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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time -- Are you Making the Most out of Yours?

I was guilty for SO long of saying "but there's no time". I still struggle with it but have to say I have gotten a whole lot better after finishing Tim Ferriss' "The Four Hour Workweek". It also helps having gentle reminders from the audio-book version of "The Secret". Time Management was my resolution for 2008. Now I am fine tuning EXACTLY WHAT that means and how I can use it to make time for my work, my family and friends and most importantly my physical and mental well-being because without that I am no good to anyone else!

I have "The Secret" on audio on my IPOD. I usually use the IPOD shuffle option in the car so I never know what songs, podcasts or audios will come on. Lately it seems whenever I am getting un-mindful a cut from "The Secret" will come on and bring me back to where I need to be. My favorite experience with this was when I had just dropped my daughter off at school and felt the timer ticking. OK, I thought, "so I need to go grocery shopping, unpack groceries, eat something, swap laundry, write a blog post, research something for my invention, read emails and be back to pick her up in T-minus 3 Hours". I felt that uncomfortable lurch in my stomach as I thought something surely will have to be sacrificed -- but what? Then a track from The Secret came on and I knew it would be the Universe trying to tell me something so I turned the volume up. It was all about hurrying and time. Rhonda Burns in her beautiful accent talking about how if we say we are in such a rush time moves faster. If we are present and say "we have loads of time" time will move slower. I smiled and immediately turned my self talk into "I am so grateful I have so much time to do all the things I want to accomplish today -- I KNOW I will get done what HAS to be done". I don't think I even need to tell you the rest -- but it did seem magical... There was no line at the grocery store, I made every light, when I sat down at my computer I KNEW what I would write about -- not only that but I got ideas for 2 other future blog posts in the process, I ate a healthy snack, swapped laundry, the research I needed was easily available and my emails were all easily answered.... I had done everything I had set out to do and still had 10 minutes to sit and be grateful for all that I had accomplished! There is no doubt in my mind if I had said "I'm so stressed -- I am NOT going to get all this done" that it wouldn't have gotten done.

Being in the right frame of mind and visualizing your day working out ahead of you is so powerful. This is one of the tools I am using to make sure I do have the time for everything. When you are negative your thoughts are jumbled, you are frazzled, you can easily get distracted. When you are positive things just "work out" and it is much easier to focus on the task at hand.

When I was ill my CONSTANT message to myself was "I don't have the time or energy for anything that needs to be done". Guess what? The Universe answered my request with abundance!

Tim Ferriss' book "The Four Hour Workweek" has also played a HUGE part in my time management skills. As I demonstrated in my previous story -- my lists are long and they used to be just a jumbled list of tasks. Now I set 3 essential tasks for each day and do them. I also check email FAR less frequently and shut off notifiers when I am doing a crucial task. At any time I could list 30 things "I should do" but some of those things can sit and some of those things need not even be put on a list... they'll get done WHEN they get done. In the above example I could have cut out laundry and eating as "tasks" because when I am hungry I will get up and get myself something to eat (my computer IS IN the kitchen) and laundry is never crucial. Emails can wait a few hours 99% of the time as Tim Ferriss points out (actually I think he'd say 100% of the time). ; ) I could have said I need to get groceries, get a blog post up and do invention research -- these are my 3 crucial tasks. Instead I was making my lists long with unnecessary items, listing every detail in the tasks which made my list longer (ex. get and unpack groceries), and not highlighting the things that were the most important.

Tim Ferriss offers a lot of tips through how he lives his life and runs his businesses. I LOVED the book and got a lot out of it. I looked at what 20% of my time was the most productive and copied that and eliminated a lot of the 80% of time-wasting tasks.... No, I can't outsource my blog posts nor would I want to -- I love writing and this is a personal journey to me. (Tim Ferriss talks a lot about all the benefits of out-sourcing work). I won't be taking my 2 kids out of school to travel the world on a whim any time soon -- although I will be incorporating travel into our lives more now that my youngest turns 5 soon and it's gotten MUCH easier. (Tim Ferriss also does A LOT of traveling). It is the way Tim Ferriss looks at life that makes him so different and allows you to think differently about your own life and what you can do to gain more hours in a day. As with any book, you take what resonates within and apply it to your life and appreciate the rest for what it is. Tim Ferriss is a fascinating person and I have passed the book onto my husband who is enjoying it as much as I did. I highly recommend reading it.

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like "there's no time" but in fact when we think like that we are MAKING it so. Focus, set only a few daily crucial tasks and tell yourself there is PLENTY of time. Ever notice how if you stare at a stop light WAITING for it to change impatiently it seems like you are there forever? But if you change your focus to the song on the radio, the scenery around you or a pleasant thought -- the wait seems like it didn't even exist. This goes back to my favorite quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer, "When you Change the Way you Look at Things the Things you Look at Change". Indeed they do, just as when I looked at my health instead of concentrating all of my energies on my sickness that began to shift. In 2008, I have decided that time is yet another way in which I am abundant!

2 comments:

Liara Covert said...

How you view time highly influences how you use it, whether you perceive time as a concept to be to your advantage or not. Some people don't wear watches and don't choose to run their lives according to a collective clock. Each of us sees what we want to see and grasps only what we're ready to understand at a particular point in our lives.

Jenny Mannion said...

SO true Liara! Now that I feel so open I am learning so much and am so excited to learn even more! I stopped wearing a watch years ago -- funny now when I look at it -- my watches would ALWAYS break -- I guess it was a sign to abandon them! I've never missed having one and now count on my internal clock a LOT of the time. I love your comments Liara -- thank you so much for visiting! Gratefully, Jenny

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