It hadn’t been a bad day—it was a get things done day: several projects to advance, plans for an upcoming trip to Oregon to make, and a house project to line up for when I’m back in Nevada City.
I scheduled out the high priority Focus tasks, scheduled time for the busywork tasks, did my morning self-care routine and got to work.
Time Management mavens—take note, I kicked butt. And then… it kicked my butt.
What began as: “1 hour to download thoughts (post client appointment) and transfer info to a new report format” took about 1.5 hours, but what I couldn’t have predicted was the burst of inspiration and insight into the core issue of this client’s situation.
There went another hour. Hmm, two and a half hours instead of one. Not only does that mess with my time schedule, I used up another hour and a half of precious focus energy (I usually get about three hours max of intensive thought-work per day).
Should I have let the fire of inspiration go in favor of sticking with the rest of my agenda?
Are you kidding? Hell NO! That fire is Why I Do What I Do!
That inspiration gave me a free-ride, deep-dive into insight and wisdom that is the core of my gift to the world.
What came out of that session
- will help me help my client,
- will likely end up in a future blog post, and
- deepened my understanding of my Work.
Nope, not giving that up.
So what happens with the rest of the schedule?! The other tasks on the ToDo list? Do I push them to tomorrow? Hmm, tomorrow’s agenda is already set based on the appointment schedule.
Do I buckle down and push into Get Cranking Mode for a late night tonight? Ugh, doesn’t sound so great and I’m feeling kind of spent after that intensive session…
Honestly, I’m not liking either of these options too much. Why are these the questions that I have to come to terms with? Because no matter which way I work it, I feel like I’m “paying” for that awesome gift session. That just doesn’t seem right.
What “time” is it? Time to change our perspective.
Let’s re-write the paradigm, people. I mean really now—if you’re on track with your purpose and passion, is “time management” your friend if it all too often ends up with you feeling frustrated for not getting more done?
And while we’re at it, what is time management anyways? Seems to me a misnomer because you sure as heck can’t manage those minutes and hours that tick by with austere regularity.
I looked it up a while ago. This is what I found: Time Management is to “plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to effectively accomplish your goals.”
Control —> Expectations —> Danger
Control… what control do we really have? I mean, there’s something about the life of a creative-type that seems to take great delight in teasing and confounding the firm, heavy hand of the marching clock.
We set goals in order to build our vision. The goals turn into milestones, which turn into tasks, which turn into expectations, and expectations are dangerous.
Why? Because they are arbitrary statements that yield an inordinate amount of power to make us bad when we don’t achieve them.
Is it just me, or does the current paradigm seem to be based on a foundation of inadequacy?
Why is this?? In order to feel inadequate, you have to be falling short of something. So let’s ask:
- What are we comparing ourselves to?
- What are we trying to measure up to?
- What are we orienting our definition of a successful day to?
- Why do we give the Shoulds in our world the power to make us feel crappy when we’re otherwise good people doing good work?
Since we tend to have the impression that we’ll be better off once we manage our time better time let’s look at time.
What time is it, really?
Recently I read a distinction between Clock Time and Real Time.
Clock time: those units that click along when you watch a clock.
Real time: this is relative time goes quickly when you’re having fun and it drags when you’re doing something you don’t like. (I’ll just call this relative time.)
Hey! I’d say we’re on to something here. Do you eat at 12pm or when you’re hungry? Do you walk out the door to go for a run at 6pm as scheduled or do you finish that email first? Does inspiration hit at 8am or after you’ve been priming the pump? It’s all relative.
Let’s take this notion of Relative Time a step further.
How do you know what “time” it is? You take cues from
an unexpected bouquet of flowers from your sweetie,
the late in the day prospective client call saying they want to work with you,
a craving for asparagus sauteed in butter,
the first sunny and warm day in three months.
Even if you aren’t consciously checking in with all of these, they are swaying your decisions.
In honor of your experience, what can you replace the clock/ ToDo list duo as a measure for daily success? Because really, as you drift off to sleep, wouldn’t you rather have a smile teasing your lips in memory of a delicious day because you had a great yoga class, were patient with your kid having a temper tantrum, and had a great client session?
Yah. I thought so. I’d say it’s high time to get off the guilt and frustration-induced time management train, don’t you think?
What’s an alternative?
And will it compromise all the dreams you want to make happen? Inquiring minds want to know!
Stay tuned for the next article: Manifest your Soul’s presence with Energy Management