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What's in Ten Minutes?

Time. Of all the nonrenewable resources in our lives it is the one that people seem the most acutely aware of wasting and the least interested in saving. It is of great interest to me to observe how people pass through time, scuttling, lazing, bargaining, floating, or attempting to gain control (particularly of other’s time) whittling down their unknowable number of days and hours with pleasure, pain, boredom, and diversion. Watching the sands pass though other’s hands has a way of making one question one’s own use of time. How, as Mary Oliver asked, will you spend your one precious life?

This year, as I press into new projects, it would be easy for me to feel time as fleeting, a scarcity among my tasks. Only not. As I look forward into the year, the month, the coming days, I’m filled with a sense of expansive abundance that comes from the firm belief that the more consciously I consider my days, each of my precious moments, the larger they become.

Consider this; in every day there is at least one behavior mired in repetition, inefficiency, or lack of productivity, things like searching for keys, considering what to cook, or getting trapped by the over-talkative neighbor, something that planning, boundary setting, or a change of routine might eliminate. Perhaps this behavior, this tick of one’s day takes ten minutes. In a week, perhaps you lose an hour. In the course of a year, you have lost more than 50 hours. More than a full week of work, lost to a habit, inefficiency, or irritant.

Now, consider the effect of eliminating four of these from your life. In one year, you gain yourself a month or more of time. What could you accomplish? What skill might you learn? How much time might you have to devote to loved ones?

How might you change the world in ten minutes a day?


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