I recently sent a letter to a poet whose work I greatly admire (he’d made a very nice comment about my book The Healing Tree). He responded by asking if I shared his weakness for Nicholas Sparks movies. I replied that I was more a Game of Thrones sort of guy.
I mention this because I had so many responses to my last post The Number One Time Mistake People Make (executive summary: it’s not being conscious about how to use the next minute), mostly related to the importance of making time for oneself. There were a number of references to feeling guilty for doing so.
My response is that it is imperative that we make time for ourselves. I love the possibly apocryphal comment from the elderly woman reported to have said “Sometimes I just sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.”
The point is not to never make time to just sit and think, or to just sit and watch TV, or to just sit to sit. Rather, it is to, as much as possible, do it with conscious intent. That will help you not rationalize wasting time by giving in to resistance and procrastination; help you limit the amount of time you are going to devote to just sitting or whatever; and perhaps most important, help you not feel guilty for doing so, which sort of defeats the purpose of just sitting and thinking or of just sitting.
All too often we allow ourselves to fall into what psychologists call a double bind situation – a condition of lose-lose. We come home with a briefcase full of work and good intentions, but then feel guilty because we’re not outside playing with the kids. So we set the work aside and go play with the kids, but we really don’t enjoy it because we feel guilty for not being inside doing the work.
When you are intentional about how you are going to use the time – even the time that is not productive in any material sense – it helps you avoid those sorts of double bind situations.
The PledgePower course includes great strategies for making the most of those precious minutes – check it out at: