Some of the greatest minds tell us that time is an illusion. While this may be true, it may not be operationally helpful to those of us who do not levitate to our jobs (however, if you do, please carry on!). Time feels very real when we are navigating the realm of deliverables and timelines.
While embracing the notion that time does not exist may help us with some of the existential questions facing us in this life, it may not do a whole lot for us in the day to day. Zeroing in on time management via limitations and to do lists can send us to a level of coping that squelches our big ideas as we list the litany of tasks laid at our feet. We can boost our vitality when we begin to use time as tool that brings us closer to the vision which aligns to our personal growth and development.
Thinking of time as a finite source to be managed can create apathy and the belief we are at the effect of the world. However, when we choose how to use time, it becomes a tool. When we are aware of our core energy and our internal motivators, we can be clear about how we want to use our time. It is totally up to us and when we completely focus time stands still.
Signs that one is trying to manage time
Align who we are with what we do
The early part of my month was a flurry of action items and competing priorities. It was an amalgamation of cerebral and auto-pilot tasks that were all over the board when it came to my bigger picture goals. I was preparing to focus on a high priority task for a couple days, so it felt like there was a need to tie up a multitude of loose ends and not nearly enough time to tie them. YIPE!
Mindful Vitality in Practice
I began trying to manage my time and cope with the idea that I only had a finite amount of it in the day. Post its and bulleted lists came from all corners of my desk; the coffee flowed bountifully. The responsibility gremlin at its finest. I recalled the idea that trying to manage time was riddled with the capability to drain energy. And, this was not going to create optimal results.
Using time to build rather break down our energy as we move toward what we want means that we align who we are with what we do*. As we do this, we turn a finite resource into a tool that empowers us to fulfill our personal development.
Answer this first for yourself and then do the following next time you feel the walls closing in on you such that you feel the need to drink coffee to the point you can see the Matrix’s code scrolling the walls. Always pick the blue pill. Always.
Do this instead…
Pause and Practice to Restore Vitality
Take 6 deep breaths…in your nose, out your mouth (you know what to do). For more instruction, check out this link and click here.
Write down all your tasks in no order… all of them… get it out of your head and onto paper.
Practice mindfulness for 3 to 5 minutes. Click here for more instructions.
Focus on your breath and let the thoughts come and go like clouds rolling across a gorgeous blue sky.
Bring yourself back gently.
Return to your Big Picture (i.e., your personal development goals).
Which tasks support it most?
Re-engage with your work.