I have a question to ask you but you have to slow down to answer it. Stop scrolling, take a moment, and breathe.

Knowing what you know now, having all of life’s experiences behind you, what would you do differently?

To better manage your time, let’s take a look at how we act in the present, past, and future and what we can do differently!

The Present:

If you are reading this blog, you’ve got an amazing “present” sitting in front of you. The present time.

Why is it that the question of “what would you do differently” is most commonly asked following a negative event? A missed opportunity to land a big client, a health scare, the sudden loss of a loved one? Why must it take being jarred out of the routine of life before reflection becomes a prioritization?

The weekend should not be a 48-hour countdown until Monday, and Friday should not feel like the victorious finish line of a marathon. What if we took a moment today, breathed slowly and decided what we want to do things differently? The change to a better future starts here.

The Past:

Fill in the blanks below for all aspects of a balanced life, including relationships, career, health and financial. Afterwards,  take each of the “I would have” statements of the past and revise them to be your non-negotiables for the future.

I wish I would have ________________________

I would have spent less time ________________

I would have spent more time _______________

I would have worked ______________________

I would have focused more on ______________

I would have focused less on _______________

I would have worried more about ____________

I would have worried less about _____________

I would have cherished ___________________

The intent behind this exercise is not to create a laundry list of missed opportunities. In fact, holding on to regrets can be a form of self-sabotage. In many cases it is impossible to have made a better decision at the time because we were doing the best we could with what we had in the moment. As life’s experiences evolve, so do we and that’s okay. Values, financial circumstances, confidence, and maturity can all change over time. We are meant to outgrow past versions of ourselves because that’s a sign of progress. Unfortunately, life moves fast, and the routine of everyday norms can accidentally engage the autopilot setting of survival mode.

The Future:

As much as we hate to admit it, we cannot manage time. Time keeps marching forward regardless of what we do. The good news is that what we do with that time IS under our control. What do you allow to take this most precious asset of yours?  If you ever feel like your energy is depleted but not sure where it went, you may need to focus on the “apps” you have running in the background. With so much high-tech in our daily lives, it can leave little energy left for high-touch moments. Consider the following to give yourself more battery life:

  • Give yourself a full hour to start your day before allowing yourself to check email on phone/computer
  • Eat lunch anywhere besides staring at the phone/computer
  • Disable push notifications for social media, news, email, etc.
  • Leave devices in another room during meals and while sleeping
  • Delete certain apps entirely
  • Switch phone display to grayscale, making the colorful icons less attention-grabbing

Recognize that there is something bigger at play here. There is usually a deeply rooted connection as to why the phone ceased to be something that is enjoyable, and instead something you are virtually compelled to use. Connect the feeling behind the activity:

  • I am feeling lonely so it’s time to check social media plan something enjoyable with a friend or family member
  • I am panicking because I need something positive to happen at work, so I’ll keep refreshing my email spend time making new possible opportunities happen
  • I am nervous about all of the chaos in the world, so I need to check the news again do something that makes life feel less chaotic
  • I am feeling bored, so I need a distraction to work on being comfortable spending time alone

In a culture that is bombarded with information and stimuli, finding time void of noise can seem inconceivable. Fortunately, the key to everything lies in that void so we can tap into the part of the brain that can process thoughts of deep significance. Give your mind the space to take all the information it’s received and make use of it in important ways. Instead of being afraid of boredom, consider instead a failure to appreciate the repercussions of not being bored enough. Later will be now before you know it so it’s time to value the gift of time.

Top Talent is a recognized leader in Talent Acquisition for Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain. We are part of the Sanford Rose Associates Network, one of the Top 10 search firms in North America with 150 offices worldwide. , To learn more about how we can support your professional and organizational growth, please reach out to us today. 

– Michael Monson
Top Talent LLC
President and CEO
Email: mike@toptalentllc.com