What if I told you I could magically give you 3.6% extra time this month?
What would you do with it those extra hours? Would you sleep a little bit more? Practice your instrument? Go to that museum that you always say you are going to go to? Pick up your journal? Have a date night in the middle of the day?
If you’re like me, you might have intentions of doing all of those things — but when that extra time actually shows up you and I will probably find a reason that we can’t actually do those things. Something really important is going on at work, or those errands really have get done, or a friend really needs your time.
And after many years of trying to solve this puzzle — of trying to practice what I preach on living a life of balance, while being true to my ambitions and dreams — here’s where I’ve landed, at least for now. Sometimes things really do need to get done at work or we’ll be shortchanging our co-workers or projects; sometimes if that errand doesn’t get run we’ll be dinged with a nasty penalty; sometimes that friend does really need us, and they need us now.
My new challenge to myself therefore is to recognize that reality — and not let it be an excuse to fill every moment of every day with the urgent but maybe not always important. Said differently, I am working to recognize that periods of intensity ebb and flow, and hold myself accountable for balancing the peaks and valleys over the medium term. It is too pie-in-the-sky to expect that every day be lived in perfect balance, and expecting that of myself just makes me feel guilty. But it is also not good enough — for me — to live by the old adage of “there’ll be time to sleep when I’m dead.” Don’t get me wrong — life is not entirely for leisure, but it can’t be all about productivity either.
This, of course, is on my mind because today is Leap Day. A free space in our calendars. 3.6% more month for the price of 28 days.
What are you doing with this extra time? If you’re spending it grinding through the usual stuff, do you owe it to yourself to make up for that sometime soon?
As for me, I’m squeezing in a quick weekend road trip. Hope to see you out there?