is On Your Side
Time: Friend or Foe?
Our perception of time changes constantly. It's running out.
It's dragging. We've got too much time on our hands or not
enough hours in the day. We want someone or something to just
hurry up so that we can move along. We want time to slow down
so that we can finally catch up. Whatever our ambivalence
toward time, we always seem to want more of it.
We can mark it, manage, organize, and allocate it
but we can't completely control it. Is time a friend or foe?
What Does It Mean to Own Your Time?
of you who've known me a while are familiar with what I call
owning your time. Certainly, part of this is looking at how
you organize, plan, and make decisions. While I don't believe
in a one-size-fits-all system, having some kind of organizational
system that you can rely on gives you the right balance
of structure and flexibility. And there are many proven time-management
techniques that are useful and worth adding to your routine.
Yet there are two other things that are even more central
to owning your time: accountability and attitude.
Accountability is realizing you have choices.
You have the ability to say yes or no, to be proactive when
possible and to respond appropriately to things outside your
control. Accountability is realizing your job isn't to do
it all, nor is it to declare your efforts futile; it's to
select well and choose what is worthy of your time.
Now let's look at Attitude. If you believe there are not
enough hours in the day, each day is a race against the clock.
If you believe each day holds precisely enough time for that
which is most important for you to make progress on or pay
attention to, it's a very different experience. This
is what I've come to believe. Of course there are plenty of
days I don't feel as if there's enough time, yet
believing there is enough changes my outlook. "Not
enough" would mean the cards are stacked against me and
in that case, why bother? "More than enough" means
it is possible to choose wisely and be satisfied with my efforts.
I'll go with that one.
How would it change your days if you thought of time
as an ally? Entertain the possibility that each day
holds enough time for exactly what is yours to manage,
face, make progress on, learn from, enjoy, be grateful for,
or otherwise deal with.
This Week's Call To Action:
- Think of time as on your side and make decisions
- Treat time as your ally. Each day, take a few
minutes to plan. Decide what is worth your time and create
a strategy to focus on those items.
- If you determine that you also need some organizational
tools to stay on top of things, make a plan to acquire those.¹
"I neither fight time nor surrender
We are allies as I move through life."²
See you in the current,
¹For an idea of what's included in an organizational
system, take a look at the right column of this menu.
²Julia Cameron, Heart Steps: Prayers and
Declarations for a Creative Life, (New York, NY, Jeremy P.
Tarcher/Putnam, (c)1997), page 71.
²See also: There
ARE Enough Hours in the Day. For related articles, visit
the Current of Life library;
sort by category and scroll down to: Focus as well as Time,