I recently spoke about how I manage my time and run my business in one of my mentoring groups and it created quite a stir, so I wanted to share this conversation with you here.
Did you know that 70% of the population isn’t supposed to be consistently motivated all the time? Yet many people are looking for a magical time management system to manage and organize their motivation in a linear way.
The key to good time management is deprogramming yourself from the way you think time works.
This means teaching yourself to believe that you can still be successful even if you don’t work in linear, dogmatic blocks of time, that are the same every day and every week.
Maybe, like for me, your motivation comes in waves. Sometimes it’s there and fully turned on. In those waves, I can get more done in 1-2 hours than most people do in an 8-hour workday. Sometimes it’s not there and I surrender and trust that this is a time I am meant to be more inwards, reflective and gestating in preparation for the next wave.
The concept of time management is such an interesting topic because, and bear with me here, what is time even, aside from a social construct to help us measure our presence and existence and make it easier to agree on future meetings and expectations?
It feels real, always there, inexorably moving forward. Time has flow, runs like a river. Time has direction, always advances. Time has order, one thing after another. Time has duration, a quantifiable period between events. Time has a privileged present, only now is real. Time seems to be the universal background through which all events proceed, such that order can be sequenced and durations measured.
The more you focus on being present with what you can do right now the more productive and effective you are in your work. One of the many gifts that travelling has given me, which I imagine is similar to motherhood, is the ability to stop, focus, and do work in the moments that I could.
It wasn’t about having the perfect time management system or the perfect workspace. It was about showing up whenever I could. At 6 in the morning while the wifi was good. In the middle of a rice field at 2 pm because it was the only place to find a connection. In the moments between. Now I have the privilege to choose when I work based on how I feel but I actually prefer it when my work weaves itself into moments of everyday life.
The way I do that work is that I am simply committed to my expression in the world. My work is my art. It’s like breathing. I am committed to show up to my work and do whatever it takes to feel that it is landing with, and how it needs to have the impact I intend it to. That commitment is bigger than linear constructs like time. It’s a devotion that is timeless.
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