The complaint I hear the most is, “I don’t have time” or “There simply isn’t enough time.” There is some truth in those statements. The truth is time is a non-renewable resource, so yes, there is a limited amount of time available for everything. There is another truth in these statements that is more difficult to recognize. Our attitude towards time dictates how much time we perceive we have. If I tell myself I don’t have time or there isn’t enough time, there won’t be enough time. If I tell myself there is a time for everything, there will be enough time. I promise, it really does work this way!
The phrase I use over and over again is “making space”. Time is malleable. It forms to our demands, for the most part. Yes, there are limits, but we can allocate time wisely. However, we have to make allocation a priority. Most of us rush into our day after too little sleep that was the result of rushing through the day before. I have found the key for me lies in meeting with myself each day, preferably in the morning. It takes 10-20 minutes and it supports me in making space for what really matters. I take this even deeper and look ahead each month to find ways to make space for what I want to give my time to.
That is key right there: What do you WANT to give your time to?
Too often we move through life with the mindset that we HAVE to give our time here and there and to this person or this cause. Who is in control of that? How does that allow you to be the YOU you were created to be? That is slipping back into the YOU you were told to be, or more accurately the YOU you are told to be right now.
Being the YOU you were born to be requires a mindset shift with time. Thinking of time as a valuable resource moves us into thinking about how to best use the time we have. This brings to mind the new phenomenon that recently became an official term in the English language: binge-watching. Isn’t it fascinating that with time being a precious resource we are willing to spend hours camped out in front of a screen? Part of this is simply the human desire to know what happens next and part of it lies in our attitude towards time. Believing there is never enough time drives us to move quickly and exhaustively through every day. Eventually, we collapse, and why not collapse in front of an exciting television series? This is NOT a rant against binge-watching, as I too have indulged (in fact, I just spent one day of my week off watching the entire second season of “Broadchurch”—highly recommended!). The point is are we choosing to binge-watch or are we doing it out of sheer need to escape the craziness our attitude towards time has created?
Try this over the next month. Meet with yourself often, preferably once a day. Choose how your day will be spent. If you are in a 9-5 job, choose 3 tasks your must complete that day and make space in your schedule for both uninterrupted time and time where it is okay to be interrupted. If you work from home as a formal career and/or raising children, it is no different. Choose 3 tasks that must get done and find creative ways to make space for blocks of time that allow for no interruptions. This is a way of honoring the finite nature of time and you will be surprised how time will honor you back. Make space for time and it will make space for you, I promise!