February is “National Time Management Month.”
Good luck with that. The average person has already tried 13 different methods to get a grip on the tyranny of time, and this is not new. Calendars were invented about 5000 years ago to help us track the annual flooding of the Nile because life and agriculture depended on knowing when the floods would begin. So we made up time to serve us, rather than the other way around! Let me repeat that, excerpted from “Getting to G.R.E.A.T.”:
“[W]e created time to help us to survive and to thrive—not to torture us the way we have let it, it seems just about from the start. From the Ancient Hindu Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago:
I am come as Time, the waster of peoples, ready for the hour that ripens to their ruin.“
Who’s in Charge?
Come on now. Who’s in charge here? Are we going to let this abstract thing we made up, that no one can even define, define our lives? But there are only twenty-four hours in a day, you say; what can we do about that? There are plenty enough hours in the day when we are spending them right.
Yes, that is right, all we need to do is take back the power. Put the executive brain in charge of time. Multitasking is not your friend. And neither is mind wandering all over the place for the fun of it. Both are energy sucks. And energy is time, because in a clear and focused state of high energy we get more done. And we get it done right, so we don’t have to waste time doing it all over again.
With all due respect, the ancients say that Time is the Waster of Peoples. I say that People are the Waster of Time.
Sure, there is tons of advice on time management strategy all over the internet: list making, prioritizing, chunking, do the worst task first to get it out of the way, do the best task first to energize you for the rest… Wait, what?
And, again, maybe you, like so many others, have tried a lot of these strategies, and everything stays the same, including and especially your everyday angst about time. If this is you, how about if you try getting a grip on the undisciplined mind and see what happens from there.
Wouldn’t it be great if you got enough energy and clarity to propel you through your productive day, as if there were all of a sudden more hours in the day even though there were not?
I am in the middle of a book launch, filled with tasks I never did before. Plus, I bake cake and cookies for the kids to put a line under how much I love them and who I am beyond all of the other things that I love to do.
So today while I was rolling out the dough for my grandmother’s “golden pennies,” I made sure to keep bringing the mind back to focus on what I was doing at the time I was doing it.
It does not matter what the task is. What does matter is a happy, energetic, disciplined mind. Getting to G.R.E.A.T. has exercises to help with this. But for right here right now, if you care to, try paying attention on purpose today, with whatever the tasks may be, and let us know what you find.
Lots of love,