What My 2-Year-Old Taught Me About Time Management

My 2-year-old loves watermelon. It’s not uncommon for her to fill her mouth with watermelon cubes to the point of gagging. Watermelon is to her what Lucky Charms are to Leprechauns.

A few nights ago at dinner Angela was stuffing her mouth with watermelon. As we were watching (and laughing) my wife said something pretty insightful to her that probably went right over her head:

“Just because you have space doesn’t mean you should fill it.”

I thought that was a great statement about watermelon and time management.

Most people I talk to are pretty busy. Between work, their spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, kids, house, finances, hobbies, etc we all seem to be clamoring for time. And what free time we get we end up filling with TV, social media, or running errands.

But what if we decided to do something different?

What if, instead of filling every second with activity like my daughter tries to fill every square inch of her mouth with watermelon, we left some time open?

What if we intentionally created space by giving something up?

What if whatever it is we’re trying to get from all our activity doesn’t come from activity, but space? What if less movement and more margin create a better life?

A lot of us think we have to wait till later to have space or get permission to rest. But you don’t. You are the only person who needs to give yourself breathing room and now is the right time to take it.

Some of you might push back on this idea of scheduling time for nothing. And that’s fair. But let me ask you: Has filling all your time made life more meaningful or less meaningful? Probably less. And here’s why:

Space helps you live life at a happier pace.

It’s uncomfortable, at first, because we’re so used to going and running and doing all the time. But the more we slow down, the more available we become, the more we experience the fulfillment we thought always being on the move would bring us.

* * *

What’s one thing you can give up today so you can live at a healthier pace tomorrow?

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