Over the weekend, I deleted the Facebook app on my phone. This may not sound like earth-shattering news, but for me, it was a critical step in reclaiming my focus and time. I’m relatively new to Facebook, having joined only ten months ago; but in this short span, I have felt a dramatic shift in how I spend my time and what I’m thinking about. What used to be time for reading, writing and reflection, I traded in for sifting through Facebook each day. It was far from an even trade as my grounding introspection time was replaced by an endless maze that consistently left me feeling scattered and ironically disconnected.
There are many pros of Facebook, and I do appreciate these. One can still reap the benefits of social media without constantly being connected to it, though. Doing a check-in on my computer once every day or two, versus checking obsessively on my phone throughout each day will help me reclaim my time and return to what has been rejuvenating for my most of my life – reading, writing, and reflecting.
Our time is limited.
Our time is precious.
Our time should be cherished, protected, and spent with intention.
We’re now in our second week of Elul, the Jewish month dedicated to closely examining our lives. As we go through this process, it’s essential that we take a closer look at how we’re spending our time.
Saying No and Letting Go: Jewish Wisdom on Making Room for What Matters Most (By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg) is an excellent book to help you refocus your values and reclaim your time. The premise of this book is the Jewish concept of tzimtzum, which is empty space. “We all have limited resources, especially when it comes to time (the same 168 hours a week for everyone);” writes Rabbi Goldberg, “there may be nothing more important than figuring out what are our top priorities and releasing our hold on everything else.”
It’s without question incredibly challenging to create empty space with our time and with anything; but it’s critical that we do because how we spend our time is how we spend our life.
I encourage you to honestly examine how you’re spending your time, and see if there are any shifts you can make to move you closer to your true values and how you really want to be in the world. It won’t work if you are focused on how other people spend their time. This is your life, and your time is limited. Spend it wisely. Spend it intentionally. Spend it joyfully.