Step 1: Learn the art of doing nothing
We must start off with a condition: if you want more time because you want to do more, then you don’t really want more time, you want the ability to do more. It’s actually quite rude to time to want more of it as a means to another end. It is kind of like wanting a girlfriend solely to have someone help with dishes, not cool. To want more time you have to want what time offers, which is dramatically and simply itself. To truly have more time you must learn to appreciate time through the art of doing nothing.
The art of doing nothing is both simple and challenging – it is literally just enjoying, playing, meandering, flowing. You are probably not very good at doing nothing, because most of us were coached extensively to stop doing nothing. But let’s give a simple beginning, you could begin doing nothing by walking outdoors – but not as a to do list item, meaning not as a task to complete, meaning there is no destination or assigned pace or gate. Maybe you stop at a neighbors house to chat and your walk becomes a chat, maybe you see a flower you want to smell and your walk becomes a olfactory experience, maybe you find a nice place to sit and you watch the clouds move and the grass wave. You have no task in mind you are simply doing nothing and enjoying time. Time loves this.
This first step is essential because if you’ve not yet learned to do nothing, you will never find more time. Time hides in nothingness, and comes to those that appreciate it, that ask nothing of it, that luxuriate in its nothingness and everything-ness.
Step 2: Need Less
Needing less equals less money you have to make, which equals less work you need to do. Less things also equals less time spent taking care of those extraneous things ie. less square footage means less vacuuming, less clothes means less laundry, less shelves means less dusting, less cars means less oil changes, etc. Needing less is the basis of the Tiny House movement and minimalism movement, but you don’t need to live in a tiny house to have a revolution. You can live in a smaller house, buy things less, and get rid of things more often. Simple, but also challenging.
Needing less in this day and age is a skill, a rebellion, a revolution. Sharply recognize that society will sell you any lie to make you feel you need more. These lies looks shiny and neat and oh so convincing, but they are robbing you of time. Stop listening.
We all come into this world needing very little. We need to be held, to be loved, to be fed, to feel joy, kept safe and kept clean-ish (we don’t need to be squeaky).
Step 3: Do Less
We love to do, it is why most people want more time, but doing tends to take on a life of its own and all of a sudden you are doing so much that you feel you have no time. You go from one activity to another, without any nothingness in between (and we know how important nothing is). Doing less isn’t about never doing, rather it is taking a good hard look at the whirlwind constant doing can pull you into. Taking a step back from doing is necessary to get your footing.
When you learn to need less – with a smaller house, a simpler mode of transportation, less shopping, less stuff – you automatically do less. You can even work less. Working less and doing less creates time.
Another way to do less is by lessening your extra curricular activities if they are happening on autopilot and in a whirlwind. You must ask yourself, “does this activity help me enjoy time or do I feel like I am losing time?” If it’s hard to tell, you might need a “doing” detox to discover what you actually enjoy. A “doing” detox can look like reading less, interneting less, less self-improvement, less social engagements, less television, check email less, check social media less, etc. You might even find yourself bored at first, but it is safe to say that if you always have something to do, you have not yet learned to create more time. Boredom, stillness, and curiosity are the fertile ground of time.
Step 4: Be More
Doing and being can look quite similar from the outside. Don’t be fooled. Doing takes time, while being makes time. You could be in a social engagement as “doing” or as “being”. It could be adding time to your life or taking it away. Doing has a planned trajectory with a goal, its intricacies require time. Being is not planned, not forced, not exerted. The trajectory and goal are unbeknownst and “unbecarest” to the be-er, for they are simply being, flowing with life.
If a social engagement, a book, a walk, or any activity asks you to gain a specific merit, this is a sign you are “doing”. If you must end up more wise, more liked, more understood, more giving, more accomplished, this is a clear sign that you have added yet another activity to your to “do” list, and to “do” lists take time, not make.
In being, which is closely related to the art of doing nothing, you can feel the essence of time. Time becomes palpable. Time begins to spin a web right before you, and you have learned to create more of it. This essence of time is, in fact, always here, but in our “doing” states we cannot sense it, cannot feel it, cannot appreciate it and cannot have more of it. In doing, our focus on a goal and narrative takes us right out of time. In being, time unfolds itself to us, unwrapping like the present. To be or not to be is the question, and the answer is time.