Friday, February 8, 2013

My Happiness Project: Time

This month I am focusing on time, and more specifically, how I can make the best use of it.  If I do not pay attention to how I choose to spend my time, the days quickly slip away from me and I feel restless, irritable, and generally unsatisfied with my life.  I want to make better use of my time not so I can cross more things off my ever-increasing to-do list, but so at the end of the day I go to bed feeling like it was a day well spent.

For the first months after giving birth to HP the bar for what I considered a successful day was low.  If at the end of the day we were both fed and alive, I marked it down as a win.  Now that he is older and has fallen into a more predictable rhythm, I am able to set higher standards for myself.

I have two resolutions for the month:

(1) To only check social media once a day.  I appreciate how social media allows me to connect to distant friends and family, but I find its usefulness diminishes the more frequently I use it.  I lose five minutes here, ten minutes there, and before I know it HP has woken up from his nap.  When I limit my social media I am able to better appreciate the time I do spend online and to use it in a way that augments, rather than detracts, from my life.

(2) To actively evaluate how to spend my time throughout the day.  This resolution may sound vague, but I mean it in a very specific way.  When HP goes down for a nap, I often do the easiest thing instead of the thing I most want to do.  For this month, when I am about to make a choice about how to spend my time I am going to stop ask myself, "What do I really want to do right now?"  One of Rubin's happiness paradoxes is that "happiness doesn't always make me feel happy", and I have a feeling I will need to invoke that wisdom often to uphold this resolution.  Sometimes prepping dinner will make me the happiest, because it means the late afternoon is not as chaotic.  And sometimes eating ice cream and watching an episode of The Good Wife is what I most need.  The purpose of this resolution is not to always make the most productive choice, but to actively engage in the decision making process so I am making the right choice.

February quickly slipping away.  So far, my February resolutions have been a big, fat fail.  I blame the sleep deprivation, but really, I should just blame myself.  There is no reason I can't implement these resolutions, even when I am tired.  Perhaps when I am making decisions I should more often consider that my time would be best spent napping.

Here's to a month (or three weeks) of making each moment count.

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