LESS wasted time, MORE focused flow

Posted by solah 0 Comments

Wasting time. Almost everyone feels guilty of this at one time or another.

There are many reasons why we waste time. Which of the following can you identify with?

  • Not being fully committed to a project.
  • Possessing underlying fears about our goals.
  • Other, higher priorities (very often subconscious) resulting in feelings and desires that draw us elsewhere.
  • No strategic plan to work from.
  • Acting out of laziness.
  • Implementing our well honed procrastination skills.

To be clear, sometimes we really need to rest, recharge and do some dreaming. These are necessary aspects of life that we need to make time for. But wasting time is different, and we pretty much always know when we’re wasting it.

As our elders will clearly testify to, time is the one thing we can never get back. Every moment really is precious. How do you want to feel when you get to the end of your life? Like you used your time to kick-ass and make a difference? Or like you spent a good portion of it watching TV, talking about what other people are doing or working on things that you don’t really care about, just to pay the bills.

The expression ‘killing time’ has always been one of my pet peeves. Why kill something that’s already fleeting and precious? Why not celebrate and utilize the limited time we have to fulfill our highest desires? Instead of killing time, I propose we optimize time, share time, or even simply sit in appreciation of all that is and listen to our bodies, minds and spirits to see what it is that we most need.

If we’re not working on an inspired mission, why not be cultivating our brains for relaxation and sharpness so that we can use our abilities when the time is right? We all have things we’d love to do in life. What if we traded up each of those moments of time killing for moments where we take a tiny step closer to our bigger life goals and dreams? We could learn a new language or instrument, plan a trip or research a topic we care about.

In every moment, we have the ability to bless someone or something with our awesomeness, to create something beautiful, to share our love or to appreciate art. What if we used these in between moments to write someone a love letter, clean up, beautify an environment or to have tea with someone who was lonely?

Since it’s doubtful we’ll get to the end of our lives with gratitude for all that time we wasted, it’s time to stop killing the incredible opportunities that are available to us.

The opposite of wasting time, and a profoundly more enjoyable space to be in, is the state of flow.

Flow is a complete absorption in what we’re doing with energized focus and enjoyment. Productive, focused flow is a form of bliss. It contains no struggle or strain. When in flow, we are like the river, powerful, full of energy and going exactly where we most desire to go.

In order to get into the flow state, we must have clear goals. We must know where we want to get to. Staying in the flow state requires a sense of clear and immediate feedback. We must be able to see our self making progress towards our goal and we need to be able to shift with the demands of the project and ride the energy of the results of our work.

We also need to be confident in the fact that we can work through any perceived challenges. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is known to have created a model for flow theory, states that when the challenges we face are at 10% above our current skill set, we are best able to strive towards our goal with the belief that when struggles show up, we will learn to work through them. Once the challenge is perceived at above this 10%, we can easily become daunted by the task and slip from flow to overwhelm.

In order to get and stay in a flow state, we must also remove distractions. Emails, phone calls, people who are desirous of our time and energy, children, pets, addictions… Since we are the creators of our distractions, this list can be endless. What distracts you?

By setting ourselves up to experience flow, we are setting our self up to experience intense feelings of enjoyment, competence and efficacy. This in turn motivates us to continue the flow which leads us directly to the experience of happy, successful and meaningful lives.

So the next time you have a moment to kill, perhaps instead you’d like to use that moment to lay the groundwork for the magical feeling of flow. Take some time to strategically remove distractions, block out uninterrupted time for what’s most important to you, have conversations with loved ones about your commitments and create a space conducive to flow.

As always, if you’d like help with any of that, I’m here to support you.

Solah Nightstar helps Changemakers gain clarity around their passion and purpose. She then supports them in getting their BIG IDEAS off the ground, helping them move from inspiration… to manifestation.

This article is an exploration of one of the many principles outlined in her Manifesto for Living with Passion and Purpose. Get yourself that beautiful manfesto for FREE here http://positivelypurposeful.com/manifesto-for-living-with-passion-and-purpose/

solah – who has written posts on Positively Purposeful.

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