There’s an old saying, to have a good friend you must be a good friend. And I’ve tried, honestly I have, but my friendship isn’t being reciprocated.
It feels just like those little kids who fall out with one another and they fold their arms and turn their back and declare I‘m not your friend.
I’m not talking about people, I’m talking about time. Time has declared it’s not my friend and I need to do something to change this, because if you were to ask me, how’s that working for you…it isn’t.[success] Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.[/success]
With that said, I’m pretty ashamed of my relationship with time because there certainly never seems to be enough of it in my life. I’m experiencing time scarcity syndrome, and it’s not good.
So here I am wasting time focusing on wasting time, and that’s not good either. But, I will ask, whatever happened to the eight hours I’m supposed to have left after my eight hours sleep and eight hours sort of working? Where the heck did that eight hours go? Come out, come out wherever you are.
Maybe I’m operating in a kind of clockwork fashion with a hidden inner hand pointing the way towards whatever task is next on some secret list. ‘Cos believe me I have no clue why I’m dashing from one thing that’s calling my name, crying out to be done, to the next.
Whatever the answer, it’s clearly time I changed my relationship to time because even though there are those that tell us that time is an illusion, and they’re possibly right, nevertheless, in this physical realm that we occupy, we need to manage it.
If time is to become my friend I need to see it as such. I need to stop making productivity the main goal in determining if I’ve used my time well. Getting some things done is a necessity and a good thing, but it needn’t be the be all and end all of how I measure my day. In fact it’s time that I cared as much about having free time to…well just be, and not be thinking of what needs to be accomplished next.
Somehow I got caught up in the multi-tasking, must be doing something trap. I consistently set myself up for failure because my concept of time is sort of unfriendly and I have a challenge with allocating time for tasks. And I do this despite the fact that deep down I know there’s always enough time to get done what I really and truly want to do. We always have all the time there is, it’s us who put constraints on it, who simply don’t use it well.
Mother Teresa said it so well when she wrote:
“In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East — especially in India — I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving — it is not in the result of loving. ”
Our life reflects back to us just who we are and I’m not liking the picture, which begs the question do I have enough time for life?
Well, as individuals we operate and live in time, but our true self is in eternity. We have unnumbered levels of awareness available to us at all times, so within me is the level where I have all the time in the world to live life to the fullest. Sad to say, I’m currently resting in a level of awareness where time has not been my friend. And it needs to change.
But time can’t help me change, there’s no transforming power in time. I can’t change my relationship with time, through time. Time can’t make me a wiser or a better person, nor will working harder or longer.
What will make a difference, and is truly the only work we’re called upon to do, is the work on ourselves. So in order for my relationship with time to change I need to alter the level of awareness within which I’m operating. It’s only as I move up, or sadly sometimes down, the level of my being, that changes in my life can happen.
And despite my distinct current lack of friendship with time, in the end I know it must be pretty forgiving because I still have an entire tomorrow to do things differently, and then another and another. At least that’s my assumption, all in all, not such a bad deal.
In the comments below let us know, do you have time challenges or is your relationship with time a little better than mine? As you can tell, it doesn’t have to be that great to be better. So share your secrets….please.
Encourage one another.
20 thoughts on “Do You Have Enough Time For Life?”
This is great. I absolutely love the quotes. Not seen them before. My daughter is a manager and I’m going to put them on her timeline. Her peeps are always complaining about time.
It’s good to know I’m not alone Tess…you know what they say about misery loving company! The thing about using quotes is I find there’s so many that say what I want to say, only better. Thank goodness for that. 🙂 I never thought about it being applicable to the workplace…but what a great idea.
I love being reminded that I need not be constantly productive (by western standards) to feel as though I have spent my time well. I’m ready to sit in the shade of a banyan tree and chat all afternoon
I think I’m ready to join you Sandy. The banyan tree sounds absolutely fabulous right about now. 🙂
I learned this exercise years ago and it really helped my relationship with time! I created a spreadsheet showing one full week: 7 eays, 168 hours in total. Then after blocking out work and sleep commitment, I tracked my activities for a week. Whoa Nellie, I was shocked at how much time was actually left. Like you, I’d been under the impression that I had ‘lost’ a lot of time.
The other thing that helped me with time was shifting from a to-do list to a to-be list. Somehow when I focus on ‘being’ for the day I end up getting a lot more things done!
Welcome Sandi – I love your spreadsheet idea as a practical way to convince us that we truly do have all the time in the world, it’s just what we’re doing with it and how we decide what works for us. Still in love with the idea of chattering under the banyan tree personally. And you’re so right, being, is the most important thing of all. 🙂
It’s true, Elle, our relationship with time is not as good as we would like to. Our modern culture loves to see busy people working around all day long, which is no good for our minds.
I did found a way to have a better relationship with time and escape the productivity trap. It works for me and I’m not sure if it works for other people too, I guess it’s up to everyone to choose. My way was to understand that I don’t have an unlimited amount of time, in fact it’s running out and I don’t know how much I have left.
Yes, understanding that I will die was the trigger for me. I’m not saying it should work for you or for anyone else, everyone works in a different way based on their beliefs. But for me this did the trick. 🙂
Thanks for writing such a wonderful piece and sharing your own feelings about it, Elle. I know you aren’t wasting your time if you notice your relationship with it.
Hello Alejandro and it’s so nice to have you join the conversation, especially with such an insightful comment. It’s always so great to hear what works for others, there’s so much value in shared experiences and thank you for sharing yours with us. 🙂
I’m often motivated by that thought too Alex! When I think of my lifespan, estimated at this point, it helps me choose more clearly what I want to do in the moment. Sometimes, ‘wasting’ time is the perfect thing to do. Other times, it’s a distraction keeping me from what I most want. Either, way that hour or two has gone by and I’ll never get it back. That is an eyeopener my friend!
I can so relate to this post Elle. Time can often get away from us and leaves us frustrated with a lot of loose ends unfinished. I love Sandi’s spread sheet idea.
Someone shared with me a Master Weekly Plan that Tony Robbins uses. The highlights are Step One – VIsualize the Big Picture, Step Two – Celebrate Last Week, Step Three – Write Down Major Lessons, Step Four – Analyze What Didn’t Happen, Step Five – Clarify and Commit to Your BIggest Outcomes, Step Six – Schedule Everything, Step Seven – Fill in the Gaps and Housekeeping.
The trick is to faithfully do your master plan each week and that is what I’m working on, but I have to say the weeks that I plan on Sunday or early Monday morning, feel so much better. Let me know and I’ll be happy to send you the worksheet.
Thanks Cathy for sharing The master weekly plan. Would love to see it, although it feels like a lot of work – lazybones that I am. Interesting that your planning for Sunday or first thing Monday seems to work best. Hmmm. Now, being me, I’m wondering about the consciousness. Can’t help it, I think I’m so trained to ask myself what’s in my consciousness that now I ask that about every-blooming-thing. 🙂
Awesome observations, and I love the Mother Teresa quote. I feel like I could have written so much of this myself. This tail-chasing and obsession with productivity is a killer. And then there’s the time ‘wasted’ making a decision on the best use of my time. Sheesh! I just want to hang out under that Banyan Tree!
I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed my time traveling in Asia so much. For once I felt like it was okay to just hang out and talk to people. It took a few weeks into the trip, but I remember a visible shift in my perception of time and how I spent it… I’d like to bring that new perception into my ‘regular’ life!
Welcome Sarah, you and I sound like we’re singing the same song here! Another one for the banyan tree, we’ll all have a great conversation methinks and phooey to time. How great to bring your shift into your view of time into your world today. Sounds like a splendid idea.
Would love to hear more about your travels to Asia, I’ve got a hankering to visit India one soon day. 🙂
We so often feel we don’t have enough time to do the things we want to do. I loved Mother Theresa’s quote. I have quoted her too in today’s post 🙂
Welcome Jodi. Isn’t it funny that we somehow manage to do the things we truly want to do. Sounds like you might be another contender for the banyan tree. Maybe it’s time for a party. 🙂
Welcome to the conversation Jodi. How funny you used the same quote to write your post – we should get together under that banyan tree – we’re obviously on the same page here. 🙂
You’ve crafted an effective title and a very interesting post.
I think that the first thing that we have to do is reconcile with the fact that there will never be enough time. That simple acknowledgement can lead us toward spending our time in the most life-affirming ways possible. Being productive in ways that we can measure is important, but equally important are some of the ways that we spend our time that defy measurement. I spend a lot of time in my home office where it’s easy to get lost in whatever I’m doing. Often, I’ll feel a twinge that says, “This is important, but it’s not everything.” I’ll stop and go downstairs and talk, play, or just be with my youngest daughter, or I’ll call my eldest who is away at college.
That’s just one example of how I try to foster my relationship with time. Another, is the time that I spend discovering news people and new ideas, like you and your post. Some might consider it a wasteful use of time, but I feel that discovery is as essential as just about anything else.
While productivity is important, we are only assured of the present moment, and when our moments have ended, our legacies ought to be measurable in more ways than on a balance sheet.
Welcome to the conversation Ray, and what an interesting and thought provoking comment, and I personally love your line that our legacies ought to be measurable in more ways than on a balance sheet. So true. A much greater definition of success to my mind. 🙂
i don’t think i operate in time like people with regular jobs do. i go by my own time 😛 not the fast-paced time that permeates.
I like that a lot Janet, going by your own time. Need to use this one for my own self, 🙂