Well I’m working on an assignment about limiting beliefs at the moment, and decided to see if my problem with time (or lack of) was a matter of belief, attitude or perception, so here are my reflections:
Problem/belief – I don’t have enough time
I’m always rushing, often late, and always saying "I didn’t have time to do that".
Where does this come from?
I guess like most people I was brought up to see punctuality as a virtue, an element of good manners. Keeping an appointment shows respect for someone and reliability. I am also a bit of a control freak. I like to feel in control of my life. Being able to ‘manage time’ contributes to that feeling.
As a child I often got ‘lost’ in the moment of things, and time seemed to have a variable pace all of its own. My parents were mostly responsible for getting me to places on time, and whenever we arrived somewhere late I used to feel embarrassed and that I had done something wrong, or rather, failed to do something right, i.e. turn up on time.
As an adult I have always tended to slip into lateness and rushing, whether for lectures at university or getting to work on time, meeting deadlines or friends on a night out. Every time I am late I feel bad, and every time I am stressed and rushing I kick myself! Among friends I was infamous for being late, and at work I was sent on time management courses.
Nowadays, with a toddler in tow (who is very handy with a spanner to throw into the works of my tightly knit schedule), it is even harder to be keep time (keep time – what an odd expression. I can’t even get a hold of it, let alone keep it!). I often find myself speeding down the roads, apologising for being late, blaming traffic and unexpected nappy changes and feeling guilty for having to make excuses! Sometimes I give up and cancel on a planned event altogether, and at the end of the day I can frequently be heard apologising for not having kept on top of the household chores, or not having dinner ready in time.
What do I do to perpetuate it?
Try to do more, try to work harder and faster, stress and flap = add to the deadlines and stress, reduce time and chance of meeting deadlines (duh!)
So, positive thinking time�
I have time. 24 hours a day. Plenty of time to eat, sleep, drive, work, cook, clean, play, study, shop, tidy, go out, talk, teach, entertain, work out, relax, read a book, watch TV, go to the park, change nappies, make phone calls, manage finances, give cuddles, listen to, support and look after my family� errr or maybe not.
Maybe this is more true – there are lots of things I need and want to do, and they all take time. By giving myself enough time to do it, recognising that nothing ever takes five minutes, and having a more relaxed schedule, not trying to squeeze something into every tiny crack of time, I will have more of a chance of being relaxed, punctual and completing tasks on time.
The result so far
Well I must admit I do feel less stressed and rushed. Certainly less overwhelmed as I haven’t piled as much on my plate. I have had to do be quite ruthless in cutting down on things to be done and how well/in-depth to do them. In the great scheme of things doing everything perfect does not always equate a perfect situation, and healthy, well balanced, home-cooked, fresh, organic meals every day ain’t so healthy if we end up with neurotic mother from hell. I am suppressing my usual urge to make lists, as that’s when I usually get into the habit of slotting in ridiculous amounts to do in each day. Instead I guess I’m trying to just have a couple of ‘needs doing today’ things in the forefront of my mind and be comfortable having other stuff on the back burner and not desperate to get them done as soon as possible.
I still run late though, especially when things happen unexpectedly right at the last minute, and then I kick myself for not building in enough of a time margin!
And on that note I’m late for bed.