How do you measure time?
Do you measure in minutes or moments?
Do you gauge your time in hours and years or fun and careers?
We all know time is one resource that can’t be renewed, once it is spent, you can’t get it back. You can’t go back and change it or stop it from happening. We have no control over it, and even though sometimes it feels like it's going too fast or too slow, time is pretty constant.
Having just celebrated my 20th year as an entrepreneur, it made me think about all the things I have done over that time. 20 years is a long time, but it also a lot of moments, experiences, fun and challenges. Rather than measure the years, maybe we can measure what we have achieved, how we have grown, how we have dealt with difficulties and what we overcame.
Instead of thinking “oh! where did those years go” maybe we can think “what a journey we’ve had”.
The phrase “Time flies when you’re having fun” feels very true to me. A night out with friends or getting into deep conversations with someone seems to force those minutes to tick away. But when dealing with something we dread or working through tough situations the time seems to drag. When in reality we know that each of those minutes are still 60 seconds, and those hours are still 60 minutes, so why does it feel so different?
Time is all about perception. As we age, it feels like time is speeding by even faster, those long summer days we had as kids have disappeared along with our waistlines (or maybe that’s just me!). The reason for this is due to how we experience each moment. When we are faced with a new or challenging situation our brains begin to focus and we are consciously active in each moment, like watching the clock, time takes it time. The less focus we have on each moment the quicker it goes by. When our unconscious mind takes over, we can move through time without even noticing it. Ever driven to work or a familiar place and not even remembered the journey?
During covid, when we didn’t go out or do anything different, the time disappeared, the new experiences we had were so few and far between it felt like the year just vanished. A day of procrastinating means you get to the end of your day leaves you thinking where did that day go? I didn’t get to do anything I wanted to do! You still had the same amount of time as you do every day, you just didn’t experience anything new or build any focus.
Here’s some tips on slowing down time and getting more done...
Make a plan
Either the night before or the morning of a day of productive work, make a note of the top 3 things you want to get done, and plot them into your calendar. Designate a time during the day to take action and set a timer to make sure you use all the time available to you.
We all have a list of things to do, but do you have a list of thinks not to do? Instead of mindlessly working on things that are not important or urgent, focus on the activities that will take you where you need to go. This takes time and some honest planning. Identify what is creating a distraction for you and put it on your not to do list.
Take time in the day to regain focus
Mindfulness is key to getting focused. What can you do each day that requires you to be mindful. It could be writing notes, or being in meditative thought, mindfully eating lunch or drinking tea. Taking a break in nature and becoming aware of your surroundings. Bring your thought to that moment and breathe it in.
Wrap up the day with meaning
Plan the day end, this can be either your workday or your full day.
What will you do at the end to recognize all you have achieved. Working from home can mean you never switch off, during lockdown when we missed the commute to and from work many people found they lost all the structure of their day.
Regardless of where you’re working or spending your time, having an end of day routine allows you to transition from one place or time to another. This builds focus and allows our brain to recognize time has passed and we are moving to the next moment.
I hope you find these tips helpful and find some time to build them into your routine.
If you want any more tips or help in getting more focus in your day, let me know.
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Or watch this space!
My Making Time Work for You workshop is coming later this year.
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I'd love to hear your story!
Thanks for reading, I hope this has given you some things to think about and you have some of your own Lightbulb Moments.
I'd love to hear about them.
If you would like some help experiencing them, I'd love to help.
Please share this with anyone you know who loves experiencing Lightbulb Moments.
Enjoy the Ping!