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Think you’re wasting your time?

Published on May 2, 2022

Woman distracted looking at phone worried she is wasting time if she isn't always busy

I have a confession to make.

I said I would never look at my e-mail while waiting for the traffic light to turn green in my car. When my husband does it, it always annoys me, “are you crazy? It’s really dangerous!”

And yet I did exactly the same a few weeks ago, frantically scrolling through my emails while stopped in my car, waiting for the light to turn green.

“Fill the time.”

“Kill time.”

“Using the time right.”

There are many things we can do with our time while we’re waiting.

A friend of mine shared she felt she was in a kind of “waiting mode”, nothing much was really happening in her life.

Is this state familiar to you?

Many perceive this state as “wrong”. As if we’re not being productive enough or optimising our lives enough. As if time is just being wasted…

Our culture tells us that if we’re not rushing around, racing to get things done, our life is useless!

What do we think we are wasting by waiting or pausing our precious lives for a few minutes?

What was it I thought couldn’t wait when I was at the traffic light?

When we’re constantly busy with “filling our time” our minds tend to be in the future.

“You’re busy thinking about what you’re going to do next. You’re a month ahead of yourself, or even a year. You’re not living life; you’re living mind.” – Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul.

One of my mentors once gave me an exercise to spark inspiration for writing. I should practice “cloud gazing”. Easy, I thought to myself, not realising how challenging it was at first.

I have no problem laying in a hammock gazing at the clouds while being on holiday, but doing it just like that, in between tasks? More difficult than I imagined.

I can guarantee you – cloud gazing is not a waste of time. When I take the time to gaze into the clouds, I usually come up with either the best ideas for my business or get an answer to a question I was pondering.

The same mentor also taught me a simple exercise. Whenever you’re feeling guilty about being in a “wrong” state, for example blaming yourself for being lazy, ask yourself: what is the gift in being lazy?

Tough one, right?

I know you’re thinking: “what on earth can be good about being lazy??”

The gift in being lazy is – REST. You are resting. You are letting yourself REST.

And the same goes for waiting.

What is the gift in waiting?

The gift in waiting is – you are creating space to see and listen, aka “being present”.

You see the beautiful couple crossing the street while you wait for the traffic light to turn green.

You see your daughter – how she enjoys performing in front of the mirror.

You hear the birds singing.

You hear the exhaustion in your partner’s voice so you give him a hug.

And you might hear your heart whispering the answer to the question you’ve been asking yourself for months, while you’ve been too busy racing for the next thing.

Just imagine that for a moment.

Our “filling the time behaviour” makes us exhausted.

At the beginning of each session, I always ask my clients what their most dominating mood was in the last 24h. Guess which is the most common one?

Exhausted.

Therefore, I have created a special free gift, a journal to boost your energy. You will recognise hidden energy drains throughout the week so that you can feel healthy, free and energised again.

If you would like to receive a free copy of my guided journal – sign up here.

Love,

 

 

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Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.

Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.

I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.

I’m happy you’re here!

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