I was talking about time this week with some of my Thrive trainees. They were saying how they struggle with finding the time to fit in the reading and exercises I set which are designed to help them build psychological resilience and ultimately live a happy and full life. The problem is, their lives are fraught with constraints on their time, which means less dedicated time to actually concentrate on the work they need to be doing for the programme.
As ‘not having enough time’ is a major part of all our lives, I thought it an interesting topic to touch on (especially as some of you may be frantically trying to get everything done before the summer break!)
Time is one of those things which is both fixed and abstract – fixed because one minute is 60 seconds, and you’re never going to change that. But abstract as well because that one minute can feel like a lifetime (cue embarrassing pause in a job interview when you can’t think of anything to say), or can slip through your fingers like sand (imagine being stuck in a crowd of people when you’re running to catch a train that leaves in one minute! I can feel the stress already!)
With four kids, two businesses, a Turkish husband and a weakness for UK soap operas and other crappy TV programmes, the demands on my time can be pretty horrendous at times. But these days I practise ‘thought management’ rather than ‘time management’, and this is why…
The pressure you feel about what you do with your time come from external demands (children, work, household chores, responsibilities and duties), and your own internal way of thinking – for example, if you are a particularly perfectionist type of person and obsessive in your way of thinking, then the pressure you put yourself under must at times be unbearable!
What happens is this, the more stress you are under, the less clarity in your thinking. You lose perspective. You become very tunnel visioned. Your head is full of things that you need to do, swirling round and round but never settling. You’re stuck on this ‘worry-go-round’ which just goes faster and faster and faster.
Learning to better manage your thinking is the first and most crucial step you can take if you want to create more time for yourself. Thought Management creates a clarity of the mind that allows you to see your world with greater perspective. How you manage your time after that becomes child’s play!