I don’t usually schedule early morning meetings, but sometimes I have to.
There’s a certain feeling I get when I’m getting ready for a morning meeting: the feeling of running out of time.
I really do not like this feeling!
Maybe my meeting is at 8:00. A little mental math says I’ve got to be on the train at 7:40, which means I have to leave the house by 7:20. Fine.
I have a little list of things in my head that I want to do before that deadline, before I have to walk out the door.
Maybe it goes like this: feed the dog, have breakfast, take a shower, write a few emails, whatever. You’ve got your own list. You know what I’m talking about.
At some point, I realize I’m not going to get to everything on my little list. I’m running out of time.
And guess what? It doesn’t matter.
At least, it doesn’t matter for that list.
What About Our Other Lists?
Other than feeding the dog, the “stuff to do before my morning meeting” list is pretty inconsequential.
I’ve got another list though, and I’ve been thinking about it more often lately.
I have a sort of mental list of things I want to do in my life, and I’m starting to freak out about running out of time.
I have a fear of wasting my time doing uninteresting things or spending my time with uninteresting people. I think about this a lot.
My biggest fear is that I will die before I do everything I want to do.
I’ve told people this before, and one common response is, “But you’re so young. You don’t have to worry about that yet!”
Which always makes me think, “Ok, so when am I supposed to start worrying about it?”
I realize that’s not the right question, though.
A Better Question
Instead I’m trying to ask myself, “How can I best spend my time?”
I think about the fact that I’ll never get this day again. I’ll never get this sunrise again, this time sitting in the sun in a park. I’ll never get them back, so I better enjoy the hell out of those things. I better not waste them.
Yesterday I had a really nice day, the kind that puts a stupid smile on my face that won’t go away. I was laying in bed falling asleep last night, replaying the day in my head, thinking about everything I did and all the people I connected with.
I started doing something I don’t normally do. I started to imagine how my day would be different if I could go back and do it over.
Would I have done it the same way?
Was there a conversation I had that I wish I’d cut shorter?
Was there a conversation I wish I’d made more time for?
Did I do anything I wouldn’t want to do again?
Did I run out of time?
I don’t normally rank my experiences like that, but it’s not a bad idea. It would help me make more conscious decisions about how to spend my time. I’m thinking I’ll do it as an experiment.
What do you think?
What’s on your list?
How do you make the most of your days?