“Often the relationship that needs the most work is the one we have with ourselves.”

“Often the relationship that needs the most work is the one we have with ourselves.”

—Robert Tew, American writer

Image from Unsplash by Daniele Levis Pelusi

How much time do you spend in a typical day with your work colleagues, significant other, children, and friends?

Please do the actual math to count the hours, minutes, and perhaps even the tiny moments of your day.

If you expand days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, what do the numbers look like?

Now you know the question is coming…

How much time do you spend alone?

Have you ever wanted to get away from yourself and realized, in particular moments, that you felt a bit trapped or stuck, and were looking for some form of escape?

EXERCISE:

Knowing that wherever you go, there you are, how and in what ways can you make this most important relationship with yourself an even higher priority each and every day?

“No one wants to be the skydiver who pulled the rip cord too late.”

“No one wants to be the skydiver who pulled the rip cord too late.”

—Eric Barker, author of Barking up the Wrong Tree

Image from Unsplash by Kamil Pietrzak

Where has procrastination, putting things off, or just a hint of hesitation resulted in your experiencing negative consequences? Perhaps you have missed an important professional or personal opportunity?

Although delays and inaction rarely have life-threatening impact, they can chip away at our overall success, fulfillment, and life satisfaction.

Alternatively, where has acting too quickly or jumping the gun resulted in false starts, penalties, or disqualifications from important events in your life?

What value could having a far better grasp on your personal and professional timing have on your future?

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of Dan Pink’s book, When – The Scientific Secrets of Perfect to Timing – to glean a few nuggets of wisdom on this important life skill.

“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.”

“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.”

—James M. Barrie, 19th Century Scottish author of Peter Pan

Image from Unsplash by Debby Hudson

It is February, and Michigan is in the grip of winter. The blooming flowers of spring and summer are months away. For many, the weather can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining, making it feel that a good bit of our “get up and go” has gotten up and gone.

Our minds can, in such situations, operate as time machines, in which we experience some of those sunny days in which our lives were far rosier.

EXERCISE:

Consider a three-to-five minute daily meditative journey today, and for the rest of the weeks of winter. Reminisce and bask in some of the sunnier days of your past. How can and will you take this energy boosting experience into your day and spread its beauty to those in your personal and professional communities?

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”

—Sir Francis Bacon, 16th Century Lord Chancellor of England

Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog

I have a math problem for you on the subject of books. According to Google’s advanced algorithms, about 130 million books have been published in all of modern history.

Consider multiplying 130 million by the number of hours it takes you to read an average book, giving your reading speed. To keep it simple, let’s assume it takes you ten hours. Multiply 130 million by ten and you see that it would take you one billion, three hundred thousand hours to read all the books published in modern history.

Now let’s pretend you began reading at birth, and that, given advanced medical breakthroughs, you live to be 100.

If my math is correct, it would take 876,000 lifetimes to read them all – far more if you took time to sleep, work, eat, or do anything other than read.

EXERCISE:

As you examine your book tasting efforts, which new books, or perhaps a few oldies but goodies, are worth your valuable time in the years ahead?

“My goal, with whatever I am working on, is to lose track of time.”

“My goal, with whatever I am working on, is to lose track of time.”

—Ben Marcus, American author and professor

Image from Amazon.com

How often do you experience a sense of flow through your vocational and avocational efforts?

In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explores the topic of “optimal experiences” and what makes them extremely satisfying.

In this state, most people totally lose track of time and experience a powerful sense of deep enjoyment, creativity, and engagement.

Where do you lose track of time throughout your day? To what degree are these engaging times both productive and pleasurable?

Where do your efforts actually detract or limit you from being your best or cause problems due to the somewhat addictive qualities of certain behaviors?

EXERCISE:

What adjustments can and will you make to your flow-meter to make an even more positive and pleasurable difference in your life?

“Don’t live life in the Past Lane.”

“Don’t live life in the Past Lane.”

—Samantha Ettus, advisor at the Forbes School of Business & Technology

The holiday season is often filled with family and friends, time off from work, and hopefully a bit of self-reflection.

Today’s quote cautions us not to dwell too much on the past, where mistakes, set-backs, failures, or even thoughts about the “good old days” may limit our perspective and future efforts.

EXERCISE:

At this time of year, how will you get out of the fast land and the past lane to more fully realize the life you desire?

“You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine.”

“You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine.”

—Flip Wilson, 20th Century American comedian and actor

Image from Unsplash by DEAR

Are you a gambler? When was the last time you went to a casino hoping to hit it big, knowing in the back of your mind that the house always wins?

What if today’s quote were suggesting a different type of wager, in which we bet on our resources of time and effort?

EXERCISE:

In what areas of your life will you insert a few more nickels to guarantee hitting the jackpot?

Unlike money, you will never run out of the currency to bet on yourself.

“Ask yourself: Does the job touch my heart and feed my soul?”

“Ask yourself: Does the job touch my heart and feed my soul? You will never be what you were meant to be if you aren’t having fun.”

—Suzy Welch, American Author, television commentator, and business journalist

Image from Unsplash by Atlas Green

If you light up on Friday and dread Monday, today’s quote is meant for you. Take heart in that 65-75% of the working world is in the same boat.

For dramatic purposes, that form of regret or stress can represent about 25 years of life, if you include a bit of traffic on your daily commute.

To what degree is this way too high a price to pay?

Beyond family and friends, how we spend our days and who we spend them with makes up far too much of our lives to have it not touch our hearts and feed our souls.

EXERCISE:

What significant, courageous, and of course, fun changes can and will you take to more fully realize that time is the coin of life?

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

—Sydney J. Harris, 20th Century American Journalist

Image of a man floating in water and reading a book

Image from Unsplash by Toa Heftier

Time is a funny thing. Among the priority topics in a coaching relationship it usually is in the top three to five items people wish to impact.

Billions are spent each year on all sorts of books, blogs, workshops, webinars, and seminars to help us all manage this elusive and seemingly scarce resource.

You are welcome to download my free workbook, Time Management Strategies and Tactics. Enter the password “BarryDemp” when prompted.

The reason for all this attention is that there is simply too many “to do’s” for the time available. We have all experienced being drained, as if we were a smart phone battery needing a recharge.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you allocate some of your precious time for relaxation and renewal of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies?

Please consider replying to this post regarding the actions you take and the difference it makes.

 

If you were to do nothing

“Think of the consequences if you were to do nothing.”

—Author Unknown

FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out – has many folks living in overdrive throughout their days. When asked by colleagues and friends how they are, they respond with words such as, busy, slammed, and crazy.

A common exercise I offer to my clients is to create a Time Log – to capture the reality of where their time is going. With this new awareness, they can reduce or stop certain activities completely, and regain a greater degree of control in their lives.

In the case of the seeming urgent but not important aspects of life, doing nothing has no real consequences. On the other hand, doing nothing on the important aspects that may also be urgent (or not) can have significant consequences.

EXERCISE:

Consider creating a Time Log or applying Steven Covey’s Time Matrix to the various aspects of your life.