You really need to make more time for yourself and feel more player in your life?… Really?… I insist on the question, because if it is really important to you, it’s very easy to get solutions. But if it happens to be a distant desire, something you’d like only if it falls from the sky, and it is not a real priority for you, forget it; because everything has a minimum price, and only you may know if it is expensive or cheap, depending on the value of what you get for this price.
First of all we must know where we can really influence directly to manage our time. Throughout our lives, we have some time allocated to activities where we cannot do too much, or it is not recommended to touch too much, or it’s not the subject of this post; because western citizens devote, on average, between 20 and 23 years to sleep, about 10 to work, between 1 and 2 to study, around 6-7 for eating, about 3 to transportation and 3 for other miscellaneous things that come out during our path (illness, administrative thinks, etc). If our average live expectancy is 80 years, more than half of those years are dedicated to tasks where it’s quite difficult to manage the time. Therefore, we must realize that where we have real and effective ability to decide how to manage time is 45-50% of remaining time. This is the ‘proper time’ on which we have to be directly responsible.
Surely there are many ways to better manage our proper time, but I propose a very simple one, which will work for sure, and can bring very short term results: Activate a different combination of the time you spend as a spectator in life, and the time you spend being the protagonist.
Make a simple calculation of the hours you spend watching TV, sports, or movies, to reading non-essential things or entertainment magazines, or playing unuseful ‘hobbies’, etc. For sure you get to a very high figure, which will summarize all the time you spend simply to see things that you do not live; to be a spectator of what others do, but that only provides you entertainment, and not any intense and valuable personal experience.
From here, depending on how ambitious you are to earn "your time", you have to decide what percentage of reduction you want to apply to this viewer share within these 35-40 years you can manage in your life. And that’s it! All the time moved to the side of ‘player’, will be direct time you earned for living your experiences, doing your sport, reading or writing really interesting things, learning new things, traveling, undertaking projects etc.
As example, imagine a person who likes very much watching football. To shrink 50% this part of spectator in life, without giving up what he loves so much, but being much more selective and only watching at the really important matches of the season, he will win tens or hundreds of hours to do things directly himself. He will be able to do more sport (including playing football if that’s what he likes so much), or dedicate to other things for which he missed having time. He will have gained prominence in many hours of his life.
If a citizen spends, on average, five years of their live watching TV, and decides to reduce its role as spectator by 40% to become the protagonist in the time dedicated to this activity, he will have gained directly 2 years of his life for him. And they are not two years won as a life extension at the end of his days, when he will be quite weak to enjoy them; they are two years extras conquered during the best moments of his life.
And the same can be applied to anything that is only for us to ‘time passing’. It’s not about leaving what gives pleasure to us; it is just to make this pleasure upgrading and becoming a more valuable and extraordinarily activity, and stopping it being part of something ordinary that steals us many hours to do other things for which we have decided to have more time in the lifetime.
Not everything should be useful and self-action time in life, and all the activities described are perfectly valid. But if you have been honest answering to the question made at the beginning, it means that you are minimally ambitious about managing the time during your existence; and this leads you to be very careful with this activity of pure spectators. We have to face the challenge of knowing how to select the time we spend being simply spectators, and the time we want to be directly the actors of our film, or even the writers of the same.
At the end of the day, maybe it’s not that life is so short, but we manage time very bad.