What is your relationship with time? Good, bad or indifferent?
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the time bandit often has you frustrated at how quickly the days, months and even years seem to disappear and how difficult it seems to get anything done in the time you want it done by!
Time always seems to be winning, it’s always ‘flying’ by- yet we are consistently surprised at how fast it goes. With the exception of summer, the time preceding the Christmas holidays seems to go the fastest of all, there is SOOOO much to do and we feel under pressure that we won’t be able to get everything done. That makes us not only less productive but less effective and less happy and less able to enjoy what we want to enjoy!
I have some good news and some bad news for you- which would you like first- of course, the bad news…you will never finish everything you have to do and the only time you will ever be ‘done’ all the things you have or want to do is when you are 6 feet under. Sorry to tell you that! BUT… the good news is that we can redefine time and this will allow us to potentially change everything!
James Gordon Gilkey said it best in my view and used less than 200 words to really sum up time:
‘Most of us think ourselves as standing wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyance, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us. At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure. We see ourselves as overdriven, overburdened, overtired.
This is a common mental picture and it is totally false. No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence. What is the true picture of your life? Imagine that there is an hour glass on your desk, connecting the bowl at the top with the bowl at the bottom is a tube so thin that only one grain of sand can pass through it at a time. That is the true picture of your life, even on a super busy day.
The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time. That is the only way they can come. The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file. You want to gain emotional poise?
Remember the hourglass, the grains of sand dropping one by one.’
What do you think about time? Whether you are trying to get out the door for soccer practice or attempting to squeeze in a work out, whether its getting out of the house early in the morning or winding the house down and crawling into bed- each moment holds the capacity to deliver a feeling of stress or peace.
Choose peace. Here’s how:
- Consider time your friend, not your nemesis. Shift the way you look at time and it will be much easier to ‘find’ time.
- Watch your words. Eliminate –‘ I’m late’, ‘I’ll never get finished,’ ‘I’m always rushing’, ‘I don’t have time’- all those phrases and more feed your subconscious mind with the information- ‘No time!!
- Program new thoughts- “There is exactly enough time to do what I have to do.” Believe it and go!
- Set a deadline. I will work on this project until 11:30. I will go to bed at 10:30 three nights a week. I will do my charting until 15 minutes past the hour. Remarkably our work expands to fit the amount of time we give it. Set a limit and stick to it, this will also help the procrastination!
- Relax. When it seems time is getting the best of you, take 2- 2 minutes to breathe consciously, 2 minutes to close your eyes, 2 minutes to stretch or move your body, 2 minutes to reframe the present situation and change the way you are thinking about time and you will change the way you feel about time.
In the end, we all have the same 1,440 minutes in our day. Those minutes will never be enough time to do everything we think we ‘should do’- but they are exactly the right number of minutes to do what we choose to do. Those minutes are just enough time to do the most high valued and pressing things on our agenda. We are one person with one minute at a time to ‘spend,’ we won’t get that time back and we can’t negotiate for anymore. So let’s work on updating our relationship with time, it is on our side, it is our friend and it is like a grain of sand passing through the hour glass-do one thing at a time.
A new relationship with time could be the greatest gift of all this holiday season! Enjoy, enjoy!