I’m pretty sure we all have something that we lie to ourselves about… don’t we?
We tell ourselves we’re always on time, or that our diet is healthy and we exercise enough or drink far less than we do, when in reality, none of it is really true.
My lie, the one I tell myself every day, is that I can get two to three times as much done every day than I’ve ever actually been able to manage. And as you can imagine, it’s pretty demoralizing.
As a project manager in the corporate world I spent my days interacting with time as a commodity. A little “box” on a spreadsheet that represented real work being done… or not. That was my life for years, and yet even then I had no real connection to what could actually be accomplished within the space of an hour, day or week…
So to me time management has nearly always felt like a struggle to understand how to organize and prioritize a limited number of “boxes”, in order to cram everything on the “to do” and bucket lists into the “boxes” that make up my day… and my life.
But in reality, managing time isn’t about “boxes” and what you can and can’t fit in them. It’s ultimately a quest to feel good about how you’re interacting with the world and what you’re creating in it. And it’s something that many of us are challenged by, in part because it’s as much an art as it is a science, even though we would never admit it.
The truth that broke the camel’s back
Getting honest with myself about my relationship with time shifted things, and allowed me see that approaching every day activities (work, shopping, paying bills and even social media) with a “means to an end” attitude can destroy our connection to who we are, and make it hard to find the focus and inspiration we need to stay on our life’s path.
If you don’t like where you are, don’t go where you go
So I made the choice to take a more holistic approach to managing the moments, one that focuses on staying connected to what I’m committed to. More empowering than a simple checklist, this approach integrates doing with being, and rests on the understanding that everything I do, and the way that I do it, is an authentic expression of what I’m about and what I want my life to be about.(game changing!)
Here’s what it looks like…
One of the few things that I DO do everyday that definitely contributes to me feeling connected to my purpose, is getting an early start to the day, using that time at the beginning of each day, when the world is quiet and clarity is closest to hand, to gather my thoughts, focus on self-care and set my priorities. I’ve come to see this time as vital and am not sure where I’d be without it. I often try to catch the last hour of vata time ( 5am – 6am), taking advantage of the prevailing energy of lightness, movement and perception, to wake up, get up, and mindfully tune into what I’m about, AND what I’m about to do.
Now this is something most of us don’t do enough. Why? Because our experience of living has taught us that the answers we seek… well, somebody else has em! And while that may be true for the superficial stuff, when it comes to what matters, we’re the only ones who can truly know and understand ourselves and our motivations.
Why do you do what you do? Don’t know? Ask! Because knowing can create the clarity you need to prioritize, communicate and identify the clearest path to get you to where you need to be.
Not two things, or twelve things. Allow just one thing to sit at the top of your priority list each day. Yeah, I know that’s not easy but it will be. As you begin to see and experience the value in simplifying your life, you’ll be more willing and able to identify the “One thing” and let the noise fall away. And when it does… you’ll be able to hear your soul singing (seriously).
Manage your mood
Um, for me, this one makes ALL the difference most days. We all know the experience of hopping out of bed each morning only to strap ourselves into the emotional rollercoaster that is… life. We also know that there is a distinct difference between what we can manage to get done when we’re feeling confident, focused, and clear, and what happens to us when we’re confused, tired, and resentful. The good news is that we have a host of tools at our disposal to keep our moods on an even keel; Food, exercise, breathing, and even awareness of our own self talk. Some things work better than others. So find what works for you and embrace it as a partner in keeping you inspired and moving forward each day.
And last, but certainly not least…
Lean on, and into, your Personal System
An empowering term for your daily, monthly and seasonal routines, your system should exist to smash stress before it has an opportunity to raise it’s ugly head, to build the goodness of self-love into your everyday and finally, to take away some of the gratuitous decision making that leaves you feeling powerless. But most importantly it should anchor you to the present, and to the things that matter most. Personally, I like the “personal” part because it has to be YOURS. You’ve got to own it from start to finish if it’s ever going to truly support you. So if you don’t have some kind of personal system to support you right now, we may just have discovered what’s really holding you back.
Moving past the lies…
Lying to ourselves about anything is useless because there’s no escaping reality. Coming clean about the lies you tell yourself isn’t easy, but it’s a vital part of creating authentic work, relationships, bodies and minds, because seeing and embracing your reality is at the very heart of transforming it and it starts with accepting that you’re the one you’ve been waiting for.
So right now, I’m on a mission to embrace the reality of my time management challenges, stop lying to myself about how long it takes to do things, and start taking a little of my own advice when it comes to managing my day (and my life!)! How about you?
What’s your relationship with time? How satisfied do you feel with what and how you’re getting things done in your life? Let me know in the comments!
AND if you’ve got questions, could use a little support, a few more tips, or maybe some lively discussion around Ayurveda and how to live a more inspired, juicy and blissful life, jump on over to my private Facebook group, where the conversation is always fun, engaging and enlightening! Just click here hit “join” and you’re in!