“As soon as I have a deadline, I work much better. Time unbounded is hard to handle.”
—May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton, 20th century novelist, poet, memoirist
Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler
To what degree do you experience deadlines in your personal and professional lives?
How do time constraints impact your engagement and performance?
Where do they help you step up your game, or act as negative stressors that crush your spirit?
How does having unbounded time impact your life?
Where is the sweet spot between eustress and distress as it relates to setting deadlines for yourself?
“You’re spending time to save money when you should be spending money to save time.”
—Naval Ravikant, Indian-American entrepreneur and investor
Image from Unsplash by Daniel Watson
When I was eleven, I started my first business.
My dad loaned me $75 to buy a Sears Craftsman lawn mower, and I got busy knocking on all the neighborhood doors.
Prior to my gas-powered efforts, I used one of those rotary mowers that would always get clogged with grass if it was too long or wet. After one multi-hour effort on a neighbor’s neglected lawn with only three dollars to show for it, my rotary mower was history.
Where in your life have you and do you trade your time for money?
Where over the years have your learned to use your money to more efficiently and effectively allocate your time?
Where and in what ways have you learned that time is the coin of life? In what ways can you spend and invest it more wisely? How can you use your money and other resources to get far more bang for your bucks?
“If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down.”
—Robert Pirsig, late American writer and philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Milan Fakurian
What is the current pace of your life?
To what degree are you running the rat race or crawling along at a snail’s pace?
Perhaps the tempo of your world is just right — you’ve found your groove and there is not much more to do other than put things on cruise control.
If you are on an entrance or exit ramp of life you know when it’s time to hit the gas or pump the brakes.
Where are you restless and need to speed things up?
Where are you out of breath and need to slow things down?
What is the optimal speed for you at this point in your life?
When is it time to let go or give up so that you can begin something new?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Amazon
Where do you currently feel stalled or stuck in your life? How are you wrestling with the sunk cost of time, effort, and resources where your pivoting is just not paying off? How can you tell when it’s time to quit and when to stick things out?
An approach that has served me over the years is the HHG method. This acronym stands for Head, Heart, and Gut.
In most cases, when I evaluate my endeavors through these three filters, I can move on or stay the course with greater confidence.
Try the HHG method for yourself and let me know what you discover. I also recommend Seth Godin’s classic book “The Dip” as a resource to explore in times of potential transition.
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One person gets only a week’s value out of a year while another gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
I own a Warner Brothers watch given to me by my wife over 20 years ago.
It shows Sylvester the Cat using a toothpick with Tweety Bird inside still very much alive.
What makes this watch extra special is that it has a small button on the side that illuminates the face in the dark or when the light is low. I refer to it as my “Lighten up” watch, to remind me to not be so serious and engage in life with a more playful spirit.
This watch has been sitting in a drawer and has not been worn since the beginning of the pandemic.
Fortunately, I seem to have developed an internal light that illuminates my life and lets me know what’s truly important.
What are your thoughts about today’s quote?
What is your current relationship with time?
What do you consider your wisest investments of this precious resource?
Please reply to this post if your care to share your perspective.
“Mortality makes it impossible to ignore the absurdity of living solely for the future.”
—Oliver Burkeman, British journalist and writer
image from Amazon
What are your favorite things to do?
Where are your most enjoyable places to travel?
Examine the highlight reel of your life so far to pick out your most wonderful experiences.
How much time is left on your biological clock?
If 4000 weeks—which amounts to about 80 years—is all that we get, how much time remains?
How many of us have a someday list or bucket list for things we hope to do or experience in the future? The challenge we often ignore is just how finite the sands of time truly are.
What happens when we wake up one morning and it hits us that we can’t have or do it all?
Hope is not an optimal strategy for living, and someday is not a day of the week.
How then can you live more fully in each moment and avoid the absurdity of living for the future?
Please check out Burkeman’s book Four Thousand Weeks—Time Management for Mortals for some wonderful coaching on this subject.
We can revisit the past, be in the present, and even venture into the future with our miraculous minds.
—Calm App Reflection
James Webb Telescope Image from NASA.com
The James Webb telescope is a miraculous piece of technology that cost ten billion dollars and took over 25 years to create. It is 100 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope, which has transformed our knowledge and understanding of the universe for decades.
These devices use various frequencies of light to examine the past, based on the distance of diverse objects. With the finite speed of light being 186,000 miles per second, we can view the moon 1.3 seconds ago, our sun 8 minutes ago, and even distant galaxies over 13.5 billion years ago. With our awareness of our ever expanding and accelerating universe, we can also use computer simulations to look way into the future.
What value have you gained through lessons from the past?
What moments are you currently experiencing that you don’t want to miss?
What potential opportunities do you see for yourself and others as the future unfolds?
You have plenty of free time. You just need to find where it is hiding.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Annie Spratt
What if time were like an Easter egg hunt? What if you could find an extra thirty minutes — or even an hour — with each extra egg you found? Consider going on an imaginary hunt in your mind and add the extra time to your base of 24 hours. With four extra eggs you could suddenly have 26 to 28 hours to work with and navigate your days with greater wiggle room. How would you spend it?
Of course, the rotation of the earth is not going to slow down any time soon. It’s clearly up to us to become better hunters to discover where pockets of time are hiding — often in plain sight.
To determine where your actual time is being spent, consider using a time log for the next few days. You can find a copy of this exercise in my Time Management Strategies and Tactics workbook, along with other tools to help you manage your time and energy.
As you apply these tools, please also consider the filtering words More, Less, Start, and Stop as guides to reallocate this hidden resource.
“About 99% of the time, the right time is right now.”
—Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine
Image from Unsplash by Randy Tarampi
What are you waiting for?
How often do you ask yourself this question?
How clear are you about what stops you from taking action in each moment of hesitation and procrastination?
How and in what ways is NOW the right time for the important (not just the urgent) matters in your life?
What are the risks and the rewards of seizing this moment to act with greater courage and boldness?
If you knew you had a 99% chance of success each time you initiated an important task, what new resolve would you find?
What can and will you do right now that will move your life in the direction you desire?
How can you support and coach others in your communities to also step more courageously into the NOWs of their lives?