How to Control the Hours in Your Day

Time is an illusion. It runs from us, or it adheres to us. People watch the hours of the day slip through their fingers, so they think time controls them. We’ve all heard those around us say, “There aren’t enough hours in the day!” But this is a myth. No matter how much we have to do, there are enough hours in each day.

The way to take control of our day is to write things down. This idea may seem inconsequential if you have three children, a full time job and an elderly parent to take care of. However, writing things down actually aids in stress reduction because it assists with memory. The physical act of writing brings the information to the forefront of your brain.

Hence, you are more likely to complete your to-do list once it’s transferred out of your mind and onto a piece of paper. The less clutter and fewer clusters of competing thoughts we have racing through our minds, the more lucidity we will have. Creativity and solutions to problems are both achieved during moments of clarity. We actually become more productive when the racing mind slows its momentum.

Thoughts are a very natural part of the mind’s existence. However, we can exert a strong degree of control over whether these thoughts are chaotic and stress-producing, or well-ordered and beneficial. The point is to simplify. And when we organize what is going on inside of us, everything on the outside falls into place.

In line with keeping it simple, it’s important to not add too much to our to-do lists. Taking on a lot of tasks can seem both possible and necessary in the beginning, but after a while, it can backfire on us. Taking small steps will get you to your destination more surely than a series of death-defying leaps.

A fulfilled life is a series of fulfilling days. And you will be even more contented once you prioritize your to-do list. Once the daily obligations for work and family are completed, do the next most important thing on your list. This technique helps to control the mind, which generally likes to take the lazy way out, procrastinating and just getting by.

But ‘just getting by’ is a mindset that does leads not to advancement, but to stagnation. To discipline your mind by taking control of your to-do list is to gain mastery over your day, and in time, over your life. We do have the time for everything we want to accomplish. Becoming aware of where our time is going is a huge step in the right direction.

The next time you go on social media or begin to surf the Internet, observe how long you stay on; then, gradually decrease this time during future sessions. Set yourself a certain number of minutes to view your feed. And then once you’ve reached that reasonable limit, turn off your device and go about your day. Keep doing this until it becomes habit. If your phone is a distraction due to texts and emails continually coming in, turn it off for 30, 60 or 90 minutes until you complete the task at hand.

It’s these trivial distractions, many lasting less than a minute, that add up to lost hours in your day. Phones and other gadgets should be there for our convenience, not to ruin our lives. But we need to remember this if we are to take back ownership of our time.

There are 168 hours per week. If you use 50 hours for work and commuting, 56 hours for sleep and 20 hours for meals, that leaves you with 42 extra hours per week. That is six extra hours per day. So the time is available. It is up to us how we decide to use it.