Life is so busy. There are so many distractions. So many things to keep your eye off the ball. It’s almost a full time job being an administrator of your own life. Everybody has their hand out wanting money. Bills keep coming in. Friends demand be Facebooked, MSN’ed, Twittered.
Then there’s the quality time that you must spend with your nearest and dearest. Not to mention if you also have a job to help keep the bread and butter on the table. HDTV’s and Iphones all tempt you to fritter away time, and if you’ve got kids (like me) you could go seriously bananas with all the possible myriads of distractions.
At the back of your mind though is the nagging thought that you must do something towards your life purpose, your grand dream, your big goal, the thing that you dream of doing above all other things. If you’re not careful you’ll start to beat yourself up over not doing the things you need to do to work on that too.
What can we do? What should we do?
For me the answer comes packaged in two short phrases:
“Pyjama Time” (or Pajama time if you prefer the US spelling)
“Just show up at the table”
These phrases were coined by my Wife, Cindy Wider, when she wrote her book “Paint In Your Pyjamas”
Often, when it comes to our big dreams and aspirations we think that we need to set aside big blocks of time to achieve them. We promise ourselves that one day we will reserve some uninterrupted time to work on them. The trouble is those big blocks of time never come. Life stays busy.
Pyjama Time refers to the small blocks of time that we have in our day to day lives that, if left unattended, can be just frittered away on other unimportant things. In a super busy life the trick is to be ready to recognise and grab these bits of time, and use them to progress on whatever goal we have in mind. These blocks of time might actually be when you are in your pyjamas (for instance, first thing in the morning before the rest of the family is awake) or during the day when you have a spare 5 minutes here or there, minutes that otherwise might be wasted by zoning out in front of the TV or picking up a trashy magazine.
To use your pyjama time effectively you need to set yourself up so that no matter where you are or what you are doing, if you spot some pyjama time, you are ready to use it effectively towards your big goal. The idea is that over an extended period of time all these little pyjama time moments add up until eventually you reach your goal.
The phrase ‘just show up at the table’ encourages me to do something towards my goal even when I have no idea how to achieve it or I am completely uninspired to do anything. For instance this morning I had no idea what I was going to write about, but that did not deter me from just showing up at the table (ie sitting down at my desk) knowing that the very act of doing so would make something happen, even if I did not know what that something was.
So if you’ve been promising yourself that you really should get on with creating some new artworks for that exhibition you’ve dreamed of, then why not try using your pyjama time and just show up at the table! Eventually all those little pyjama time moments will add up and you’ll find yourself at your own glittering art exhibition opening night. Surely that’s worth turning off the telly for (or whatever it is that you spend small spare moments doing right now).
That reminds me of an old Johnny Cash song that my parents used to play. “I took it one piece at a time, and it didn’t cost me a dime..”, referring of course to an entire Cadillac car that (in the song) was built by stealing one little piece at a time over a number of years.
Go on, steal some pyjama time for yourself, and just show up at the table. Off you go now. You’re wasting valuable pyjama time by reading this article any further!