In the last two articles I have introduced the concept of freedom. In the first article, I discussed the many ways in which, the society we live in, tires to usurp our freedom right from birth and In the second article I introduced the first step to becoming free which is cultivating awareness of how society is designed to rob us of our freedom. In third article I discussed the importance of creating space in your life by letting go of what does not serve you mentally and physically. This week I will discuss how to create time for yourself.
There are many demands on our time, which come from responsibilities and expectations that society puts on us. These include working to earn, our responsibilities to our children and families and daily chores and tasks. It is easy to lose track of time and lose ourselves in the busyness of everyday life, however it does not serve us in the long run. When we lose ourselves in routine, mundane daily tasks, we lose sense of who we are and why we are here. I’m not saying that work, family and errands are not important for us to be able to function in the physical world but in the midst of it all we need to schedule personal time.
Now, I realize that this is difficult to do when we have so many responsibilities, as I have outlined above, which is why I suggest taking this time for ourselves in the early morning. The famous author Robin Sharma wrote a book recently called the 5 AM Club, in which he discusses this concept of personal time early in the morning. The idea is that we get so busy when our usual day begins that we need to take our personal time first thing in the morning, which is where the idea of getting up at 5 AM comes from.
He suggests that we take the first hour of the day, at 5 AM, and spend in on our selves to set ourselves up for success during the day. After hydrating with lemon water, he breaks this first hour into 20 minute segments in which the first segment is spent in a stillness practice such as meditating or nature connection. The second segment is spent stretching, doing yoga, strengthening, walking or some other form of exercise. The third segment is spent in cultivating your mind and intellect either through reading or listening to an educational podcast.
By doing this one hour exercise first thing in the morning you ensure that you won’t make any excuses for taking daily personal time, which is easier to do as the day progresses and you get busier. Now, it is ultimately up to you how you use your hour and the above breakdown is only a suggestion but you must take the first hour for yourself. What you will find is that you will be able to reflect and recharge to set yourself up for success throughout the rest of your day.
You cannot be free unless you create time for yourself which is why this one hour practice, first thing in the morning is so crucial. If 5 AM is too early for you then you should get to sleep earlier in the evening to ensure you get enough sleep. If you start work later you may be able to start your one hour at 6 AM. The important thing is that you start this practice right away with the space you created with the last practice.
In the next article, I will continue this freedom series with ideas to set yourself on the path to freedom.
Dr. Nauman Naeem