How should we use our time?



My internal silent alarm wakes me at 4 AM. I am an early riser, but this is the extreme end of my awake-ness. I worked out at the gym late last night. Logic would dictate that I’d sleep longer, but my body’s reaction is to sleep less and go deeper. So deep I cannot remember my dreams, which is something I’ve been working on doing lately – remembering my dreams to see what clues to my waking-life my subconscious might have for me.


I find when you begin to work with metaphors you have to pay attention to all of the signs, symbols, and omens that appear throughout your waking day and your non-waking day (daydreams, sleep, and fantasies). All of these offer clues to the bigger puzzle of your life and the purpose your life is meant to serve.


I asked the question early this week: ‘how do you deal with hurriedness?’

My days are filled with busyness. I’m sure you can relate. There’s a school of thought that says we should master the art of idleness instead. This, of course, runs counter to mainstream, western societal thought which cultivates us to “be productive” with our day – to try to fill every available time-slot with some useful activity to include working out, meditating, dropping the kids off at school, attending meetings, working on projects, getting the car fixed and the list goes on and on.

I want my days to drift.

I want to not have to hurry through an activity because there’s another activity coming up. I especially feel hurried on days when I have client work to tend to.

Like today.

Between 5 and 7 AM I have to (or rather feel compelled to) squeeze in my reading, writing, meditation, and physical exercise. My best time of the day is mornings, so if I wait to do these things later in the day, after work, then I do them in a less than optimal state, which is fine if I were just dabbling in these practices, but these things – reading, writing, meditating, working out – are super important to me so dabbling feels wrong, engaging in them in less than optimal state feels wrong. And so I cram them in between 5 and 7 AM, knowing that my day is then stacked up with activity until at least 8 PM.

On non-client days, I can be more leisurely with my time. I can drift from one activity to the next. But not without angst. In the back of my mind, my inner drill sergeant is yelling and screaming “You better get busy!! Look at you, you maggot sitting there reading a book. There’s shit that needs to get done! Move it maggot! Get shit done! After all, we live in a productive society where idleness is frowned upon!”

While I do get to drift on non-client days, it’s an anxious drift.


The rain is beginning to fall. The sound of motors passing underneath my window is beginning to occur more frequently. The busy hours approach. It is a client day for me and as I glance up from the keyboard, I see the clock is on 06:59. Time to get busy.

I’m heading to the shower now with this question on my mind:

How should we use our time?


To help you answer that try this death meditation:

Imagine you are told you definitively have one year left to live, what would you do with your time?

Now imagine you have 6 months left, what would you do with your time then?

Next, imagine you only had one month left to live, what would you do with your final 30 days?

And if you had one day left, what would you do?

And finally, imagine you have one hour left to live, what would you do with your final hour?

Peace, out! – Clay

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