It seems that so many of the ideas in these daily reflections require us to set aside time. So many of the Daily Action sections start with the words “Take some time…”.
Inspiration often requires us to set time aside for meditation, self-reflection, service to others, self care (sleep, healthy eating, exercise, etc.), prayer, creativity. How do we find time for all these things when life is already so full? Here are 10 ways to find time for inspiration.
- Get enough sleep to stay productive and focused. But, not so much sleep that you lose half the day to sleep and end up groggy for the rest of the day.
- Be an early riser. This may seem to contradict the first point, but there are ways to achieve both. Sleeping Dude’s blog How to Wake Up Early has a lot of incredible tips on waking up early while getting good sleep such as Wake Up with the Sun, where Dude talks about the benefits of exposing ourselves to sunlight when waking.
- Avoid addictive behaviors. Television, video games and drinking or other drug use are a few things that some of us can get carried away with. Hours or days can pass by in what seems to be a blink of an eye. If an attempt to moderate a behavior fails, it is best to avoid it all together. If avoiding a behavior that has become uncontrollable seems impossible, consider a 12 step program; it will change your life. See Avoiding Addictive Behaviors for ideas on how to avoid these habits.
- Know when to say “No.” Though service to others is one of the most inspiring ways to spend your time, this does not mean being at others’ beckon call. If you are asked to do something that does not resonate with you and your purpose, say “No.” Your time is your life. It is the most valuable thing you have. See Know When to Say “No” for more details.
- Have a plan. Know what you are going to do before you do it. Life if full of interesting and important ways to spend our time. If we don’t have a plan, it is easy to jump between thousands of tasks and interests and get nothing done.
- Don’t spend time waiting. Pray, meditate and/or reflect when at a red light, a checkout line, a traffic jam, a waiting room, etc. Instead of impatiently waiting for the next thing to happen, make use of the time. When you are forced to wait, God is giving you a perfect opportunity. Bob at every, every minute mentioned his article in the comments, Don’t Waste Another Wasted Minute which expands on this idea with some specific ways to use otherwise wasted minutes wisely.
- Prioritize. If you find yourself spending time completing tasks that are not very important to you, at the end of the day, you will be left with important tasks that do not allow you to be flexible with your time. Complete your most important tasks first, and remember, taking care of ourselves is one of our most important tasks.
- Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. When you enjoy what you are doing, staying focused and on-task is easy and you can experience inspiration without having to set aside time to do so. See Enjoy What You Do for more details.
- Exercise to keep your mind and body in focus. Though exercise requires a time commitment and seems to take time away from other tasks, it cleans the mind, helps to see things more clearly and fills us with energy.
- Stop running! Of course, I’m not talking about the physical running that is good for our bodies, but rather running from task to task trying to get everything done as fast as possible. Ironically, this only makes us less efficient and unfocused.
In the coming weeks, I plan on expanding on many items on this list with complete posts dedicated to a single item. I will update this post with links as I do this.