Why it’s not about time, but what you do with it

October 18, 2010

Imagine being made up of milliseconds like pixels in a picture. Every second counts and forms who we are.

 

Image from Smashing Magazine

Yet so many of us combat time as if it is something to beat. In truth, what we are doing is beating up ourselves.

„If only I had more time…“ is a common phrase among people in general. Our collective time starvation has us running at an unsustainable pace. As your information delivery systems get faster, so do we. The trouble is we can’t run any faster than we are.

The result is giving in to the temptation to multitask, something our brains literally cannot do. Oprah agrees. Think No Phone Zone and all.

‘Time’ and ‘being busy’ are a mindset. Time  is a construct into which we are born. We’ve made up the notion of time to structure our lives. But since we are defined by two time notations (our date of birth and the date of our passing), we live as if it is real. Since we act as if it exists, it might be a good idea to establish a more positive relationship with this thing called time so you have more of it. Because after all, don’t you want more of what you’re made of?

It’s not about creating more time. It’s about looking at the things you do within the time that you have.

Time abundance is having more than enough time to do what is required to fulfill your ultimate purpose. If you are so busy reacting to the things around you instead of putting yourself into proactive mode, you will always be at the beck and call of your surroundings.

Are you checking your emails twenty times a day? Are you subscribed to more newsletters than you can manage in a day? Do you really need to be copied on every single intra-office correspondence?

Tip #1:

Prioritize. The Eisenhower principle states there are urgent/non-urgent and important/non-important things.

There are also urgent/non-important things (the phone ringing ~anything that demands your immediate attention).

There are urgent/important things (that pending annual sales meeting).

There are non-urgent/important things (working toward your annual goals).

There are non-urgent/non-important things (surfing the Internet to ‘relax’. Like TV, it won’t relax you, but places you in a mild state of depression).

Tip #2:

Make your list of immediate to-dos. Most likely, there are four or five things on that list. Everything else can wait or be delegated.

Tip #3:

If you are overwhelmed, one of several things needs to happen:

1)    Delegate

2)    Say ‘no’ (or ‘here’s what I can do…’)

3)    Manage expectations

4)    Examine your habits

5)    Focus

6)    Avoid procrastination/last-minute rushes

7)    Take a time-out (a well-rested manager is a productive one)

8)    Stop multitasking. Who won the race, the tortoise or the hare?

9)    Take a vacation to rescucitate your ability ot handle stress.

10)  Re-examine your personal relationship with time. How often do you say you don’t have any?

If you do these things, I promise you won’t yearn for that extra hour because, in truth, time abundance will be yours.

The power of slow is about being the master of your own ship. It’s your life. What are you going to do with it?

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3 Responses to “Why it’s not about time, but what you do with it”


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christine Hohlbaum, Christine Hohlbaum. Christine Hohlbaum said: [Slow Tip] Why it’s not about time, but what you do with it: Imagine being made up of milliseconds like pixels in … http://bit.ly/9TFsNB [...]


  2. Great post! I think sometimes multi tasking and getting efficient at that actually has the opposite effect and we are more stressed and get less done. Also I love your phrase about “no phone zone”….so many times I simply choose not to answer and people think I’m strange for doing so.

  3. powerofslow Says:

    Valerie, that is great! I love the fact that you set your boundaries. Sometimes letting the phone ring so you can focus is the best possible thing. It’s a way of saying ‘no’ to external demands so you can say ‘yes’ to yourself. Brava!


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