Some people diet obsessively. Others manage their time obsessively. Both obsessions can be driven by a lack of self worth—a constant striving to be more acceptable, more productive… better.
Time management systems can suppress our own innate wisdom and cravings for vitality. Your calendar may say it’s a “high-priority day” when really, you need a break to reconnect with your mom, or cook a good meal very slowly. You block out two hours to work on your project plan, but then your best friend’s number shows up on your caller ID and you’re faced with an immediate conflict.
You push yourself when your heart isn’t in it.
Your to-do list becomes more important than your fatigue.
You work to earn your time off, and you’re too beat to enjoy it when you get it.
Time regimens can certainly do wonders for getting the most out of life. We need them like we need good eating habits. I batch my actionable tasks, I schedule in administrivia days, and I have key priorities—because accomplishing a lot is a major rush for me. But ‘tis my relationship to those time management methodologies that makes all the difference in my psyche, and therefore the quality of what I do.
The guiding question becomes, Does this sustain me or exhaust me?
|Quantity driven. Uses time management systems to crank out lots and lots (and lots) of stuff.
||Quality focused. Uses time systems to create space and freedom—which then allows you to make more meaningful, substantive things.
|Competitive. Compares your productivity with how productive everyone else is.
||Self-referencing. What matters is that what you’re doing is of value.
|Time is in charge. Free time is something you earn. Time is dispensed to you.
||I’m in charge. Things need to earn your time and attention. You are the dispenser of time.
|Transactional. You put in time, you get time back.
||Relational. If you relate with the moment—if you’re present—there is a giving and a receiving that happens simultaneously.
|Logical. Time is measured only by the clock.
||Magical. Time can be expanded and contracted by energy. With pure intention, you can accomplish a day’s work in an hour, you can get an hour’s worth of rest in a moment of contemplation, and you can make big things happen very quickly.
When you’re clear on what activates the joy within you, time management becomes a means to self-expression, not self-policing. And “making time” becomes an act of service so that you can be your best for those around you.
You’re the boss. Make time for what nourishes you—what matters most.
You are Magic,
PS: Know someone whose Time Management is managing them? Save them with this post. Press forward.
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