I have taken time management courses and taught productivity courses for years, yet I still watch myself and others struggle with time’s elusive ways, leaving us stranded with more work at the end of a day. Like many of you, I do all the right stuff: I have memorized the 4-hour workweek, prioritized, said “no,” delegated, used a timer and I can’t seem to get it all done. It’s stressful, frustrating—a little bit like running a race without a finish line. So, what is up?! How do we end the stressful race?
While you cannot “manage time,” the nature of your thoughts will change how you CHOOSE to use your time.
Conscious communication is more than just a way of speaking, it is a conscious practice that requires you to notice:
- The thinking that precedes your CHOICES
- which lead toy your ACTIONS
- and the RESULTS that you experience
Ever get the sense that you are ‘chasing the clock’? Do you ever have feelings of stress, guilt and fear? Have you ever found that when you are trying to keep up, get things done and negotiate daily living, you leave little time for conscious, healthy, presencing experiences?
Do you have conflicting priorities?
In our coaching conversations, people regularly comment on how this feeling is heightened when priorities are conflicting (like cuddling with the kids versus working out). Are you often on autopilot watching your time, energy and confidence slip away?
When you are emotionally conflicted, you experience more anxiousness, tension and pressure, which results in feeling like you have less time than you actually do. When you have the sense of feeling pressed for time, then your health, your sleep and your performance are affected. Your nervous tension and fear drives you to succeed, yet productivity and happiness take a back seat.
The key, I believe, to achieving “to-do-list” success lies in being truly mindful of the energy you give to each of your projects and commitments. What would it be like if you gave each of your commitments more moments of your full attention without guilt or remorse?
Time Control, or Peace and Presence?
You agree that you are not signing up for the divine work of changing the sun and the moon’s effect on time, right? Good.
When in the chaos, try to align yourself with the reality of what is taking place from moment to moment. This means seeing events as they really are rather than believing in our interpretations of, or reactions to, those events. In reality, you might see that you do not need to engage or respond to the chaos at all. Hence, saving yourself a lot of wasted time.