There is no topic less interesting than time management and yet I was recently part of a discussion on this. Most of us hate the idea of time management and others seem to manage their time with no effort. What if I said there is no such thing as time? That time is simply a construct we create to organize our thinking. There is science behind this concept but that is not the point of this blog.
On a practical level one person in the conversation did not understand why people have a problem with time management. To him it is just about making the right choices each day. For him it is simple. For others they just know they do not have enough time. Still others have the time but time flies without accomplishing what they intended. I am sure there are other scenarios as well.
From an intuitive perspective each of us are programmed in our concepts about time. Our thoughts are often unconscious and so they become a habit. We react in the same way in relationship to time, each and every time. During the discussion the organizer polled us on various questions related to time management. Everyone answered and they summarized the poll. Intuitively I saw that we would answer those questions the same no matter when we were asked, last week, last year, next year, etc. We are each programmed to think and react to time in a particular way.
Working with my client, Claire, I saw she was overwhelmed with the idea of no time or not having enough time. Granted it is a busy season for her but I noticed that her body was tense. Her energy was tight. She seemed stressed. She was not behind in her plans for the day because it was early morning and it had not started. I asked her about her schedule for the day. It was grounded and clear. She had a well thought out plan for her day. I asked about her priorities and what she needed to get done. Claire was clear and knew exactly and in what order she needed to do certain tasks. So why the tension? This question caught her off guard. She was not aware of how stressed she felt then realized that when she thinks about her schedule and her work she reacts in this way in her body. It is automatic and without thought.
This is true for most of us. When we consider time management, prioritizing our work, creating a schedule and a plan to get things done we have an automatic and unconscious way of being. What is that for you? Is it the way that you want to be? Is it causing you not to achieve your goals or in the way you desire?
Multi-Tasking Distorts Time
I admit I am one of those people who can get tense if I am not paying attention. As a teenager and young adult I was taught that multi-tasking was a sign of being very capable so I learned to do many things at once, to have my attention divided. That way of being is very stressful on the body because it requires that you are never present with one thing.
A New Approach
Later I learned that being this way I was busy but not accomplishing my goals so I changed my approach. Now I focus intently on the most important task first to its completion then on to the next. This is a very effective approach for me. I also noticed that though my actions changed my thinking about time and how I felt in my body did not. I still felt like I was multi-tasking and not having enough time. I needed to change this as well.
Meditation is a great tool for creating change. I knew my thoughts and reactions were unconscious, automatic ways of being. In meditation each morning I take the time to stop, get quiet and go within. From there I notice my thinking and change it. I become aware of how I am holding energy in my body and relax, release until the tension is gone. Next I decide how I want to be and feel in my body, in my work and in my life this day. The idea of present time (this day) is powerful. How do I want to feel and be right now then feeling that way in my body and changing my thinking to support how I want to be? Some days it is easier to do than others but I stay quiet until I can make these changes because if I do not then nothing changes.
What is your relationship to time and time management? What do you want to change? Changing our time management skills happens on several levels so just deciding to change is not enough. Real change happens in body, mind and spirit. So create a time management plan to change your thinking (mind) about time then take the time to meditate to create change in body and spirit. Making these changes in some miraculous way creates time. This is not logical but it is very intuitive. So take the time to make time.
Best wishes on your success, Kay