Make your brain think there's Enough time in handTick clipboard icon

Make your brain think there's Enough time in hand

We tell ourselves that we don't have enough time ⌚ to do all sorts of things that we would love to do.

We sometimes do projects in a hurry and we feel bad about it, because there's not enough time to do them properly.

When we are time-poor, we feel anxious and stressed out. It feels like there is not enough time to truly engage with our activities and the people around us. We sometimes end up believing that having a clear mental state and deploying our best efforts or full self on something are luxuries we don’t afford.

To escape the feeling of overwhelm 😫 and dread of various projects,                                                                                                                                                                                                                     we get involved in all sorts of distraction activities, trying to make ourselves feel good again. Yet that just saps away our time and focus further, and we can easily end up even more anxious and less proud of ourselves.

To enjoy our activities and give ourselves a chance to do them well, we sometimes "simply" need to choose the ones we really want to get done, and allocate them enough time. Enough time to get to do our projects in peace. Enough time so that we don't feel harassed, so that we don’t feel like we are running at full speed all the time. Enough time so that we can enjoy ourselves doing that job. Enough time so that we feel we have a chance to do a good job.

Having ENOUGH time ⏳ for important things is a choice.

To choose the important things, and give them enough time, we have to ground ourselves in the reality of how long things actually take, and how much productive time we can afford on various days. This can be disappointing at the initial surface level. Because it involves stepping out of some pleasant realms of imagining all the possibilities of what we could achieve in a day in theory and letting ourselves emotionally confront and embrace what we actually can achieve in one day. This - what we can achieve - might be much less than what we dream we can achieve, and thus embracing it might seem like a diminishing of ourselves of sorts. However, this embracing of reality can help us sharpen our focus 👀 to truly act on what is important, and be with the people that are important for us. Embracing what can be achieved empowers us to go it. It also encourages us to be less harsh on ourselves when we have worked hard yet didn't manage to achieve projects worth 14 hours in 8. And to pick our projects and activities well, and cherish them.

This lack of harshness generally puts us in the simpler mood of understanding that we only have so much time each day, and this can be spent on one set of things or another, but not on both.

However, do not despair - it is well known that people overestimate what they can achieve in a short time, but actually underestimate what they can achieve over medium and long periods of time. Approach every day being intentional about what you want to spend your time on, and in the long term, you will be surprising yourself.

When dreaming about what we can achieve, we can end up spending in our minds the same day on 3 different activities. No wonder we are never pleased with what we do, as there is no way to actually be pleased, except those rare days when we have huge amounts of energy and we underestimated how long things will take - thus we are surprised with what we manage to achieve.

It is, however, important to work with a mentality of being pleased 🧠 if you managed to do the things that you reasonably estimated you can do, rather than only be pleased when you manage to surprise yourself. So be pleased and encourage yourself to do more of the former, rather than expect the latter. That is what will give you exceptional results over longer spans of time.

The difference between dreaming 💭 and achieving 🏆 is not merely one of action, though action on the projects of your dreams is a great step forward. The difference between dreaming and achieving is acceptance of how your projects will have wonderful sides and sides you're not quite as proud of, because they took longer and didn’t work out smoothly. The difference between dreaming and achieving is an acceptance that a certain level of performance will take a certain amount of time, energy and attention resources. And of seeing how much time you actually want and can afford to invest in a specific project.

In our imaginations, where things are perfect and resources endless, the achievement is easily achieved. The to-do list of one day is easily done, sometimes twice over. It is easy to tell ourselves we should do more, than load the day with much more than we can actually do. But this way of thinking, which sometimes comes from laziness of choosing, doesn't help anyone. It just makes us dissatisfied with ourselves.

So the next time when your imagination is trying to trick you into taking more on than your current calendar has planned, don't say just "yes, that's achievable"; think about whether you will have truly enough time to do it or you are just kidding yourself. It is not a matter of being determined - being more determined to make it happen might indeed make it happen, but if you don't have enough time, other things in your schedule will get undone. So when you hear the siren call of your imagination, bring out the calculating sheets to see where and whether you can indeed cut and chop to allow yourself the new activity.

Having planned enough time for the activities you want to achieve each day will give you the relaxation and comfort you need to be able to work in peace. And to plan each day you will have to estimate how long each project will take. You do this when you expect of yourself to achieve a set of things anyway. Doing this more realistically requires attaching an actual time cost that you think is reasonable next to each action or project element that you intend to then populate your calendar with.

Not attaching an approximate time cost next to a project is like not looking at the price tag on an item until you buy it (with the caveat that you can't be a time billionaire). Of course, you might be avoiding thinking about how long a certain project will take out of fear of actually finding out it will be quite involving and take lots of time and resources. In the same way, there have been people known to not even open their credit card balance letters (but that for sure isn't true of you, dear timerichme user :) ).

 To know whether you afford to take on a project, you need to know its cost. ⏱

Furthermore, to allocate enough time for a project, you must release its equivalent cost from your calendar.

This means that to feel good about the time spent dedicated on a project, you must have enough time to do said project, not be on a run, not feel guilty for spending time on it and not on something else, not be surprised that it takes too long, and not pressure yourself to do it in half the time, or provided that you are being particularly productive today, compress that to even less.

To see how much it costs, put it in your calendar 📅 if you truly want it, and give it enough time. Be pleased with yourself if you achieved things that were possible, and enjoy achieving them. 

Remember how having enough time feels like by tackling the mission

Apply this with a mission.

05 Aug

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