ProduKtive Blog

Why You Shouldn’t Live Every Day Like it’s Your Last

Aug 28, 2018 | The ONE Thing, Time Management

“Carpe Diem”, YOLO, FOMO, “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me”—whatever the saying, the point is always the same. You only get one shot, so don’t throw it away. It sounds right, and even feels right, but the truth is that if we live our life treating each day like it’s our last, we’ll never live up to our full potential.

When it comes to how we view time when we live our lives, we need embrace what’s happening in the present while also being aware that our actions influence our future. In other words, we set ourselves up for the greatest success when we view time in larger increments and take advantage of the steps it takes to achieve great things.

The 3 Main Time Perspectives

In the book Time Paradox, Philip Zimbardo discusses how the differences in how we think about time impacts how we live our lives. These differences with how we approach time can be broken down into three main categories. Each category comes down to how we feel about the past, present and future and the role they each play in our lives. While the author goes into greater detail and names additional sub-categories relating to each of the three main time perspectives, (it’s a great read) we’ll keep it simple and hit the high points for now. Fildena http://valleyofthesunpharmacy.com/fildena/

1. Past-Oriented

Past-oriented people are nostalgic for things they’ve already experienced, and they use their past decisions and actions to influence the choices they make. In other words, they may not look at current scenarios in an accurate light, and instead find moments in their past that they deem to be similar and base their decisions on those previous events.

Past-oriented people are comfortable with the status quo and don’t want to do anything to change it – whether it be meeting new people, taking on new projects, or updating a process that might improve a current way of doing something. People rooted in this perspective of time may find that they miss out on events that require spontaneity or miss a chance on something new.

Despite all of this, past-oriented people tend to be grounded and have the strongest sense of who they are. So it’s not all bad.

2. Present-Oriented

Present-oriented people avoid abstraction and focus on what they see in terms of black and white. They don’t live life in a constant state of trying to achieve some sort of future goals. Instead, they’re focused on what brings them joy in the current moment and what helps them avoid any displeasure.

They don’t dwell on past experiences either – which can sometimes work to our disadvantage when making decisions in the present.

Instant gratification are two words they probably live by if they’re a present-oriented person. In other words, they would jump at the chance to take part in an all-you-can-eat challenge to win another meal! Their reward, however, would be the satisfaction of the moment.

3. Future-Oriented

Future-oriented people tend to base their actions and decisions more on what they think will happen and less on the current state of affairs. They’ll think ahead and imagine different scenarios and make a decision from what they project.

On the plus side, future-oriented people tend to be very goal-oriented. They are generally able to avoid both distractions and the need for instant gratification in order to reach their long-term goals. They’re also willing to invest time and effort in the present for a good payoff down the road, no matter how unpleasant the current activities may seem. The downside is that people who are future-oriented can get so wrapped up working toward the future that they forget to be present in the moment. This means they may miss out on great opportunities to enjoy activities or people around them because they don’t want to waste time on things that don’t help them achieve their future goal.

No matter what perspective of time you attribute to yourself, it’s important to know that there is no bad orientation. However, we set ourselves up for the best chance of success if we work to incorporate the benefits of each of the three different time orientations into how we address our lives. Tramadol 50 mg http://www.healthfirstpharmacy.net/tramadol.html

Yesterday, Today, or Tomorrow: Journals Help Us to Live in More than Just One Moment

Living only in the past, present or future has its pros and cons. To live a successful life, we must acknowledge that our lives are made up of things that have happened, moments we are currently experiencing and events we can’t yet know. Each of these parts of our lives influence who we are and who we will become, and they can’t be discounted.

We can get so caught up in both the nostalgia of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow that we forget to focus on what is happening in the moment. When this happens, we forget to stop and smell the roses and enjoy what we’re doing at this very moment. And as a result, we miss out on some of the virtues of the present.

Parenting offers a glimpse into how easily we can miss out. Parenting is hard. And the early years aren’t referred to as living in “the trenches” for nothing. It’s all too common for parents to wish away the tantrums and sleepless nights and think ahead to when their children are old enough to be reasoned with and hold their own. But in wishing away the hard times associated with raising their young children, parents can inadvertently discount the joys that they experience as well. A child who is old enough to hold their own is probably not getting rocked to sleep. A child who is old enough to venture out on a sleepover at a friend’s house probably doesn’t have any need to hold your hand while crossing the street. When we wish away the present we often fail to appreciate the moments that exist only in the now.

However, living life only for today isn’t the answer either. When we live our lives only focused on the current moment, our decision-making tends to be short-term oriented. When we do that, we wind up taking wrong turns. What is the balance between stopping to smell the roses and keeping an eye on the horizon?

In order to appreciate all facets of our lives, we have to make an effort to look in all directions.

And a journal can help with that.

Journals help us keep track of what we’ve accomplished over a period of time and look ahead to what we still want to achieve. As Psych Central explains, “writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you.” When we write about our experiences in a journal, we’re giving ourselves a way to track both our progress and pitfalls, and an opportunity to learn from them. We’re also providing ourselves a place to explore our goals and to see the trajectory we’re on for achievement.

You don’t have to track your life daily to see the benefits.

One of our team members considers himself future-oriented in nature and recently incorporated a newsletter into his life in order to be more proactive about embracing both the past and present. Each month, he reflects on everything he has done on a personal and professional basis the month prior and shares the big moments with the people in his life. Doing so allows him to take a break from striving for his goals in order to appreciate what he’s accomplished so far. Another teammate makes a list at the start of every year of the activities she’d like to do. Then she schedules time for each of these activities on her calendar to ensure she doesn’t let time pass her by while she gets caught up in everyday life.

Incorporate Past, Present and Future into Your Daily Life

The best way to make sure you’re using each time orientation to your advantage is to look at the big picture and incorporate time blocking into your life. We’ve talked about time blocking numerous times on this blog – and when it comes to living your life to the fullest, time blocking’s importance should not be underrated.

To put it simply, time blocking is making an appointment with yourself for a particular activity – and then following through on the commitment by keeping this appointment.

Like we suggest in The ONE Thing, start with scheduling your time off. You work hard and you have a lot you want to accomplish. But first, make sure you have time to stop and smell the roses. Do so by planning to take a break to live in the present. Whether it’s a trip with friends or family to revitalize yourself or time off spent with your loved ones doing the things that make you happy – planning those special days off help you to make sure you embrace the present.

Next, time block for your ONE Thing. This is a nod to the future. You have goals you want to accomplish and working toward them involves making time for your most important work now. In your ONE Thing time block, you’ll work to do the things that are necessary now in order to help you achieve your ultimate goals down the road. It’s about knocking down the dominos that will set you up for a rewarding future.

Finally, you’ll time block for your planning time. During this time, you’ll acknowledge your past accomplishments, take stock of where you are in the present, and look to where you want to go in the future.  It may be helpful to block off some time at the end of each week or month to take stock of what you’ve done in the short-term. Next, schedule time with yourself at the end of a year to make a plan for what you would like next year’s trajectory to look like.

When it comes down to it, time blocking helps us recognize what needs to be done in the present based on what we’ve done in our past and what we want to accomplish in our future. It can be used to successfully achieve individual and group goals both in our personal and professional lives.

Picture yourself using time blocking to nab your next promotion. Schedule time to take on that important, new responsibility and prove to your supervisor you have what it takes to bring your career to the next level. Maybe you start by spending an extra hour each day of the week diving deep into the market you work in to get a deeper understanding of the market and your company’s competitors. Then, you use the time to apply what you’ve learned to your own company and can make intelligent suggestions about how to incorporate positive changes into your own role and company. When your present-day commitment to improving your role and the environment around you is evident, your boss will likely take notice and be more willing to provide you with additional opportunities to prove yourself for the longer-term. When you display the patience to show up in the present with an eye to the future, your future outcomes benefit too.

No matter what time orientation you most identify with, you can use time blocking to embrace all facets of your life to the fullest. And if you don’t know where to start, we suggest downloading our Kick Ass Guide to Goal Setting for a deeper look at how to use time to achieve everything you desire.

 

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