During the past two weeks, we’ve been working on creating intentional living by understanding exactly how we spend our time. Today, we’ll finish the series that started with Intentional Living and Blocks of Time and Blocks of Time, Week 2.
So far, we’ve covered:
• creating awareness of what you do each week, thereby
• allowing yourself to choose how to live by
• understanding what “Blocks of Time” are,
• analyzing life patterns,
• embracing the process,
• recording how you spend your 168 hours each week and, consciously,
• seeking to grow on many levels.
Creating, Allowing, Understanding, Analyzing, Embracing, Recording and Seeking…..all tools that lead to a more intentional reality.
Our perception of time changes as we age.
For most of us, the longer we live, the faster each subsequent year seems to go.
Acknowledging the fragility of life is an important part of living into your best self.
The Twelve “Blocks of Time”
- Spirituality, Prayer, Meditation, Silence
- Family and Closest Friends
- Giving Back and Reaching Out
- Physical Care
- Knowledge—Reading and Writing
- Home Care
- Health Maintenance and Improvement
- Activities and Hobbies
- Income Producing
Since we’re all different the way we spend our hours will (obviously) be different. Here are just two examples:
#4 Giving Back & Reaching Out
Some people rarely do anything that falls into this category. That may happen because they work full-time (or work more than one job), raise children or care for aging parents. In those situations, there really aren’t any hours left in the day. Or, it could be because there simply isn’t a desire to do anything outside of making an occasional donation for a cause. There’s no “wrong or right”—only what works for you.
#7 Home Care
If you have a housekeeper, contract out all home repairs, and dine out regularly, you’d have a lot fewer hours in this category than someone who’s a stay-at-home parent, with three young children, responsible for all meal prep, and care of the inside and outside of the house. Again, Blocks of Time are far from “one-size-fits-all”!
The Next Step Turning Practice into Art—The Fill in The Blocks Graph
Below is the “fill in the blocks” graph with a grid of 168 squares—one for each hour of the week (there’s a PDF at the bottom so that you can print it out). Using your activities worksheet from last week, choose twelve different colors (markers, pens, pencils, watercolor—whatever you’d like) to represent each of your twelve blocks. Fill in one square for each hour spent doing a specific activity. This is your visible reminder of how you spend your days, and could help you discover why your days seem to fly by (or drag along).
If you don’t have the time (or desire) to add color to 168 blocks, simply make an outline around the blocks that apply to each activity, and then label that area. For example: 56 squares with an outline around them, labeled “sleep”, or 5 squares outlined and labeled “hobbies”.
This is what my current grid looks like:
a. It’s not close to my “ideal way to spend my life”.
b. The “sleep” block shows my “best case scenario”. Most weeks I don’t sleep anywhere near forty-five hours.
c. My desire is to spend much more time in blocks 1 (spirituality), 3 (family and closest friends), 4 (giving back) and 10 (nature). Honestly, If I could, I’d love to have more hours to do a lot of things, but responsibilities (like earning an income) are part of my current life. Like many people, my ideal situation would be one where spirituality, other humans and nature would be where most of my time would be spent.
Sometimes, one block is impacted by another. The edges “bleed together” or get “lost” in each other, like my 3 (family) which is red and my 11 (activities) which is orange. We often can’t always tell where one block of our life stops and another starts. That, too, is okay.
What to Do with What You Know & Questions to Ask Yourself
We have 168 hours each week. Most of us won’t get to a place where we live in a utopian environment, but if we choose to sincerely give consideration to how we aspire to live, then factor in what we have to do to live, we may move closer to our desires.
Do your blocks of time reflect how you want to live?
If not, are there changes you can make?
What are you doing when you’re most content and at peace in your life?
What are you doing when you’re frustrated or sad?
Are you able to add more contentment and eliminate some frustration?
Do you have any “free time”?
If so, do you enjoy it or simply dump in “space fillers”—meaningless activities—since you don’t know what you truly want to do?
Most importantly, does the way you spend your time mirror the truth of who you are on a core level?
The consequences of our choices affect not only our lives but also the lives of the people around us and then, like “whisper down the alley”, the next person in line.
Mindfulness leads to
awareness, which leads to,
time management which leads to,
choosing (when possible) how to spend our days,
which creates Intentional Living.
Obviously, the ideal (although rarely realized) situation is one where you would spend your time doing only things that you want to do, but not too many people have that luxury. That makes it necessary for us to:
create joy wherever we can,
be present and
live with peace-full intention.
Thank you, again, for walking down this path with me,
©peace full home®/intentional living