I found a great article at TheJewishWoman.org, “How Can I Use Every Minute Productively?” The author, Rosally Saltsman, was responding to a “Dear Rachel” question asking how to best use time.
She answered, “It is true that Judaism puts a lot of stress on using our time productively. We see this in the way the Torah describes Abraham and David reaching old age. The verses say that they were ‘coming with their days.’ In other words, they reached old age with a life that was filled with days, each used to the fullest.”
Saltsman, aka Rachel, added, “ ‘More than the Jewish people have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jewish people,’ goes the famous saying. Separate yourself from the demands of the week (and the Internet) for one day a week, and you are setting the tone of the rest of the week.
“We use our time best when we live a life of purpose – doing mitzvahs, learning Torah and contributing to tikkun olam (the rectification of this world and our portion in it). However, we also need to make sure that we are recharging our batteries so that we have enough energy to serve God.”
Here are my suggestions for staying active, productive and focused:
• As the new year begins and many are back in school, organization and planning will keep you on track. There are too many details to keep in your head, and even with the best memory, things can fall through the cracks.
• Take time for self-care. This includes eating well, meditation, prayer, time alone to reflect, and doing something that brings you a sense of peace.
• Keep your vision strong. Have an overview of what you want to achieve this year. Look at the intangibles first, the essence qualities. Are they peace, comfort, support, joy, security, freedom, creativity? Then ask yourself: What are the tangibles that will bring me those qualities?
In my book “Pathfinding,” I wrote, “If we could slow down enough to catch ourselves, we would sense our eternal connection with the present. We would realize the present moment is the only moment we have. To lose a sense for the present is to lose a sense for the future.
“Living fully in the present means changing your sight into insight. And as your insight deepens, you will sense the value of each moment. You can discover the value of the precious present right now.”
PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an award-winning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin” show, a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.