"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..86,400…..

Over 4 years ago, your scribe took a look at this number. With only 56 days left to double 20’s, I took some time to revisit and revise a M5T for this most important numeral. I really don’t like the saying “time flies”. It doesn’t fly – it’s constant, unchanging, and we receive the gift of 86,400 seconds each and every day. We either make the most of them, or we waste them. The problem with wasting time is that we can’t carry over squandered seconds into the next day. We get a fresh deposit of the same amount of time each and every day. As I dealt with deadlines this past week, I got thinking about ways that some of those precious 86,400 seconds got wasted.

1. Worry.

I don’t do this much, but when I do, wow, worry and anxiety about things I can’t affect change seriously cuts into my daily deposit of 86,400. Worry may be the single greatest waste of time that we can engage in. Worry usually magnifies situations way out of proportion. It is negative and counterproductive to getting things accomplished within your daily allotment of 86,400. Rather use those precious seconds to focus on what you can change, release what you have no control over and prepare to anticipate change to avoid getting caught off guard.

2. Fixating on the past or the future.

Dwelling on past hurts; obsessing on those should have, could have moments. Plans need to be made to achieve goals and objectives, but when inflated fantasies of grandeur, preoccupying over things that are either unimportant or do not contribute to what you want to accomplish, or take away from the importance of the moment, simply waste your time. Rather, learn to balance the here and now with where you want to be tomorrow.

3. Hitting the snooze button.

This may not be an issue for you early risers out there when it comes to getting out of bed, but how often do we hit the snooze button mentally through the day and choose to put off more important decisions? Yeah, that would be called procrastination. Procrastination makes tasks and issues harder to deal with. Leaving things to the last-minute results in rushed and less than optimal results. It is likely than not, rooted in fear, perfectionism, self-sabotage, being overwhelmed, tediousness or perhaps some combination of the bunch. Rather, force your way through procrastination. Develop a sense of urgency to matters that matter. Admit that you, and whatever you are working on, will never be perfect. Never. Accept anxiety and work through it. Make things happen.

4. Social media.

How much time do you spend each day on Facebook, Instagram, or mindlessly surfing the web? Damn those kitten and puppy videos. And goats. What’s with the goats? Netflix? Amazon Prime? Time spent staring at screen on your couch? Video games? I’m all for a good binge of a great show, or time out to enjoy a great movie, but if these become habits that waste our 86,400, they become negative influences in our lives. Rather, take back some of that time to read, to exercise, to learn, to develop or focus on something creative, or to simply think about positive things. Turn off the ‘bing’ of your email and develop a system read and answer them on your time not on the immediate demands of others.  There isn’t much that can’t wait 30 or 60 minutes for a response.

5. Toxicity.

Toxic people are destructive, cruel, judgmental, arrogant, typically gossipers, envious of you and others, and will try to drag you into their sphere of deleterious thinking and negative worldview. Toxic people will use and try to manipulate you, drain your energy and emotions, and focus only on themselves. Rather, be aware of how toxic people are affecting your life. Distance yourself from them or remove them from your life entirely. Learn to walk away from negativity, refuse to engage in gossip. Surround yourself with positive people that genuinely care about you and that you can reciprocate that trust, love, and encouragement.

Here’s to making the most of your 86,400 today and for each day going forward.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com