These last 2 months have been action packed with some of the busiest weeks that I’ve experienced in quite while. We moved, my client load increased, I spent a weekend riding my bike 145 miles for a good cause, and summer plans with family obligations kicked into full gear. I’ve found myself coming to terms with a lot of choices and concepts lately: one of which is the concept of time.
I’ve caught myself thinking things like, “If I only had a little bit more time… I would get more sleep (or unpack 3 more boxes, or clean that room, or call that client, etc).”
The brutal truth is, NONE of us are getting any more time. Not one more moment, second, or hour. There is no more time to be found under your bed, or behind that curtain, or down the street in someone else’s house. You and I are graced with the same 24 hours every day, and it marches on despite our best efforts.
I was reminded of this when we moved this past weekend. Waking up at 5am every day didn’t change the amount of boxes or piles that needed to be moved. As moving day progressed, it was clear that time wouldn’t shift when I needed it to. I was reminded over and over again that I had no influence on how quickly or slowly the day progressed. It would move on, with or without my efforts.
Want some help managing how you spend your time? Below are three concepts that might help you alter your interactions with time:
Foster a Good Relationship
A real question lies in our relationship with time. How do you ‘get along’ with time? Are you friends or foes? Do you find yourself always catching up, mostly late, and frustrated with how time isn’t on your side? Then I hate to break it to you – you don’t have a great relationship with time.
If your relationship with time isn’t positive, it will end up influencing you like a bad relationship with another person – it will leave you feeling defeated, hurt, or frustrated.
Do you, and can you learn to see time differently? Can you see it as something to respect and work with … versus always working against it?
A relationship is built on respect and trust… and it works the same way with time. How many times have your felt frustrated or hurt because someone was late to an important event or asked for something at work at the last possible minute. Why is that? It’s because time revolves around respect – respecting our own and others’ time.
Ask yourself – am I respecting others time when I make appointments with them? If you normally show up late, there is a chance you are inadvertently sending a message that you believe your time is more valuable than theirs. Is that the kind of message you want to be sending?
Make Hard Choices
Every single day we are faced with thousands of little decisions and choices that we make: What to wear, which way to drive to work, what to type in an email, etc. ALL day long we are making choices. We are subconsciously saying “YES” to something and “NO” to another….over and over.
The same concept is in play with our time. Every time you make a choice to add something to your “to do” list, you are making a choice. Every moment of every day you have some level of free will and choice as to your time. Is something personal of yours a high priority? Maybe that means you have to say no to a friend’s party or work event.
Our choices represent our priorities – like it or not. If we prioritize work, we will choose to spend time on it over other personal responsibilities.
I’m not in the business of making you feel guilty for your choices; I have plenty of nights where the TV takes priority. I do, however, believe that we all need to take responsibility for our choices. They are ours alone to make, and ours alone to own.
Time is extremely tricky – I get it. But the truth is… you aren’t getting any more of it. None.
So what are you going to do about it?