We have all heard the popular quote, “Time is not your friend”.
Laura Weiss writes: time is not your friend, it doesn't care if you live fast or die slow, if you are or if you aren't. It was here before you arrived and it will go on after you leave. Time doesn't care who wins or who loses, if your life span is full or empty, honorable or shameful. Time is indifferent. It simply doesn't give a shit.
Well……. we are friends of time. True, it may seem like you are constantly struggling because you do not have enough time, like you can never get all your work done, or find enough time for your friends and family let alone get your ”me time” for the exercise and sleep you need to stay healthy, all this things make you feel like time is not your friend.
A lot of people struggle with how best to use their time, in life. We all want to make use of the time we have efficiently and effectively but most times, we find ourselves struggling. There seems to be a lot of things vying for our attention, people telling us what they think we should be doing and we find ourselves wearing many hats and feeling scattered and time pressed.
Time however is our only truly expendable resource: We may acquire a great deal of wealth, success, friends or whatever we desire greatly - but each of us only gets 24 hours in a day, and only a lifetime's worth of time. Since time is limited and no one likes limits, it's normal to feel that time is out to get us.
This however is not true and we would like to help you befriend your time.
Here are some tips on how to start making time your friend:
Firstly, we need to change the “time is not your friend” attitude and start seeing the demands on our time as a good thing in our lives because that’s really what they are.
BE THANKFUL YOU ARE PRESSED FOR TIME
This may sound funny right now, especially if you are awake at 2 a.m. and can’t go to bed because you still have a ton of work to do or you have to split your time between family and friends and you wish you could add more hours to your day. Being thankful sounds ridiculous in these scenarios, doesn’t it? Well… consider the opposite scenario. If you had all the time in the world and nothing to spend your time on, this may mean that you have no job, or a perhaps you have a not-so-demanding job/one where you sit around bored and unfulfilled because you don’t love what you do and cannot wait to get out of there every day. It may also mean you have no partner, spouse, family, or friends to fill up your time. Would you rather be faced with the later? I guess not, not me at least.
Consider this, the reason we feel pressed for time is that there are so many beautiful and exciting things we want to spend our time on. Hanging out with friends and family, reading, hiking, camping, traveling, yoga, music, surfing, writing…. You name them. So much for which we can only be grateful, if we stop and think about it.
If that doesn't hold true for you- if you're spending too much of your limited time on a job that you hate or people you don't love, then that's a problem, and it’s one you should solve. Your problem is not a lack of time.
GET RID OF THE "BUT."
From the works of Minda Zetlin, she wrote: A long time ago, a very wise workshop leader changed my whole attitude about time in about two minutes with one simple exercise.
I want to go to the beach but I have to work, he wrote on the blackboard, a classic time squeeze conundrum.
"Is this true?" he asked the audience. "Let's explore."
Below I want to go to the beach he wrote: I don't want to go to the beach. And below I have to work he wrote: I don't have to work.
"Now let's remove the lies," he said. "Is it true that I don't want to go the beach? No." And he crossed out I don't want to go to the beach. "Is it true that I don't have to work? No." And he crossed out I don't have to work. "There's one more lie," he said. "The third lie is 'but.'"
He crossed out that single word and with it our whole misunderstanding of time and choices. "But" is about struggling with something that you don't want. But if you like your job and you like the beach then you're not struggling, you're choosing. "I want to go to the beach and I have to work." Maybe you'll go to the beach tomorrow. Or maybe you'll play hooky today and work extra hours tomorrow. Either way, getting rid of the "but" is the best way to start making time your friend.
That but is often evident in our struggle for time, get rid of it
FIND YOUR BALANCE (OR YOU'LL LOSE EFFICIENCY)
Again from Minda Zetlin, she writes: Have you ever caught yourself thinking this way? "If I get to the office two hours early and then stay two hours late and skip lunch I can bang through and finish this project in two days instead of the week it should normally take." Or found yourself scheduling appointments back to back to back with no breathing room in between?
If that's you (and it's certainly me sometimes), it's time to cut it out. Sure, you can plan to work 15 hours a day every day but if you do you'll give back in lost efficiency what you gained in extra work time. The only difference will be that you're exhausted and miserable. You may wish you could do your best work every hour that you're awake, but you can't. So if you're getting to the office at 7 a.m. make sure to quit at 5 or so and go for a run or go home and play with your kids. Or spend the early morning getting exercise and enjoyment, arrive at work refreshed and then work late. Not both.
I think she just reminded us of the law of diminishing returns here, don’t you?
WORK WITH YOUR OWN RHYTHM, NOT AGAINST IT
I'm a night owl (and married to a musician who often gets home quite late). So for me, getting to work at 7 a.m. is a non-starter. I used to feel horridly inferior to the folks who got up at 5 am and conked out at 9 pm-even though I don't think I worked any fewer hours than they did, just later ones.
Then one day I got a contract to write a book on a newsy subject and I had only one month to do it. Under that extreme deadline pressure, my ideas about the hours I "should" work went out the window and I had no choice but to figure out a schedule that actually allowed me to function during a crunch project. That turned out be starting late morning, working till early evening, taking a couple hours' break for exercise, dinner, and socializing, and then back to work till late night. That's still the rhythm that works best for me. What works for you may be completely different. My point is, you should listen to your own inner clock and structure your day accordingly……………. Minda Zetlin.
Take yesterday. I posted a column to this site, interviewed the fascinating Emerson Spartz, spent time promoting my work and connecting with my network on social media, caught up on a couple of days' worth of email, had a two-hour meeting with a financial advisor, and sent a pitch on a complex technology topic to Computerworld. That's a pretty decent workday, but there were still three items left on my daily to-do list at the end of it.
I could have let it upset me but I didn't. There are always items I wish I'd had time for at the end of every workday and there probably always will be. I bet the same is true for you. At some point you have to acknowledge that you've done all you reasonably can today, pat yourself on the back for your hard work, and go spend time with your family, or take care of yourself, or just kick back.
That's something you can really be grateful for……….. Minda Zeltin
It is important to use our time to our advantage especially as we all know the saying: Time is precious; we refer to it as precious time, a valuable commodity and all those names that remind us, that we should handle it with care.
The question is, do we handle it with care, efficiently and effectively? When we refer to our jewelries as precious, we keep them in safe deposit boxes or store them away in beautiful boxes and use them only when we want to go somewhere special, when we have someone special, we treat them specially, do our best to keep them away from harm’s way and give them all we have.
What about your precious time? Why are you spending it on a job you obviously hate, on people you can only endure, doing things you do not love and making excuses for not doing the things you do love?
We will be back with more: health tips, self-improvement tips, mental health and life tips….. To help you manage your 24 hours effectively and efficiently