I started writing this blog post in March 2021! I didn't post it until May 2021. What happened? Time! A most precious commodity. Read on to hear about my perspectives on time.
Recently many of my clients have been talking about the preciousness of time, the fragility of time, the lack of time, the quality of time, the gift of time. It’s made me reflect on time too. I’m learning every single day that how we spend our time is how we spend our lives. Yet, knowing this hasn't stopped me from occasionally procrastinating!
How we choose to spend our time and who we choose to spend our time with directly impacts how we feel and the enjoyment we get out of life. It’s obvious and simple – right? Still, many of us are feeling out of balance, frustrated and time seems to be running away.
We may find ourselves saying things like “I’ll figure out the important stuff when I have time”; “I’ll apply for that new job when I have time”; “I’ll spend more times with friends and family when work gets less busy and I have more time”. Do any of these sound like you? If so, you're not alone!
In 2020, time seemed to slow down momentarily. I heard that many (including me) were enjoying a somewhat ‘slower’ pace, reconnecting and spending precious time with family and friends (even if that was virtually), travel restrictions had many grounded (literally), quiet time at home catching up on DIY, nurturing new (and old) hobbies and interests, not feeling guilty about saying no to outside invitations. It brought some time to breathe, time for grounding and time for reflection.
Fast forward to May 2021 – and it feels like for much of the world we’re in overdrive again – but now we’re going even faster and harder than before. Time has sped up again, we spend our lives on zoom calls, juggling work and home-life under the new normal conditions, people aren't taking holiday because there is nowhere to "go", the pandemic is soaring again in some parts of the world, more is being demanded with less and time feels like even more of a precious and sometimes even elusive resource. Our energy is being sapped. It’s as if we’re now trying to make up for lost time! It’s as if time is running out.
There’s an urgency and an impatience. Many are feeling out of balance, burned-out, fed-up, frustrated and exhausted. There is a sense of much being out of our control.
And yes, much IS out of our control. However, my belief is that we CAN control the following:
We can choose our attitude or mindset towards how we spend our time and/or the situation in which we find ourselves
We can choose to be more “present” (a.k.a undistracted or mindful) with whom we spend our time and in what we are doing. This also helps us manage our energy.
We can choose what we say “yes” to and what we say “no” to. (And I know full-well that it takes courage to set those new boundaries)
When I remember that I have a choice in the above it gives me a different perspective on time. The quality of my time feels different, my energy feels different, usually better, and this has given me a renewed sense of balance, productivity, control and purpose. (Just like 21 days of mandatory hotel quarantine in January 2021 gave me a whole new perspective on time! Click here to get a sneak peak at how I spent my time and what kept me going and motivated!)
If you’re feeling like you need to reclaim a sense of balance, energy, control or purpose, there is literally no time like the present!
It’s time to carve out time for yourself and what's important to you. Notice the situations, people or circumstances that give you energy or those that sap you of your energy. (Note - we can't avoid doing everything that drains us of energy but if you notice your energy, you may choose to do these harder things at a time when you're feeling more resourceful!).
Put what's important in your calendar, make time for it - be it time with kids, your spouse/partner, time for yoga, time for doctor, time for personal development, time for gym, time for meditation, time for bed (YES! set an alarm to go to bed. Sleep is critical!), time for gratitude. Whatever it is that's important to you, make time for it otherwise (take it from me!) it won't happen. Notice what you are making more important than what's really important. Are you avoiding the hard stuff? Are you procrastinating on something time and again? Is there something on your list that keeps dropping to the bottom of the priority listing? If so, get curious about why that may be. Whilst it may sound counter-intuitive, the truth is that to save time, gain time and make more quality time, you have to create time. Read this helpful article on time-blocking as a strategy for making time and feeling more productive. It has helped me a LOT. Get in touch to find out more about how how I can help create more balance, improve personal productivity and energy and/or regain a sense of control.