Wyo4News Switchbacks: The gift that keeps on ticking


By Ryan
Wyo4News feature writer

They are not making any more of it. You can’t stop it. You can’t save it. You can only spend or invest it. It’s your time. It is one of the more expensive gifts you will give this season. And it seems as though everyone wants some of it.

Your family, friends, employer, and even your government want a piece of your calendar. You will likely work a job or own a business thereby trading your time for an income. You will either be invited or expected to be present at any number of events. You will soon spend a significant amount of time working for the government. It’s called tax season.

There is no way to stop spending time. It keeps extracting its toll whether you feel like it or not. If you are having a bad day, time will still pass. There are no mulligans when it comes to time. So a few thoughts…


Invest Time instead Of Spending It.

Time is a lot like our bank account. It is impossible to stop the outflow, but we can direct it. You cannot slow the passage of your life, but you can choose where it is best invested.

You could invest in some rest. It is difficult to enjoy the time you spend if you are exhausted or burned out. So finding time to rest is important. But, I think rest is hard. Often, we get so tired that all we can do is stop and distract ourselves. I am coming to find that if rest only comes when we have no choice but to collapse, we have pushed ourselves too far. Rest isn’t collapsing. It isn’t a distraction from our normal responsibilities, either. Rest is mindful. It is constructive. Rest helps us order and nurture our inner world. It enables us to reconstruct our thoughts, beliefs, and values. It is likely not true for everyone, but for me, rest is setting something in order. It helps me to bring order to something or create something. Somehow it helps me bring order and creativity to my inner world. Rest is a very wise investment of your time.

Submitted photo

Focus is another great investment. We often find ourselves spread far too thin. We say that we are “multitasking”, but are we? We say it with pride, but often we are just doing lots of things poorly. Of course, we often end up with lots of tasks that aren’t really necessary or valuable. I once read a Dilbert comic that stated it this way.  “If it is not worth doing at all, then it’s worth doing poorly.” That’s no way to live.

The rewards of mindfulness and focus are many. When we focus on something, our stress decreases. Multitasking has been proven to increase our stress and make us feel overwhelmed. 

Focus improves our motivation, efficiency, engagement, and our attitude. It helps us feel that we have some control and that is calming to us.

Rest and Focus could be a powerful one-two punch for our time. Rest would restore our energy and inner strength. Focus helps us concentrate that energy on valuable pursuits.


One other idea.

Be kind to your calendar.

I tire of hearing people say, “You have to prioritize.”  It’s true; we do need priorities. We need to work on the best things. But we can only do so much. So many good things are leeching away our time. We must make time for the best things while letting go of lesser activities.

My point is, do less. Schedule less, plan less, and free up your calendar. We can’t complete five priorities at the same time. We can’t get to everything and everyone.  And, if you somehow manage it, you will likely not enjoy the experience. Exhaustion will be your reward, not the feeling of accomplishment. 

So be kind to your calendar. A little margin in your life will free up time to enjoy the pleasant surprises life often delivers.