Time. Is there ever enough of it? I’ve become conscious of how much energy I spend managing my time. It’s crazy really. I have all this stuff in my head that I absolutely must get done. I allow myself to feel stressed out about it and then spend more time figuring out how to get it done. What I really want is to feel like I have all the time I need but that doesn’t seem to happen.
What if there was another way? If you had all the time you wanted, think about the possibilities! Right now, I’m stuck in feeling like time is something I fight against to get things done. I think the “things” dictate my day, not my decisions. What I’d like to do is get to stop stressing about it because that just causes me more anxiety and negative energy overall.
So what’s the plan, Lisa? Good question. First thing is to acknowledge that, in reality, there are very few things that actually “have” to get done. When I hold up the mirror, I’m looking for the personal value that’s driving my behavior. For me, I think my value of responsibility is calling the shots. Responsibility is fine when it’s used “for good not evil” as I like to say. But if the responsibility is due to a fear of what will happen if I’m not “responsible” it’s overstepped the boundary.
Back to the plan. What can I do, what can anyone do, to move to a reality where time really is “on our side,” not the common enemy? Make a list. Yeah, super simple, not brain surgery. But one thing I’ve learned recently is that the more stuff I try to hold in my head, the less space I have for creative things, activities that bring me energy. I’m not only managing my time, I’m managing all the stuff in my head. I’ve fought lists too, but am learning that I forget and then have to spend time working backwards until I remember what I was supposed to do, or miss stuff. So step 1, lists, I can do that today.
What about this week, what can I do this week? Thanksgiving is coming up. Lots to do, legitimately. But I can look at what needs to be done and determine if I’m actually the one who needs to do it. My son can make mashed potatoes. The house doesn’t have to be spotless. I can let some things go. Ok, step 2, let stuff go.
Looking farther out, what else, what would be a longer term goal – the ideal goal? Keep the lists, look at the pattern of how I’m spending time. Make decisions on what needs to stay and what can go. As part of that, resist the temptation to fill the time with more “stuff.” Instead, for me, I want to build in time to “just be.” To spend time in self-care, in relationship, with friends, with family. That time? Well that’s time well spent.
I don’t think my fight against time is uncommon, so if you’re facing a similar battle, look at these simple steps for yourself. What value is driving you? What can you do today? What will you do next week? What’s your longer term goal? It doesn’t have to be hard and if you start today, like I am, you’ll be rockin’ by Christmas! Time will be on your side.