The Last Word

By Nicholas Griffen | Posted: Monday June 12, 2017

Imagine you were given $1,440 per day, and were told that at the end of each day, whatever you didn't spend, would be taken off you.

Surely no one here would spend a couple of hundred dollars, and happily hand over $1,200 at the end of the day. We would use every dollar, or invest it in things that would still have value tomorrow. This is effectively the case with time. Each day we have 1440 minutes, and each day it resets. Any wasted time is not given back.

I'm sure some of you have heard this idea before, and I think that this is a powerful concept. But I don't want to just leave you with a concept, and for nothing to change.

There are many things we all can do to make many little gains in our enjoyment, contentment, intelligence, health, and fulfilment, and our use of time relates to these.

When I ask people what they did in the weekend, overwhelmingly, the answer is nothing. I understand that when we have busy weeks, we need time to relax and rejuvenate. But when we look back on a week and sum it up as school work and nothing, we don't feel fulfilled or excited about life. We need to pursue passions, hobbies, relationships, and look to better ourselves. Some "nothing" is nice, but too much "nothing" breaks the productive routine we establish in a school week, and becomes very unfulfilling.

When we sit down to binge watch our favourite shows, we are constantly nagged by the voice in our head that tells us we should be doing an assignment due in the near future. And when we get in that binge watch mode, it becomes very difficult to snap out and find the patience to focus on school work. We end up not enjoying our free time as much, and are plagued with disappointment and guilt afterwards. When we take a different approach, the outcome changes. If we start with the productive tasks, do what needs to be done, and do it in manageable chunks, our work becomes more efficient, and our downtime becomes more relaxing and enjoyable.

Reading is one of many great changes you can make to your own routine. We all know that reading for at least 20 minutes each day has wonderful benefits; we also know that using our phones and social media before bed makes it more difficult to unwind and go to sleep; and of course, we know that if we lack sleep, it is very hard for our brains and bodies to function properly. So, I propose, the first change we make, is head to bed in good time, put your phone out of reach, and unwind with a bit of reading in bed.

I know that sometimes it is more fun, easier, and tempting to reach for the phone instead of a book. But as the very wise old man, Albus Dumbledore, once said, "There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy, and what is right."