Do you find yourself competing with your clock? Are you trying to engage in too many projects or assignments at once without giving any one your undivided attention? Do you sometimes feel like you are at the mercy of your cell phone or blackberry? In the book, “Power of Slow”, Christine Louise Hohlbaum discusses several strategies to help time work in your favor. He discussed the following tips:
• Adopt a “gentler” pace that involves finding a rhythm that is comfortable for you. It does not mean you have to limit your efficiency on tasks and responsibilities, but finding time to stop in between your daily agenda to enjoy the simple things and savor brief bursts of time to rejuvenate your spirit.
• Familiarize yourself with the concept of “time abundance”. Hohlbaum describes this state as an awareness that there is more than enough time to accomplish tasks that contribute to your sense of purpose. If one of your purposes is to help people, whatever task moves you toward that end will blend with the window of time needed to accomplish this purpose, the point being to trust that time is on your side when you are accomplishing goals that stay within your life’s purpose.
• Know when saying “no” to one thing aids in “creating the opening” to make another possibility happen. Sometimes, when faced with a choice, if you are in a position to say “no” to something, it can create the space for “yes” in a more meaningful opportunity.
• Hohlbaum uses the term “ma”, a term coined by the Japanese to represent the space in between music or beats to symbolize those little moments of nothingness that we need to recharge in between tasks. The point is to create space between meetings and time-specific obligations to appreciate moments of peace and serenity.
• Go “clock free” to experience what it is like to appreciate the sense of timelessness that comes with disconnecting from your time source (i. e., clock, cell phone, clock on your computer). This will help you get in touch with how you experience the ebbs and flows of time that are not being dictated by a number.
•Participate in activities that are of high interest and enjoyment such as your favorite hobby(ies). If dancing or painting take you away from the hectic pace of life so that you are not thinking at all about time and deadlines, pick an appropriate window of opportunity during the week to engage in these uplifting activities. Hohlbaum likens this activity to “inviting flow” into your life.
• Practice mindful eating. Rather than viewing eating as just another activity in your day that you need to survive, take time to pause in between bites and take your time chewing, taking care to savor every bite and how it speaks to your senses.
• To regain your center and composure, take advantage of letting that call go to voicemail when you are in need of time to recharge your batteries. Furthermore, turning off your cell phone altogether is a great way to prevent the clock, the calls and the e-mails from forcing you to operate at a frantic pace that can leave you out of balance at the end of the day. New rule: five minutes of being cell phone free can be the equivalent to an hour of liberation!
• Close multiple windows on your computer to encourage focusing on one project at a time. This act helps to minimize the distractions that can interfere with complete, uninterrupted concentration.
• Maintain a sense of adventure by taking time out to visit places outside of the realm of work, family and home. Hohlbaum labels this technique being the “Captain of Your Own Ship” as you take the time to visit other ports to make the most of your time and create meaning within the time allotted in your days and weeks.
Hohlbaum also discusses the importance of recapturing the meaning of your childhood dreams and engaging in pursuits that relate to those interests as a way of making your time valuable. For more inspiring techniques on balancing your time in a meaningful way, visit this link.