Your eyes open. It’s morning. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the dogs are barking. It’s just like every other day. You get up, get dressed, go to work, get home, have dinner, and go to sleep. And behold, it’s morning once again.
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the dogs are barking. You get up, get dressed, go to work, get home, have dinner, and go to sleep.
Your eyes open once again. It’s morning.
And just as soon as you’ve heard the bird outside your window, you find yourself back in bed that night; gearing up to do the whole thing again tomorrow.
It won’t slow down
Time continues to move faster and faster. I don’t know why that is and I don’t know how to stop it. I’ve certainly tried though. Whether through meditation, forcing myself to be bored, changing my routine, being “more present,” you name it.
It doesn’t matter.
It keeps speeding up. And from what I gather, it will go on hastening each year we grow older. A realization that fills me with two opposing feelings:
- And comfort
The fear I face, among others, is that of wasting my time. My life. Of having the days move by me so quickly that I don’t capitalize on them as I should. Yet conversely, I also feel comforted. Comforted knowing that whatever challenge I face, whatever difficult period I experience, it will pass.
But not just gradually pass. It will rapidly pass.
Think of this next time you blink
Look at your phone right now and observe the date and time. Really focus on it. Capture it in your mind.
Are you doing it? Ok now watch this.
You’re going to blink and it’s going to be a month from now. Not literally, per se, but pretty close. A month will soon go by and you’ll catch yourself thinking – “Woah… That Corey guy was right. It’s already been a month!”
And guess what?
From there, two months will go by. Then six months. Then a year. You will have long since forgotten about me and this article, but hopefully, the lesson behind it will still resonate with you. A lesson that the sooner you understand, the better your future will be.
Time moves quickly and you must optimize for it.
Make a change right now
The little things you do each day – the habits, small goals, routines – those things build up and compound with time.
I know it doesn’t feel like it. In fact, you may think I’m exaggerating but just wait. Because a month will soon pass and you will catch yourself looking at the calendar, amazed by how quickly it went. And when you find yourself in that position, ask:
Have I been using my time wisely each day?
Time will only continue to speed by as you grow older, so if you don’t look around nowand make a change, you will find yourself at the end of a path that you may not have wanted to go down.
How are you voting?
Author James Clear mentions in a blog post that:
So consider, are your daily actions leading you to the person you want to be? Or are they leading you astray?
- Examine the habits that you follow – do you often ditch running in lieu of a donut?
- Consider your goals – do you regularly give up after a week or two, vowing that “next time will be different?“
- Look at your routines – do you frequently replace a bedtime book with a reality-show binge?
If your actions aren’t properly serving you, make a change.
Determine what needs to be done and implement that into your life. Start small and build over time. For instance, if you want to read more, start small and read one page a day. If you want to run a marathon later this year, start small and run one mile each week.
Or if you want to build a marketing agency, start small and send out one cold email Monday through Friday.
How I became an avid reader
These actions, while seemingly minor and unimportant, compound with time and transform you into the person you yearn to be.
Speaking of reading, for years I wanted to be a voracious reader. But between a hectic schedule and a slower-than-average reading speed, it didn’t feel like a realistic option. I was determined though. So I started small. I:
- Read briefly in my free time
- Followed my interests and selected books that stood out to me
- Looked into ways to enhance my reading speed
And as things progressed and the years passed, I eventually became the reader that I hoped to be. In fact, I presently complete four books a month on average.
Now, there’s obviously more to the story than just “start small,” but you get the gist.
To become the reader I was after, I had to use my time deliberately over the course of many days, weeks, months, and years, until reading eventually became part of who I am. Just like with running, cleaning, writing, strength training, or anything else for that matter.
Your daily actions moving forward
The actions you take each day dictate the person you will be tomorrow. Be aware of that and choose to act on those things that will move you in the right direction.
It won’t always be easy, but time is going to pass either way and it’s going to go quickly. Don’t fret though. Instead, let that knowledge comfort you. If there’s a challenge you face, do your best and know that it’ll soon be a month from now and you’ll have gotten through it.
So moving forward, be intentional, be patient, and watch how the molehill inevitably becomes the mountain.
PS: If you’re on the lookout for books related to habits or other such daily actions, I found Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, to be insightful. The aforementioned author, James Clear, also has a book that you may find useful entitled, Atomic Habits.
About the Author:
Corey Fradin is the Founder of QuickBooost – a blog that helps you do more with your time (productivity, goal setting, that kind of thing). His passion for goal setting has led to him helping countless individuals finally achieve their goals.