ARE YOU THE MASTER OF YOUR OWN TIME?
I saw this little dry-cleaning tag the other day and it made me reflect on my relationship with time. I realised I had been treating it like an unrequited lover. No matter what I did I couldn’t keep up with it, whatever I did was never enough, and I felt I was always running towards it but never really reaching it. This unrequited relationship resulted in me developing the belief that there was simply never enough time! Without even realising it, this belief seeped into my thoughts and behaviours.
In a sense, I started to wear ‘time management’ like a badge of honour – taking pride in the fact that I was always on time, even if I experienced huge doses of stress worrying about being five minutes late. I became restless when I felt my time wasn’t being ‘well spent’, plagued with thoughts that I should be doing something more useful or productive. Overall this pressure around using my time wisely, lead to me not taking enough time to nourish my mind or body.
I missed the opportunities to simply enjoy relaxing
or spending time with my loved ones.
I think the relationship with time is something a lot of people struggle with. We are told early on that the only real certainty we have in life is time, and that it’s limited. So, no wonder we treat it like a race – a linear ‘event’ with a clear start and finish that we cram as much as we possibly can into. However, if we continue to treat time like this we will end up falling in what I like to call the ‘Busyness trap’, where we become so focused on the ‘doing’ that our actual lives slip by unnoticed. We forget to take time out for ourselves, or to enjoy the simple moments in life that recharge us and connect us to ourselves and others.
We start to live life governed by the shoulds and have tos that we’ve put in place around how we spend our time.
The funny thing is, the reality of time is actually very different. Time is not linear, there is no start or finish, there is only the present moment. As Deepak Chopra says: “We are timeless”. If you consider the fact that we can only truly live in the now, how would that change the rules and expectations you’ve set for yourself around time?
When I questioned the beliefs I held to be true around time, and loosened the rules and expectations I had put in place, I discovered I made MORE time. It was simple things such as:
- Giving myself time to eat my lunch instead of eating on the run.
- Sitting outside and eating in the fresh air instead of eating whilst reading emails or texting.
- Scheduling ‘breaks’ instead of jumping from one meeting to the next.
The simple mindset shift – ‘I make more time for me’,
made me feel more energised.
I wanted to head to the gym after work. I became more present and relaxed in the moments where I was hanging with my friends and family. I said goodbye to unnecessary worry or stress. And it felt GREAT! I finally understood that I am the master of my time, and that I dictate how I want to use it.
So, I invite you to question your relationship with time.
- What beliefs, rules and expectations have you put in place around time? Do these serve you?
- Are you the master of your own time or are you caught in the busyness trap? What needs to happen for you to let go?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with this, so feel free to leave a comment below or PM me. Have a wonderful Monday, and remember…you are timeless!