Science says that time is not linear. All things are happening at once and time takes form by where we put our attention. Time is an illusion that we have established collectively to measure our lives and is only tangible when connected to an event. James gets home from work at 5:30. The train rumbles by at 3. But without the train? Time stretches on.
So if time is infinite, or just an idea, we choose to make it what we want it to be.
Back when my daughter was in design school she showed up on my doorstep feeling overwhelmed and snowed under. She saw no feasible way out from under the mountain of work she had ahead of her.
So much to do and so little time.
She was exhausted and working around the clock. It was fashion show time. Her collection was chosen for the spotlight of the big fashion show closing out the year. All she could see was stacks of work and her focus was embedded in a since of lack. She was sure she didn’t have enough time. She was sure her collection wasn’t going to be ready.
As we talked I shared with her something I learned from one of my retreats with Deepak Chopra. Our experience is defined by where we focus our attention and sealed up with the words we choose to define it. What if we began to turn our focus from the clock and instead focus our energy on the gaps in~between the doing and be grateful. Say “thank you” out loud for this gift.
Where we put our energy… Expands. Good, bad, or indifferent.
The object of this process is to begin accomplishing more while doing less.
We are all allotted the same amount of hours each day. What we choose to do with them is up to us.
So first up is to examine where our time is going.
What activities or lack there of consumes our time?
What are we trying to accomplish?
When we are struggling with time we often have our plates full with stuff that could just as easily carried out, and quite possibly with a better result by someone else.
Nice gets in our way here.
So when approached with more doing “Is this mine to affect” is my first thought!
Because so often we feel burdened by saying yes spontaneously and walk away kicking ourselves, knowing that something will have to be sacrificed to make room. Where do our priorities lie? Then we feel guilty for overextending ourselves to the detriment of everything else… often our family. Their needs are pushed aside. That’s not doing anyone any good. Have you ever asked someone for a favor, and you could tell they didn’t really want to help or didn’t have the time? Didn’t their help feel more like a burden than a blessing?
In our society of busyness our challenge is to step back into our observer space and reassess what and how we are showing up and what affect your input is actually having? Could it be done by someone else better and with more efficiency? Are you feeling depleted from this task? Do you experience Joy from this interaction?
Is this mine to affect?
Often, we’re taught to be nice and do and give. I feel it important once we have seen where our time is going to understand the “why” around our need to swoop. I find the confusion around nice and kind often the culprit. Many of us were taught to be nice. To give… give… give. At the expense of ourselves and our families. Nice is a thought that comes from our head. Niceness is most often depleting and carried out through a sense of obligation. Kindness moves through us and never takes.
Maybe… just maybe… it’s not yours to do.
What if by us swooping in to save the day with our attention somewhere else… the job got done, mediocre, the energy left behind, mediocre. What if in “our” need to be relevant we usurped the real, true, person, the one the task was intended for.
Tips for expanding time:
- Get acquainted with your calendar
- Schedule in the fun first. Let’s make some room for some of those activities that have been pushed aside. You know those art projects that are hiding in the back of a closet somewhere, or that guitar that sits in the corner collecting dust. Pull them back out. Schedule them in and watch time expand and stretch.
- Create a list of the things you do in a day. Track how much time you spend on each activity and be truthful with yourself around what you are gaining and what you are actually giving to each situation.
- Lets rate these obligations and activities by priority. We have judiciously ran each one through the highest and best filter. Is this activity serving the highest and best of the recipient of my time? Is this gift causing others to sacrifice? My children? My family?
- After careful consideration we begin to add to our calendar the activities that we have decided to keep. We add them to the calendar with a generous amount of time for each activity.
- And we breathe in gratitude for the space in-between.
Chaos begins to slip away and time becomes a non issue.
Is this mine to affect?