What would you do with the gift of an hour?

What would you do with the gift of an hour?
For someone who is supposed to be slowing down and in control of my calendar, I have been failing miserably over the last several weeks. Well, maybe that is a slight over-exaggeration, but I have been busy. I have been working with clients and focusing on a few new projects I am excited about. The days are flying by, but the funny thing is that I have more energy at the end of the day than at the beginning of the day.
Yes, I know I say that now, but I am very aware that if I do not slow down and take time to relax and recharge, I will become less productive and less effective. So I began to think about adding some “me” time to my days and weeks. My goal is to give myself an hour a day to do what I want to do.
So Many Choices!
The first hour I set aside was dedicated to making a list of all the things I could do within an hour. The usual suspects showed up: meditate, exercise, begin journaling, read a book not related to business or coaching, process some of my pictures. Perhaps I could find out what I am missing as the only one in America who has not watched an episode of Ted Lasso. On that note, it is on my list as more and more of my friends, family, and clients are making references for which I have no clue. It is starting to bother me a bit.
The problem is that I have tried to accomplish this many times in the past, and despite knowing better, this hour is the first hour I am willing to give up every day. Finally, I recognized that if I was going to develop a new ritual, I had to change my mindset and think of my time in terms of being as valuable to myself as it is to the people asking for it.
The Gift of Time.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying something a little different, and so far, so good. Rather than set aside a specific time every day in one-hour chunks for predetermined activities, I wake up each morning and unwrap the gift of time.
Ok, so what does that mean? It means I get up, have a cup of tea, open up my journal to a blank sheet of paper and write down the most important things I can do for myself during the day—a 15-minute exercise. Then, satisfied with the list, I keep it where I can see it and begin my day.
Now that I am focused on doing those activities that I have identified as the most important to me that day, I am motivated to stick with the plan. Some days I have an hour available in a single block of time; other days it might be blocks of 15 to 30 minutes. The key is to align my goals with the time available and stick to the plan.

So far, so good, but there is work to be done.

It has been about three weeks since I have started and I am happy so far. At the end of the day, I take 10 minutes or so to look at what worked well and what changes do I need to make.
My biggest challenge is that I need to master the use of a shared calendar and keeping it up to date. I am starting to do a better job of blocking out small blocks of 15 and 30 minutes on my calendar, and on certain days have given myself a full hour right in the middle of the day! Shocking, I know, but somehow everyone looking for me found something else to do until I was available.
How about you?
What would you do with the gift of an hour a day spaced throughout your day? I invite you to give it a try and let me know how it works.
All of our time is valuable; in fact, it is the most valuable commodity we own. We all have a lot of people looking for our time; that is the reality. I submit that we are in the best position to share our time after giving ourselves the gift of time to relax, refocus, and taking care of ourselves.
Let me know what gifts you have unwrapped.
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