Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time - Friend or Foe?

Time … the word & the concept of it gets more attention in our daily life than most world news.  It seems we can’t stop talking about it, almost obsessing over it.  How many “times” a day do you find yourself looking for more time, scheduling time, taking time, managing time, wanting time, blocking time …
Our relationship with time  is somewhat tumultuous.  We seem to always want to control time and why not?   Time itself is a man-made concept dating back to the Mayans.  They created the calendar by calculating the length of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.  And ever since then society has been measuring time in years, months, weeks, days, hours, and even seconds.  We have spent centuries trying to control time in order to save time and have more of it all at once.
What’s your relationship with time?  How balanced is it?  Do you have enough of it?  Do you want more of it?  Do you work together in harmony or is time working against you, one minute it’s a friend and the next a foe?
Well all relationships are based on our ability to give and take.  There must be mutual respect.  Don’t expect to have time on your side if you are always abusing it and using it as a scapegoat.  You know what I mean.  How many times have you used time as an excuse to get out of something?    “Oh, I would love to but I really don’t have time for that right now.”
You can improve your relationship with time and in turn make more room for your dreams to become a reality.  Now don’t get nervous, I understand your concern.  You’re thinking, “Yes, I have lots of ideas and dreams, but I don’t have the time ….”  Wait a minute, didn’t I say that you can improve your relationship with time AND have your dreams be a reality?
The first thing we do is run to our calendar or blackberry and search for the time slot we need to work on our new projects or dreams.  We begin blocking and planning and listing.  We are diligent in our efforts for as long as our “time” allows.  Then other things come up and once again we are cursing and chasing time.
Perhaps there is something else.  Maybe something was missing.  Perhaps it’s you.  Do you have time for you first?   I am going to ask you to consider turning your life upside down.  I want to show you how to live a little more from your passion and a little less from your calendar.  Practice using passion as your barometer.
If you have a passion – an intense, driving desire, feeling or conviction for something you WILL make the time for it.  So if you are asked to do something and your first response is “I don’t have time for that.”  take a step back and think about whether that is true or not or is it because you just don’t want it bad enough?  Isn’t it true, that when you are doing what you love, who really cares about the time?
Passion is an important element of success.  It is also a time saver!  When you are doing what you love doesn’t it get done faster than doing the things you need or must do?
You can be in control of your time and your life but it does require a few things:
1.  Clarity – It is important to have a clear picture of what you want and need and what you are trying to accomplish.
2.  Prioritize Each Day – Having a daily to-do list is something important to do first before you start scheduling on your calendar.  But the to-do list alone is not enough and sometimes the list can become very long and very overwhelming which may eat away at our passion.  So once you have the to-do list, prioritize the top 5 things that must get done today to move you closer to your goals based on your clarity or clear vision of what you want to accomplish.
3.  Develop a Sense of Time – In other words know when to get things done.  Having a good understanding of this means recognizing both internal and external circumstances.  Internal meaning you, for example when are you most productive?  Morning?  Afternoon?  Try to schedule as many of your top priorities during your high energy times.  External meaning your environment.  Are there people and places you need to work with or within in order to accomplish your goals?  Then take time to understand their peak times as well.  Part of your effective use of time and creating ease in your life includes deciding when would be the best time to get things done.
4.  Just say No – When you don’t have to do something and you don’t want to do something, why are you doing it?  Practice saying no with grace and ease.  Pain and discomfort come from the resistance to something , not the release of it.  Do you resist saying no?  Take the pressure off yourself.  If it makes you feel better, say “no, thank you”!
5.  Using resources – This is a powerful time saver.  If you don’t know something or where to find it – ask someone who does.  Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Time to live!  Time IS on your side.  Be a friend to it!  Use it wisely.  The way you spend your time is what really matters because the way you spend your time is how you live your life.  In order to feel truly abundant, to feel the richness of your own life you need to be able to do some of the things you want to do when you want to do them.    The clock is always ticking so be sure your time is quality time spent.  The better you are at this the better your life will be.

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