Time is on our Side ... Yes it is!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It's the last month of the year 2018.

And there are people out there feeling like they are running out of time. Presents to buy, cookies to bake, cards to send, parties to attend and work to take care of. The year is almost over and we're running out of time.

Or are we?

Lately, I've been humming that Rolling Stones song "Time is on my side. Yes, it is! ... You'll come running back, you'll come running back ... to me!"

Check out Mick and the boys here Rolling Stones Time Is On My Side

Time is yours if you want it.

I read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks recently, and there was a chapter dealing with the concept of time and how it eludes many of us. He says we should live in "Einstein Time", and once we transform our relationship with time our lives will be changed forever. You are where time comes from. At first, it was tough for me to follow what he was saying, but it made sense as I thought more about it.

We're always saying "we never have enough time, where did the time go, I have to rush now, no time". You get the point. Once we learn how to be our time, we aren't as hurried, we feel more calm and peaceful, and just "BE".

I'd wrap it up by saying time is here in us and with us. We choose what we want to do with time.

Time is on your side.

If you give me some more of your time though, I have a few more things I'd like to share.

Be Present as Time is a Gift.

We should be present with time. We should be present with whatever is in front of us. Whether it is watching our kids' hockey game or having a nice conversation with our hairdresser or the barista giving us our Americano. Be present at that work meeting or one-on-one conversation. Listen. Real moments of time are here for us every day. Be present with people.

And yes. Time is Precious. Time is Sacred. Time is a Gift.

Time is on our side.

There is plenty of time. And if we think of time as currency, we may be spending it foolishly or carelessly, or we may be spending it wisely or generously.

You decide how you want to spend it. You decide how you want to waste it. 
You decide how you want to remember it. You decide how you want to honour it.

Einstein's theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. He said that the only true constant, the speed of light, meant that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling. Does this hold the same for time on earth? Apparently the higher you live above sea level the quicker you'll age. Dare I say, only time will tell?

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”― Albert Einstein

Time is elusive. Or is it? I've heard so many people say how quickly time flies as you age. Perhaps it's true, or perhaps they simply think they are running out of time on this earth. That's why it's important to live those moments now and enjoy every second, every minute and every hour of each day while you are here.

Recently, this world lost another young man. He was 55 years old. My husband, Tim, worked closely with him. So healthy and he did amazing things on earth. CEO of a wonderful company, great father and loving husband. Yet, something unexpected happened. A brain aneurysm. Completely unexpected. And shocking. And sad. Those that worked closely with him, and his family and friends, have that reminder how short life can be. This impacted Tim, and I've had those similar experiences when close friends and family I loved dearly leave us too early. Ensuring you have time to do what you love now, and going after your dreams and aspirations now is possible.

So how do we not let time get the best of us? How do we manage our days when they seem completely full, and we can't seem to get everything done? Those days and weeks when you say "I don't have enough time!".

There are a few things you can do that will help. It's taken me quite some time (yes there's that word again) to figure out some of these strategies. So, in no particular order, here we go, Helraiser's Hacks below:

#1 - Make "You Time" Non-Negotiable

You've read tons about it. Burnout, exhaustion, stress, illness and yes, death. If you don't create the time to put you first and make self-care the number one priority, it bites you in the butt. Or it kicks you in the ass. Or it knocks your socks off. Or one of many more sayings or clich├ęsc. If you don't take time for self-care first, it shows up in other ways like colds, flu, viruses, disease and many more of the same variety of yuckiness.

We all know this, yet why is it so difficult? Why can't we "find the time" to work out, to go to yoga, to walk, to run, to eat well, to sleep well, to meditate, to rest and recuperate? We choose not to.

Life Works Well When You Do! Your work and your overall life will feel easy peasy once this occurs. It is not easy to do though. We've all had our ups and downs, and all arounds. Once we conquer our internal selves, then tackle our external selves, it's amazing how abundant our time is. It is getting there that will, yes, take some time.

I could link you to hundreds of articles on this topic. They all say the same thing. Don't chase the next diet, next exercise fad, the next great fix. Start small, make simple changes, moderation is key. Do what you enjoy and you'll find your way to work/life harmony. Start putting you first so you can take care of all of the other people in your life, and the things you need to get done.

#2 - Know your Priorities!!

Before you plan out your day, your week, your month, your year and your life, you need to understand your priorities. These may change depending on your phase of life and career goals. These priorities should inevitably be aligned with your values. Spend some time identifying what those values are and your decision-making will be simple.

I've spent some time with mentors, coaches and friends who have helped me with prioritization. I've identified my values, and what's important to me. My choices then will be based on this. It's a work-in-progress, as am I, but it's important to know this as it makes life work well. For me, being able to attend my children's special events, like cross-country meets, hockey games, Christmas concerts or Hannukah celebrations and anything else was a top priority and family value.

Once you prioritize, then you can plan and create consistent habits that will allow you plenty of time for creativity, reflection, productive work and play.

#3 - Say NO!!

Repeat after me. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Now you have the makings of another great song! You might want to be a little softer in your response of course. It's okay to say no. You do not need to squeeze every last thing into every day. And people do understand. They've been there. You need to give up the FOMO (fear of missing out). The party will go on without you. And you will feel so much better tomorrow.

Trust me! I was a sucker for everything. Helen will lead that committee at work; Helen will volunteer for the Chair of the parent council. Helen will be the trainer of the hockey team. What the heck was I thinking? I learned the hard way that we need to learn how to be Wonder Woman a little differently.

Trying to do it all is not reality. You need to say hell-yeah!! to the things that matter, and NO thank-you to those that don't. I would not change anything I did but I would have paced myself a little more. And let the guilt go much sooner!

At work, ask your manager to help you figure out what is a must, or a yes, and what you can say no to, or at least, later. At home, ask for help from your partner, your kids, your family and your friends. Hire people to help do the things you don't enjoy. Once you start saying no or asking for help you'd be surprised at how amazing and easy it is!

#4 - Create Space

One of the things that time can give us is space. Seek it out. Space in your day is a life-saver. You don't need to schedule back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings. You get my drift. Put some breathing space into your calendar. Book the #1 Me-Time, for meditation, for a walk, to think, to work on #2 priorities. Starting to make sense?

Creating a space that is clutter-free is also something that will help. It will bring a fresh breath and energy. There are numerous tips on how to create space and de-clutter. I've found some great tips relating to physical and environment space in a few books -  Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (Karen Kingston), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Marie Kondo) and The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin). You need to experiment to figure out what works for you. 

I also listened to an interesting segment on CBC Radio about minimalist living, and while clearing out space in your home is good for you, clearing up your mind is even more important. 

Creating space to think and reflect, and to relax is great for time management. 

"Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted." ~ John Lennon 

#5 - Be Present!

I touched on this above, and it's worth repeating. Be present with what is in front of you. While many think juggling many things at once is good, it isn't. Focused time is critical to success. Studies have proved that multitasking actually damages the brain. If you are working on a pitch for that client, if you are watching your daughter at ballet class, if you are having a lunch with a friend or colleague - Be Present! The greatest gift you can give to someone else is your undivided attention, your full self-presence at that moment in time.

One of the best methods I've heard of, and tried recently, to be present is to take a short pause before the next activity or task, meditate on it, take some deep breaths and set an intention. You will then be ready to focus on it without any distractions or interruptions. It's amazing how much time you end up finding with this practice. I've been following monthly high-performance coaching habits with Brendon Burchard and this is something he teaches.

Once you start following some of the tips above, you will realize time is also your friend.

May you find the time you need, to dream, to live, to be who you want to be.

Time is on my side - yes it is! And it can be on your side too.

Helen aka H*Raiser has a passion for work-life harmony and mentorship. Her Life Works Well movement is in transformation. Stay tuned! Her personal mantra is #HumanFirst.


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