This month we are exploring the topic of Time Management, or something I like to call Time Shifting. To be honest, I do not want to ‘manage’ my time or myself. I want to compassionately co-create a life that is most desirable for myself. The idea of managing feels stuffy and linear. I like to feel free and multi-dimensional. SO! That is why I have recoined the phrase to incorporate an element of co-creation…the shifting of time space.
As a health coach & mentor, a frequent excuse I hear (this seems to be a human affliction in general) is that of lack of time. It can be for A,B, or C reason, but the truth is…we all have the same amount of time in the day. It is more about HOW we utilize it AND our relationship to it that really determines how successfully we ‘manage’ time.
Why is it important to have both of these aspects? Well, you can be very good at allotting your time but what are you allotting your time to? AND how do you FEEL about it? You can be a slave to your calendar, so are you really ‘managing’ your time? You can feel angry about having such a tightly packed schedule, so are you really ‘managing’ your time?
I will give you a personal example. I became a genius at filling a calendar; color coding, multiple calendars for personal, marketing, etc. To the outside world, I looked like the perfect example of an Organizational Queen.
On the inside, I was dying. Or so it felt like it, slow suffocation by obligations and post-it notes. It did not matter if I was moving from one appointment to the next with ease, my underlying belief was one of rush or not having enough time. I was constantly feeling stressed about time. When I evaluated how I was spending my time, a couple of realizations were found. First, I was doing a lot of busy work, not necessarily work that was propelling me to the next stage of my goals. They were keeping me busy, yes, but progression….not so much. The second realization was a trauma reaction. My childhood experience was one of splitting time between my Texas and Canadian family. Time was always under a microscope. I always measured it. I always missed someone. The subconscious belief of there not being enough time stuck with me and pained my situation of trying to ‘manage’ my time. I basically was like a hamster on a wheel. I wanted to move forward but my fear would only allow me to stay distracted with busy work.
I hope we are getting somewhere in seeing that ‘managing’ isn’t necessarily always what is best for our WHOLE self. Sometimes we are not devoting our time to activities that will bring us closest to our highest good.
Because I am a ‘need to know’ person, lets define SHIFT. To shift is to move or cause to move from one place to another, especially over a small distance, as defined by Webster’s. This shift can be in place, position, attitude or frequency.
I do not know about you, but when I hear this definition I feel as though I can be a part of that. I am not being told what to do, even if it is me doing the telling.
The natural progression, in cultivating habits of time shifting, is to know the relationship between devotion and obligation. A similar discussion to the previous one, but concepts worth exploring none the less. To some, these terms seem interchangeable. While there are similarities there are also differences. Obligation is defined as a duty or commitment of legal or moral binding. Devotion is defined as love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. In terms of time management, yes you have an obligation to 24 hours.
What are the ideas that motivate your obligation to time? How are you spending those 24 hours? What activities take precedence in your life?
Here is where obligation and devotion may come to a fork in the road. If you are obligated by fear your devotion might lack the luster of love or enthusiasm – as defined by devotion.
Devotion carries an heir of freedom, I am free to devote myself to what I wish.Even devotion needs to be looked at with a conscious eye.
What are you devoting yourself to? Is it a contract that your mind/body/soul would agree to? Or are you devoting yourself to habits or time suckers that allow your soul to check out?
Mindfulness is key. Checking in is key. Compassion is key. Cyclic living is key.
So how do we use this concept of SHIFT and compassionate devotion in regards to our schedule and daily routines?
Here are a few of my favorites ways to co-create my life and daily schedule.
Get Clear: When I realized my planning efforts were causing me more strife than continuity, I decided to evaluate what I was holding the most space for. This evaluation took place in the form of journaling, meditation, mindfulness exercises and really just sitting with the idea of what I valued most. Come to find out, I was spending a GOOD bulk of my time doing busy work which yes, was keeping things afloat but not creating shift towards my life goals. I want my writing to be read by millions. I want to have a voice in my community and beyond. I want to explore new territories. Do you think daily, weekly and monthly time was allotted for these goals? Hmm, not as much time as was for cleaning and printing off fliers. With this confirmation, I have successfully added in practice to support and propel my dreams into my reality. SHIFT HAPPENS.
Schedule It: If it is not scheduled it does not happen. Once you are clear on the new ways to incorporate shift in your life, it is important to schedule time for action steps to work towards these goals. Some prefer to use pocket, iphone, or desk calendars for scheduling. Others need several (like myself). Find what works for you and get a daily routine. What about those pesky ‘busy’ habits? Where do we put time for those? Anything worth doing is worth delegating. If you want to move to the next level you have to let go of the activities and ideas that are holding you back from getting there. Maybe that means hiring someone to clean for you. Maybe that means relaxing your ideas a little about cleanliness (at least if it will interfere with you devoting time to your desires).
If you are not sure where to start, try this Big Rocks Exercise to learn more about prioritizing what you want/need!
Seek Accountability: So often we reach out to help others but fear asking for the return of favor. It is like we feel more comfortable with giving than receiving. To grow you have to know. To know you have to seek. Often this involves other. Creating an Accountability Partner or Team allows for progress to be held by all involved. It is like your personal round table. Invite them in.
You are ready! To co-create your calendar! To be a time-shifter! Stay tuned for next week’s blog on the natural cycles of the body and how to work with them. <>