It is not rocket science and you probably heard this one before: work in work time, play in play time. Still, between knowing it and applying it there is a gap.
And it is impressive how far this technique, when applied, can take you out of chaos land into relaxed, energized and motivated work land, and how many people think play and relax time is optional, something that can and almost should be invaded by work whenever it is necessary.
So, you think you finally got it, you are on top of it, you can time manage like a pro and act on your priorities.
And it all works out well, you can see the big picture, you act on your goals, you do the important stuff, while other people seem stuck in gluey mess of unclarity. The same gluey mess that made you rethink your time strategy, destructure your habits, restructure your time use and basically take quite a bit of time and thought to put yourself in a better, more focused position.
Imagine you have two main projects in your calendar, that you should be working on. In fact, any step in those two projects is bound to make you quite content with yourself, to make you feel that you are making progress, that you are safe and on track, and that you will manage to get it done.
Time richness is not only about hitting your goals, but also about how you generally feel when inhabiting your time: whether you feel stressed out, or unprepared, or you feel there is enough time for you to get ready for things and launch into them from a place of clarity of mind and energy.
Unfortunately, though many of us enjoy feeling prepared for things, we often sabotage that good feeling by cramming in one extra activity, or staying on an activity for too long, to manage to get more done, before going for that next meeting, activity, or the leisure time for which we would like to feel prepared and in an appropriate mood. Time itself won't ring a bell in our head to tell us we should stop what we are doing and prepare for the next activity. And we won't get extra time to prepare for the next activity just because we wish for it.
Sometimes routine envelops us and we find ourselves without hope that things will ever get better. Compared to the things we told ourselves we will do, our life, though something to be quite content with in many ways, might seem like is falling short. How are we supposed to feel that we will ever get to the part when our dreams start happening, if we are barely able to cope with the tasks we currently have on our plate?
Have you ever found yourself feeling frantic, doing things at breakneck speed yet not managing to get “there” in time, whatever there might be? Did you try to go faster, hoping that then you will finally finish those tasks that are assaulting you - perhaps tasks that are not very important at all, and have time to do the things you want?
Does going faster really work?
Have you ever felt like you do a lot during your day, but like you do not actually achieve much, or that at the end of the day, despite being mentally exhausted, it is hard to even remember what you spent all your day on? Did you ever feel hopeless at the fact that most of your secret wishes, dream projects or ambitious goals never get touched on?
I’ve heard some mean advice, that if you want to make sure that your important things get done by people that constantly check their email, you should send them an email about what needs doing early in the morning. They will probably get the thing done for you before they even get started on any of their real work.
Saying yes to people when we don't want to is in some ways like being a shopaholic. Being a shopaholic adds a lot of money debt to our account, for the pleasure of having beautiful things right now. Saying yes to people when we don’t want to adds lots of time debt to our account.
If you are good with money management in fact, and averse to credit card debt, I want you to imagine, every time you are considering saying yes to something you might regret later, the sound of a till swiping your credit card.
Do you find yourself not very productive in your work time, and still tethered to it when you are at home? And somehow it seems that fun, true fun, is nowhere to be found, despite not much productivity happening either? Then it might be that you are unintentionally mixing work and fun to the point where none of them really happens.