If you’re as tired of trying to figure out the secret to “time management” as I am, you’re going to want to read on to learn the secrets that no one is telling you!
1) Time Management doesn’t exist. That’s because the idea of “managing” our time is a waste of time! When we look at it this way it can be an ongoing, unattainable quest that only ends when we get to the finish line. Do you really want to arrive to your death bed saying “I really managed my time well”? NO! You want to be able to say “I really lived and loved and laughed and made a difference! I contributed to this world and still found time to enjoy myself and those around me!” So stop trying to manage your time and start looking at ways to manage your life and how you choose to live it.
2) It’s not about how you spend time; it’s about how you invest it that really matters. Instead of letting your schedule run the show, why not flip that practice and let your purpose dictate how you invest your time. Hone in on how you want to live and what you really must do in this lifetime. With that in mind, now think of each day in much the same way you think of your bank account. Every task can either be an investment of your time (meaning it will go towards helping you live in alignment with your purpose) or it can be an expense (meaning you’re spending time which won’t necessarily put you any closer to living a life that is truly fulfilling). There are always going to be some tasks that will qualify as an expense of your time, but when all is said and done, you’ll want to have far more investments of your time that bring your ever closer to the picture you have for your life.
3) You can save thyme in a bottle. A client told me she was having trouble finding time to really relax and enjoy her family. She told me that her son, who was about thirteen years old, recently asked her to go swimming with him. It was a beautiful day, and they were splashing and laughing and having fun in the pool. Suddenly she looked up at the clock and realized that it was getting late in the afternoon and that she needed to jump out of the pool to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store so she could buy thyme . . . in a bottle, for a recipe. Mind you, she wasn’t having dinner guests and there were no requirements that she made that particular recipe that evening. And yet in that moment she had it in her mind that she just had to get to the grocery store.
Seriously, can you see the irony here? Would the world have stopped if she neglected to purchase that seasoning? Yet how many times do we pull ourselves away from the very thing we say we want more of . . . only to do something we really need to do less of?
4) Much of your stress is optional. As much as you may believe the majority of the stress and time suckers in your life are mandatory––I’m willing to bet they’re optional. That’s because we fall prey to social pressure and shy away from free time and fun in order to stick to the hectic, harried lifestyle that we’ve actually created for ourselves, because we think we need to for one reason or another, and then force ourselves to continue.
But life is too short. You should be creating and experiencing every enjoyable moment. That’s what the point of achieving bliss is all about—if only we can get ourselves to “indulge” in the rewards of our efforts! Alan Cohen sums it up beautifully in his quote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest, use both and overlook neither.”
5) Go with the Flow and forget about the rest. Psychologist and author of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describes “flow” as “a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation.” In other words, when you’re really working (or playing) in an activity that means something to you, it’s nearly impossible to “manage your time” in that moment. So it’s really not about managing every moment of your day; it’s about managing to hold time as sacred, ensuring that you allow yourself to complete the menial tasks quickly, schedule moments to invest in the projects that really matter, and grant yourself freedom to engage in opportunities where you become so absorbed in the challenge, and even the thrill, of the moment that checking the time is the very last thing on your mind.
You can watch the video clips about this (and other) topic(s) @lisabroeschw on FB Club Bliss!