This weekend is Daylight Savings Time. You know. The one that everyone loves. Fall back time! So this means that we gain an extra hour of daylight. For many of us, including me, this means an extra hour of sleep. But after reading a blog post from the inspiring life coach, Rosetta Thurman, on the necessity of stepping outside of our comfort zones and pursuing new ventures in order to create the lives that we want, I started thinking about some other things that we could do to fill that extra hour. Here are my top three tips for using that extra time to propel you one more step toward reaching your goals.
Organize your life and learn to embrace minimalism
In the hustle and bustle of life, we accumulate a lot of things. Even famous rapper Kanye West, known for his appreciation of the “finer things in life” admitted that “we’ll buy a lotta clothes, but we don’t really need ‘em.” But we don’t just collect things. We are also prone to collect a lot of people and situations that just take up space, as opposed to adding any true value to our lives. Now’s the time to take inventory and begin to eliminate either toxic or unproductive relationships, and throw out or give away things in your closet that you don’t need.
So maybe spend 20 minutes of that hour and delete contacts from your phone that you know you won’t ever reach out to again, or clean up your Facebook friends list and eliminate the ratchet, unproductive chatter on your timeline. Or go through that pile of old junk mail that you promised you’d deal with ages ago and throw out those City Cash coupons from New York & Company that expired last month. I think you’ll find that with the extra “space” in your life, you’ll have more room for those things that are going to help you move forward.
Admittedly, this is something that I’ve had to work on. As a newbie to the professional world, I’ve spent the past seven years building my career in higher education, which means very little time off and in many instances, working overtime to prove that I have what it takes to be a leader in my field. And it’s definitely paid off. Within five years I worked my way up from an entry-level college admissions recruiter, to a coordinator, to associate director of my team. I’ve been asked to chair numerous committees and have taken the lead on a variety of initiatives. That was my goal and I’m proud to say that I’ve reached it.
But you can only go full-throttle for so long before you start to feel burnt out. So as I set my goals for 2013, I decided that I was going to enjoy my successes more. EVERYTHING you do doesn’t have to be the most responsible thing to do. Sometimes you just have to indulge. So this past May, on a whim, I decided to join a study tour in Peru and immersed myself in Incan culture for 10 days. That decision to indulge resulted in me not only witnessing first-hand the beauty of ancient cities like Machu Picchu, Pisaq, and Cusco, but it also broadened my world perspective, sharpened my Spanish receptive skills, and landed me in a seat on my flight home next to famed author and scholar Michael Eric Dyson! Now granted, you may not be in a position financially to take a trip like that, nor might you have the time, however, there are small things like treating yourself to a movie you really want to see or taking yourself out to dinner at a five-star restaurant just because. Go see a music artist that you love in concert and sit in the front row! Give yourself a reward for how hard you work. And most of all, know and believe that you deserve it!
Do something crazy and uncomfortable
I know. The statement alone sounds…well…crazy. And if you’re a type-A, uber-organized planner, this is not your idea of a good time. But sometimes, the best source of inspiration comes from spontaneity. Back in 2012, I chaperoned a trip for my church’s youth group to Ski Roundtop. My original plan was to just hang out and watch the kids have fun. But when I got there, I made a decision to give their zip-lining course a shot. It was the most exhilarating experience of my life. And it taught me a profound lesson.
As I stood there at the top of the tower that I would be jumping from (hoping against hope that it wouldn’t be to my death), I was terrified of letting go of my safety guide. But finally, I came to the moment where it was now or never (because the kids that were waiting behind me were starting to get annoyed) so I did it. I let go. And I had the ride of my life! And it was such an epiphany for me because at that time, I was struggling with letting a very toxic relationship go. And it seemed like I had all these excuses as to why I couldn’t. And with that single leap, I realized that that was my mental block. The hardest part was letting go. But I had just proven to myself, that I could do it. Literally and figuratively. So I did. I left that mountain, ended that relationship and never looked back.
So you’ve got one hour. Sleep’s nice. But let’s make it more interesting. Those are just my tips. What do you plan to do with your time? Sound off in the comments box below.