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One of my favour new singers, Olivia Dean, made a comment recently. She shared her thoughts on time. The idea of the value of time. How we aren't taught about it, in a capitalist society, we say so often 'oh that's good value for money'... how we are always looking for deals, what money can get us, whether it's been spent well. Whether we can pat ourselves on the back. When not much thought or conversation goes into how we spend our time.

So, I thought about this phrase:

'Good value for time'

If we replaced the concept of money with our time, things would flip. Time is the most precious thing we have. It's also limited. I don't want you to read this and feel your anxiety spike, that's not the point. However, it could be a way to reframe things, in a world moving so fast, we are all trying so hard, just keeping on top of things.

How would we spend our time, if it was in our hands, like a bundle of notes, or jangling in our pockets like pound coins?

Would you spend your time worrying, probably not... that's valuable points spent there...

Would you stay glued to your laptop, trying to hit work targets on a day that's already been too long? Maybe not.

Sometimes we don't have a choice. Sometimes we have to do that job, work those long hours. Do the laundry at midnight. The system has been built to keep you busy. Keep you working.

Nowhere is perfect, but in some places, they value time, they see that every human deserves time. The 4-day week, or prioritising quality of life over material things. That life shouldn't been wasted so quickly. However, this isn't a political rant(maybe another time).

But I wanted to offer this phrase to you, whoever is reading this blog... maybe adopt it for a week.. catch yourself, and ask 'Is this good value for time'... am I happy spending my time points on this?

I don't want this idea to mean you have to be doing, achieving, actioning or on the go, goodness, that's not the point. But I think it helps you commit to the moment.

Your honest answers might be surprising. For example:

On Monday, I was tired. Like really tired. I decided to slowly manage some work, then I rested, a yin practice, and then tea on the sofa watching a good period drama... initially I felt guilty, then I asked myself 'value for time?' In that moment I realised more than anything I just wanted to rest, be with my cat, on the sofa as the rain fell lightly outside. I was aware of the time points I was using. So I committed to the moment, somehow my guilt ebbed away and I felt much calmer and in turn, woke on Tuesday feeling refreshed and ready to go(and use up more time points!). I could also flip this, other times, I've asked myself how do I want to spend my time points, and I turn off the TV, or change what I'm doing, I'll choose to play the guitar, or write a poem or read my book.

So, the mind, now this one isn't so straightforward, and I don't want to ever give the impression you can think away stress, anxiety or mental health. But the amount of times I look back, and think 'god I wasted time worrying about that'. I think some "worry" can actually be helpful, if it's calm, logical, and perhaps a journey towards an outcome, but sometimes my mad-blind-worry-lets-make-up-ridiculous-stories-that-are-ludicrious has been a massive waste. Like, imagine pouring a jar full of pound coins down the drain-waste. Yup, That.

So, when I catch myself, my mind wandering into spaces unknown, that aren't helpful. I might stop, 'Is this value for money'. Often I might say no. OR, I'll make it more constructive, I'll get my journal out, write it down or call a mate. Perhaps I'll brainstorm or even do a guided meditation, or go for a run.

We have to be part of society, we have to play the game, pay the rent, buy the food. So I don't want you to feel discouraged or scared about time passing(again not the aim of the new phrase game!). But how we use up our time is precious and I guess in turn, how we use up any spare cash we might have is part of it too...

I'm not sure I can reach a natural conclusion about this, but give it a try and let me know how you get on.


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