“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”- Will Rogers, Jr.
Time management tools are ways to get more things done in less time. Lists, goals, and calendars are just tools to keep us focused. The trouble is conventional time management tools have been handed more power than just to keep you organized. Somewhere along the line these time-proven methods have been given the power judge how we measure up as human beings.
Lists turn into a bottomless pit of work. Goals pressure you to accomplish more than you ever did before. Lines on your calendar are just to fill up with more things to do. Somehow, after the end of the day you feel like you’ve just come up short. Instead of feeling an inner sense of peace, you feel more stressed.
“The Hurrier I Go the Behinder I Get”-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Stress can cause you to speed up. Adrenaline and other chemicals cause you to burn rubber when there is so much to do. When you speed up, more mistakes can be made. My grandfather gave me sage advice when I was 16 years old. “Lisa, you need to slow down. Take your time and you won’t have to do it twice,” he said. My Pap spoke the truth to me. Hurrying creates a void where the universe revolves around you. The focus of attention is the get the task done so you are not stressed anymore. People become much less important than what you are stressed about.
And you, as well as others you care about suffer at the hand of stress.
I saw an electronic board over the highway today that said “Distraction Makes Dangerous Driving.” Technology has taken us to an age where we feel the need for immediate communication. It used to be that we had to pull over to a phone booth to make a call. But being productive and satisfying the urgent need to get something done trumps all. Remember that multi-tasking was created for computers, not humans.
Are you a time juggler?
We have been given the same 24 hours every day to live our lives. It’s what you do with those hours that make the difference.
As you run through the day, check how many times you say the following:
“There’s just not enough time in the day.”
“I’m so ____________ (fill in the blank with lazy, worthless or some other demeaning name) for not getting this done.”
“I didn’t get enough done today.”
“I’m a failure.” Or some other phrase that means you fell short as a human being.
It has become far too easy to be managed by time instead of taking charge of choices in life. It’s all in how you look at time. Learning to say no, scheduling the things that matter most make all the difference in taking charge of your time. Watch for time leaks. You might be surprised at the difference of where you think you are spending time and how you’re spending your hours. Instead of being a slave to your calendar, take back your life and put time towards the most valued people, places and activities in your day. You might find you have less stress and more time for what you love most.
For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.