We hear this phrase so often.
Each day we are given 24 hours in which to complete everything we need to complete. For many of us much of that time is spent working, and probably just as much sleeping.
Having recently started a new job, moved to a new country and thus begun a whole new routine to my week — time is suddenly not on my side.
I am finding myself constantly thinking ‘there are just not enough hours in the day.’
And it is so frustrating…
Time, achievement and daily goals
It got me thinking about time and about how we use it in our everyday lives. As I was stuffing my face with the dinner I had to cram in, during the 5 minute gap between classes, I pondered on the fact that my day/week/month had seemed so rushed so far.
I seemed to be constantly doing something, worrying about things I still needed to do or planning for the stuff I need to do the next day.
I am definitely someone who thrives on having a routine to life.
I enjoy being able to achieve as much as possible in one day and going to bed at night thinking ‘today was productive.’ But what is achievement, and why do we strive for it?
Presumably, having achieved something means something different to everyone. Simply getting out of bed may be a huge achievement for one person, whereas running a half marathon after a full working day might be pretty do-able for another. Whatever our goals, how would we feel if we didn’t achieve anything?
Unfulfilled? Let down? Lazy?
Perhaps this depends on our own minds and actions.
Achieving everything we want to during a day is a very big ask, so is aiming high always a good thing or are we just setting ourselves up for failure?
During one day can we:
- exercise as much as we want/need to, keep our awareness on our diet (which would inevitably mean having time to cook a healthy, balanced meal or three)
- whilst performing at work to the best of our ability
- maintaining a healthy social life as well as family life
- keeping our interests and hobbies alive and doing the things we love
- attempting to learn something new every day
- and completing all necessary errands and tasks which allow us to live like a “normal” person in society.
Yes, that was a long sentence.
In order to have continuity and progress with each of these things there needs to be regularity to each one so it really does need to be everyday, or at least pretty frequently.
Will that send us insane?
Add to the list: working at being less of a control freak and keeping life spontaneous at the same time. It seems virtually impossible.
Time and expectations
I found myself wondering ‘how can we be expected to do all of these things in one day?’ But are we expected to do all these things?
Who expects us to?
The word ‘society’ floats around my head somewhere in answer to that question. But is that true?
Time is a gift that we are given, and we can use it in any way we choose. Yes there are certain things that we need to do in life but the construct of our days, weeks etc are simply a concept. The only person who is putting pressure on us to achieve more, gain more, use time better, is ourselves.
Whenever somebody asks me ‘what did you do today?’ or ‘what have you been up to lately?’ or ‘what were the highlights of your year?’ I feel the need to respond with something meaningful, something worth their asking, something that proves I have achieved and gained in life.
I always envied those people who can respond with ‘not much, just relaxing.
Ayurvedic medicine and body types
Ayurvedic medicine believes there are 3 doshas or body types: vata, pitta and kapha.
Each of these body types corresponds to us and we can be a mixture of two or three, or sometimes just one, but we are always dominant with one dosha over the others. The way to diagnose someone is to look at their traits: physical, emotional, mental and behavioural.
Regarding our subject today pitas tend to be full of energy, being fiery and productive, always on the go.
Kapha is the slightly more lethargic and docile dosha.
Vata types are those who benefit most from having a routine, but also those who find a routine the most challenging.
Attempting to keep a balance in your doshas is essentially what we are all striving for in all areas of life. Keeping a balance between all three is rare and difficult, but once we can acknowledge our tendencies, we can also attempt to work on them progressively.
Personally, being a Vata (dominant) Kapha, I am very aware that I have that slight kapha side in me, which can sometimes take over, and become more dominant. So, the way to overcome the lethargic, slightly lazier side of me is to create a routine, which inevitably is difficult due to the dominance of vata.
So there needs to be a happy medium — which is what we are all striving for.
This begs the question: are we simply being too hard on ourselves?
It is okay to be lazy sometimes, to relax, to not achieve everything that needs to be done in a day. We know that, others know that, we just need to convince ourselves that it is true and allow ourselves a little leeway sometimes.
At the end of the day “time” is simply a construct created to make our lives easier. Everything is more organized because we have weeks, days, and minutes.
But life is here and now, tomorrow may not exist and yesterday is long gone, so keeping our awareness in the present is surely the only way to live.
“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
~ George Harrison