Free Time? Who Has That?
Time is relative. The way we experience time is dependent on how we think about time.
For me, over the past two months, sometimes time seemed to go fast and sometimes it seemed to go slow. For the past seven weeks, my daughter has been away at overnight camp. She comes home this week. In my mind, it seems like she just left and I can’t believe she is coming home already. But, when I think about everything I have done while she has been gone, it seems like a long seven weeks. The reason it seems like a long time is that I worked at deliberately creating and managing my time. Seven weeks.
Spontaneity vs Planning
There is something inside our brains that keeps us from doing this. We resist planning. We resist making decisions ahead of time. We resist being deliberate about planning the hard stuff as well as planning the fun stuff. Instead, we think that being spontaneous and just reacting is somehow more freeing. Acting without planning seems more “fun.”
I have come to realize that the opposite is true. Because the more you plan, the more free time you have. Wait, what? The more you plan, the more you will be able to get the results you want – whether that will be time to “chillax,” time to finally start that project, or time to work. You will be able to use your free time without guilt. And you will be able to produce more and more time. Free time. Planning gives you control. And the power to create the life you want. Spontaneity, while it seems fun, really means you are out not in control of your own life, your own time.of control of your own life.
I often ask my clients “so, why don’t you want to plan? Why don’t you want to think ahead?” Sometimes the answer is “maybe because I will then have to follow through. And that can be hard. And I will feel guilty if I don’t.” So…if you don’t make any plans, then you can’t be disappointed, because you didn’t set any expectations. Right?
How many times have you told yourself you were going to clean or write or cook or exercise or start that really long, laborious project? But it just doesn’t happen. Something gets in the way. It usually is the little stuff…the stuff that will only take a minute. But what is really happening is that you are not honoring yourself. You are avoiding the big, by doing the little. What if you planned to do the big, and actually did it! And let the little get done in small spontaneous pockets of time?
Think about this. If you and I plan to meet for dinner, we would both show up. Chances are, we wouldn’t not come or cancel at the last minute. Why? Because we respect each other and respect each other’s time. We often treat other people much better than we treat ourselves.
This week take some time to plan. Everything. Work and play. And then try honoring your calendar. It takes practice. It takes focus. But you have the power to do it. Decide. Honor. Create time. You will be amazed at what happens. Discover that is is possible.
If you want to talk more about time management strategies, being deliberate with your time and discovering your power to create new possibilities, let’s chat. Finding a time should be easy, if you plan it!