Befriending Time

Befriending Time

warped clockRecently, Mark LeBlanc (coach and author of Growing Your Business) hit me over the head with this: “Time is not the enemy of your dreams.” Immediately, my contrary inner voice shouted: “Oh yeah, you don’t know my schedule,” and “I am very organized, and still I can’t get to all the things that would make my dreams come true,” and “Easy for you to say, with your staff and your resources. I’m doing it all myself.”

Oh my! It is yet another form of my evil tormenter, Scarcity Thinking, taking the shape of “there’s not enough time.”

And then I wondered, as I recently wrote about money, if I were Time would I want to come to me? I’m mean to time, cursing it, complaining about it, abusing it, wasting it, and then blaming it. No wonder I don’t have enough of it. I’d avoid me, too.

Time is the great equalizer. Everyone gets the same 24 units each day. In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks has a great chapter on what he calls “Einstein Time,” our ability to create and control time. He points out that most successful people are masters of time. Time doesn’t run them, they run time. If our relationship with Time determines our level of success, I’ve got some relationship work to do!

Yes, Time is not the enemy of my dreams. Time is the FRIEND of my dreams. More than any other resource, I need Time to make my dreams come true. Yet, I live as if my life were never going to end, and that the moments I waste will be magically undone by some future moments, which are future moments that would then be spent undoing the past rather than living in the present. I am living in continual arrears while Time points me toward an inevitable ending. It’s coming. After all, we all die.

Here are some tips for improving our relationship with Time:

  1. Think positive thoughts about Time. Honor Time. Be true to it. Fall in love with it.
  2. Scrub out these negative thought habits about Time: not enough; hurry; procrastination; scheduling one thing and doing another.
  3. Notice how there always is enough Time. Time issues resolve themselves. Outcomes may not look like you planned, but things do work out.       Develop curious expectancy.
  4. Discover your truth in the present moment. Tap into all 5 senses. Feel your body. Are you doing what you really want to do now? If not, that incongruency creates a friction that makes you antsy and unhappy. This is the source of that horrible feeling of wasting time. Use your power of choice to either change what you’re doing, or change your attitude about what you’re doing. Become a master of enjoying the moment.
  5. Get honest with yourself about how you use Time. For one week, track your time. Identify categories that match your priorities, and collect some data.  Check out these apps that track time
  6. Seek joy in the present moment. Joy is always here, now, if you look closely. Once you tap into joy, it fills and expands time. Joy actually gives you more time.

Consider this relationship therapy. After all, you’re wedded to Time for life, until death do you part. You might as well get along.

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