Day 10 – Invest in Joy

One time I served as the chair of a marketing committee at my temple. And if you know anything about volunteer groups, then you know that trying to wrangle a group of people who aren’t paid is challenging. But despite this I mostly enjoyed my work.

Things changed when a woman who was on our committee but hardly ever came, started showing up. She was our graphic designer, and she had opinions. Within a few months she was making every meeting very difficult. Everything was a point of contention. And on top of everything else if I disagreed with her, she would take it out on us by dragging her feet on assignments. Suffice it to say I was miserable.

So I went to a good friend with my problem. I told him that I hated running the committee. The woman seemed to confront me for no reason, and the joy I felt for being of service had been completely sucked out of the process. Which is when he asked me why I was still doing it. I told him I was doing it because being being of service made me feel good. To which he replied, “Why do something that makes you feel good but that also makes your life miserable?”

I realized he was right. And within a week I tendered my resignation and stepped down from the committee.

The Story of the Moral
So what’s the moral of the story: Life is too short to do things that make you miserable.

Yet we do this to ourselves all the time. We invest time and energy into things that don’t bring us joy and instead bring us misery. But we keep doing them because in theory they make us happy, but theory and practice are very different things.

So for today’s challenge you’re going to look at the things you do in your free time to figure out whether or not they actually make you feel better.

Challenge #10 – Invest in Joy

1. Practice:

Sit down and make a list of all the things you do in your free time. My list would likely include:

  • Spend time with my partner
  • Watch movies with friends
  • Exercise
  • Poke around on Facebook
  • Meditate
  • Clean
  • Play with my cat
  • Etc.

It doesn’t have to include everything, just things you generally do when you aren’t working.

Now go over your list and next to each item I want you to write pluses or a minuses depending on how good (or bad) each item makes you feel.

For example:
I really like spending time with my partner so I would put ( +++ ) by it.
And while I often poke around on Facebook it doesn’t actually make me feel better so I might put a ( – ) by it.
And while I don’t love cleaning it makes me feel better so I might put a ( +- ) by it because I have mixed feeling

2. Reflect:

Now look at this list of how you invest your free time and compare it to how good each item makes you feel. What do you notice?

When I looked at my list I realized that playing with my cat makes me feel really good, but I don’t do it very much. So that’s something I’m going to spend more time doing.

Then consider these questions:

  • Why don’t I spend more time doing things that make me feel good?
  • Why do I invest time into things that make me feel bad or neutral?
  • How would I feel if I spent more time doing my ++ or +++ activities?
  • And less on – ones?

3. Share:

Please share in one or all of these ways.

  1. Blog – Write a post about your plus and minus activities and why you rated them as you did. Or write about what this challenge taught you.
  2. Post – Post one +++ activity that you want to spend more time doing and why. Remember to #30dayhappy an to post to our Facebook Group –
  3. Comment – ask a question, share a thought, or tell me why you didn’t like this challenge.

For Further Reading On This Topic Check Out:


15 Mins or This Post Explodes

Time post eWrite Something Meaningful in 15 Mins or Less.
So, I have three blog posts to write today. (Which is the direct result of procrastination.) So, I’m going to try and write this post in 15 mins (To be honest it was 10 but I couldn’t do it) and edit in 5 mins. And get it posted in 30 mins.

I’m not sure if this will work, but I appreciate your patience with me as I try it out.

Awareness of Time
Ever since I started my own business I’ve been much more aware of time.

There are advantages to being your own boss, like getting to watch the daily show while doing your own lunch dishes. But there are disadvantages too, like ending up watching an hour of daily shows you missed, instead of actually doing work.

Mime Tanagement
I’ve realized that managing time is one of the most challenging things anyone can do. Every person I talk to seems to have the same dilemma.

Time is our most valuable resource. More money can be printed, gold could be discovered on Mars, but time is universally limited.

No Respect
Ironically, the other problem is we don’t respect its limitations.

We treat time as if it were monopoly money. I can spend hours watching mindless YouTube videos, playing envy bingo on Facebook, or just lying around flipping through the channels.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like …
So, what do we do about time?
From one perspective is very limited and another perspective abundant.

The Biggest Enemy of Time is Distraction
If you can learn to focus on what you are doing for a discreet amount of time you can master any task. This is the skill that ancient yogis used for mediation, and pro athletes use when they perform at their peak.

The trick to learning this is to start small. I use the Pomodoro technique (sort of) and I’ve found it helps me stay focused. In fact, I’m using it right now.

Waste Time
The other enemy of time is stress.

Stress is what leads to distraction and procrastination. If we hate what we are doing, we will find a way to avoid it.

So to avoid unintentional distraction, it’s essential to engage in intentional distraction.

Take regular breaks from your work and take at least one day off a week.

Eat Better
What does eating have to do with time?
First, if you eat better you will most likely live longer.
Second, cooking for yourself gives you time, because you get to do something productive and it’s an act of self-care.

Self Care + Productivity = TIME BONUS
By doubling up on simple tasks like this you actually get more done and feel, better about your life.

Again, exercise will help you live longer, but exercise also reduced stress so it’s a double up activity.

In addition, something amazing happens when you exercise regularly. Your body and mind function better. This higher level of efficiency pays off in the form of more functional time.

That’s it I have to put down my pencil now.