“I can’t make it on time”, “I am swamped”, “I am drowning “.. Which is your favorite expression? if you feel like that then you are certainly under pressure! Imagine that suddenly the Wizard of Time appears before you and is ready to grant you more time on one condition though: you have to answer the following two question in less than a minute: a) How much more time do you need? (eg 2 hours within a day) and b) How would you use that extra time? Are you ready to answer on the spot or do you need more time? The most common excuse people use is “I don’t have time”. In reality what they mean is: “what I am saying I want to do is not on my priority list”. A full day may have 24 hours, but the way you channel you energy in that time span can alter the result. The time we refer to is relevant. If we are having a ball, it passes like a flash of lightening. If we are bored or anticipating something in agony, it stays still!. In reality the feeling of time is directly linked to our psychology and energy. This is a point acknowledged by large companies, who have lately taken on a new approach and most often prefer (or should prefer) to offer to their teams “Energy Management” training seminars instead of “Time Management” ones.
The good news is, that if all is relevant, then it’s up to us to “create” more time only by being careful and cultivating our energy. Anything that fulfills us, charges our batteries and offers us more time and vice versa!
The sense that “time is available” is extremely pleasant and you can create it a personal rule by following the next 11 steps.
- Devote the first 5 minutes of each day to note your daily goal. What would you be happy to accomplish today. This will offer you a feeling of direction and it won’t let you get tangled up in a routine.
- Begin your day enthusiastically! 30minutes is plenty for your daily routine. DON’T be a “prima donna”! When you begin your day eagerly you create a pace for the whole day.
- Discover the result. Before each meeting or call, note what the requested outcome is and state it from the beginning (politely!) For example: “Good morning, I called you to discuss about the X matter. Can you spare some time?” or if it is a social call: “I called to see how you are, and to gossip a bit, can you?”
- Emphasize your wants. Not the “shoulds”. When we place energy on our wants, time becomes more efficient, and passes swiftly and pleasantly.
- Do what you are bored of doing immediately. Parkinson’s Law states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This is the paradox of a job: when you have to do one job all day, you will drag it out and feel you don’t have enough time. If you have to do five different jobs, you are energized and can manage it all!
- Practice a 3 minute meditation (or a 2’ or a 1’). Anytime, anywhere, close your eyes, sit straight without leaning back and relax your arms next to your thighs. Focus your attention on your breathing, breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. This will grant you a tranquil moment which will increase your energy levels and thus the existence of more time.
- “Do not Disturb” Purchase one of those signs and use it at the office or even at home (!) when you feel the need to focus on something important.
- Learn to ignore. Even if the phone is ringing or you have received 4 emails, it doesn’t mean that you have to answer! It also doesn’t mean you have to read them or see who is calling. If you are expecting a certain call you don’t want to miss (eg from your child or the love of your life), you can choose a different ringtone so that you can recognize it. Anyone or anything else can wait in line.
- Important Vs Urgent. For some reason we tend to give priority to things we consider urgent, under the illusion that they will grant us more time for the important issues. The result? Until we finalize all the small or large pending issues of the day we are left with neither time, nor energy nor the clarity of thought to deal with anything important!
- Schedule time for rest. Make time for yourself. And when I say for yourself, I don’t mean to do the things you haven’t had time for because you were dealing with others and their stuff. I mean to find time to think, relax and do anything that you like. Take a stroll in the woods. Energy levels will increase when you clear your mind and relax your body. Do not neglect yourself, it is your own Wizard of Time.
- Ask for help. Requesting help does not mean we are weak – that is a huge misinterpretation. Honestly I don’t care, and I disagree. I believe that it takes a lot of self-esteem and strength to ask for help. Irrelevant to that, the essence is, if asking for help grants you more time and energy, then do it! The result will pay off!
So back to Wizard of Time, who is awaiting on an answer, tapping his wand impatiently on your hand. My opinion is that you don’t need more time. If you are stressed now, what makes you think that more time will make you less stressed? Answer “no thank you” and focus on how you will conserve your energy and be happier.