A few years ago, I looked for a way to have more time. I didn’t want more time for some grand reason. I wanted more time to spend it quick. Make it rain into the future.
I was sick. It was serious. And I wanted to laugh again.
Meanwhile, how could I make like Marty McFly in a DeLorean?
Time ticked by in the sun and sound of birds. As it does. Then, a streak of sunlight drew a line down the floor and into my daydream. That I knew there was a line was more important than which side to choose. It wasn’t about sides at all.
It was a fundamental diagram:
here’s how to have more time.
Tip No.1: Pay attention to the time you already have.
In other words, know where the line is. Cross it or don’t. Walk on the edge if you want. But know where you are and what you have.
The bright line on my floor wasn’t drawn between more and less time. It was a reminder that time isn’t rigid, but elastic. In figuring how to have more time I was giving up what I already had.
Something was there, even when it didn’t seem like it was. Like a handful of elementary particles that oscillate between being and not. Time makes room for us, and we make room for it too.
Tip No.2: Then look for what eats it up.
Find the very hungry caterpillar. Or Pac-Man. The dog ate it. Whatever works for you to admit your time is being eaten up.
There’s a hungry beast sneaking meals, or you’re leaving the food on the counter. Either way, there’s a problem.
But the solution is simple: keep an eye on the beast and put the food in the refrigerator.
It’s still simple even when we forget. Only we haven’t remembered yet.
Tip No.3: Work on being well fed.
Which means eating less of what doesn’t fill you up.
It doesn’t mean you go without food.
Eat when you’re hungry and acknowledge you’re full.
Don’t fight the metaphor. It’s possible for you to be full.
Find what fills you.
Know being well fed is no small thing.
Tip No.4: Give your time what it needs to tell a good story.
Give yourself plenty of time to heal.
What does this have to do with what time needs?
Your time conforms to you. It molds itself to who you are. Who you are is the shape of your time.
The fundamental physics of time didn’t always make its way to what I did. Sickness just happened to me. If I could’ve done something, it was back under all those other molds of myself. Looking back would make the same mold. Looking at where I was would make a new one.
Time is still going to take an impression. There’s no way around it. Why not have it take a good one?
One where you’re giving yourself time to heal and rest and play.
Give your time what it needs most: you.
Tip No.5: Don’t get distracted by the outcome.
Excuse me, don’t I know you from somewhere? Says the situation to the story. We’ve been here before. What we give our time to is our story. What we get distracted by is our situation.
We know the situation from somewhere because it has a familiar face. The outcome. The most familiar face on the planet. It’s why people know exactly how many followers they have on social media. It’s why we eat better, lose weight, and exercise.
Outcomes aren’t right or wrong. What turns them sour is when they’re all we see.
Tip No.6: Take it moment by moment.
Close your eyes. First, imagine you can skip stones like a boss. Look at your feet. Yes, right there. Pick up the smooth, flat stone.
Hook your first finger around the edge of the rock. Get a firm grip. Face the water sideways. Bend your wrist backward. Then, snap it forward to flick the rock into the water. Lean in with your legs. Follow through.
Living in the moment is like skipping stones.
Each place the stone skips is a moment. And the ripples from each bounce are where each moment touches another. Take it moment by moment. They all pool together in the end.
Here’s how to have more time:
Pay attention to the time you already have.
Then look for what eats it up.
Work on being well fed.
Give you time what it needs to tell a good story.
Don’t get distracted by the outcome.
Take it moment by moment.