around 49 AD!), it becomes clear that we were already struggling with how to effectively allocate our time way back then. Thankfully, Seneca reminds us “life is long if you know how to use it.”
So why are we connected on 24/7 basis almost by default? Why is there this expectation that we need to be reachable at all times? That we constantly need to be busy and productive?
Maybe we need to step off that treadmill of engaging in activity for the sake of activity, being mindlessly busy. Maybe we need to remove the things that are keeping us busy but are not achieving useful results. Maybe we need to stop constantly obsessing over time management in order to maximize every second of our day. What if we started giving ourselves the permission to obsess over something else, namely the quality of our attention? The quality of attention we give to ourselves and to the people and issues that matter most to us. Because attention does more than enable us to achieve. It enables us to connect and engage.
When we wish for a “long life”, we wish for a sense of satisfaction, for a life well lived. So next time when you will feel rushed, remember that life can be fulfilling if you invest your time in the right things, the right people and the right experiences.