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Time, Friend Or Foe? (Part 1)

January 4, 2016




Ok, this blog had so much goodness in it that I decided to break it into two parts. There's a first (time) for everything!


Many people complain constantly about the need for more time.  Some say they do not have enough time, while others simply wish for more hours in any given day. (Don't we all, my friend?) One way or another, almost everyone is working to beat the almighty clock. Whether we realize it or not, this type of thinking implicitly frames time as an enemy, an opponent, an evil villain and problem.  Think about it this way: (hopefully) you don't race to beat your friends or strive to undermine your allies. So, if you're thinking about beating the clock, you're viewing the clock not as a tool you can leverage, but something you're working against.



Makes sense, right?



There's a human tendency to be overwhelmed by how long things take, often before a task is even started. By deploying this thought process, we are trying to reason out that our goals are unachievable due to a lack of time. This belief sets time up as a scapegoat for impending failure. The truth is, failure to achieve goals or to complete tasks with high quality is more often our own fault. Either we did not take enough time to do our tasks well or we were too afraid to even start in the first place. It's not time's fault. It's so much easier to believe that it is, but believe me - only when you stop blaming time can you start making time work for you.



Our attitude about time, not the nature of time itself, is at the heart of this. Consider this: How much time do you spend bemoaning time? complaining about how little time you have? blaming time for your failure to produce or achieve success? squandering precious minutes on nonessential tasks because, well, there's not enough time for the important stuff anyway? In our efforts to paint time as the enemy, we are robbing ourselves of that resource which we value most. Passing the blame onto time is ineffective. It's ok, we all do it from time to time, and only when we're aware of it can we minimize its impact. If this sounds like a very familiar thought process to you, you will definitely benefit from reframing time as your friend rather than foe.


Also, take into consideration how you are truly using your time. Do you get distracted by friends, co-workers, your phone, social media? I sure, do! We live in a world brimming with so much distraction it's hard to keep focus, and sometimes you just need a break. But remember, how long and how often we give in to these things contributes to the scarcity of time.



Time really can be your best friend. The most successful people in the world know this to be true.  Remember, we are all give the same number of hours in a day. It is how we view them and how we use them that matters. 


The first step to a happy relationship with time is taking inventory of what's happening in your life. How do you currently invest your time? Think of it like a time budget. What do you spend your time on now? What do you need to spend your time on to reach your goals? If in doing this you find yourself beginning to fear that there isn't enough time to go around, step back, take a deep breath and remember -- to worry about not having enough time only compounds the issue. It's not worth it.  If you are unable to complete tasks with the time at hand, try not to get mired with disappointment because it only robs you of more time and energy.



Time is constant. Time will always be around and it will always keep moving forward -- with our without you. There's no beating it, there's no gaming it. Stop resisting time. Instead, work with it and make it work for you. I think you'll find it's the friend you've been looking for all along.


Finally, be aware of your time as well as the time of others. Don't be late and don't go over time - I struggle with this one myself sometimes. But I find that when you work within the agreed upon boundaries of time, you and those you work with will find you can accomplish so much more. I mean, we could spend DAYS talking about time management but the deal for today was just a quick blog post, so...


(P.S. Stay tuned for Part 2!)

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