Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Value and Use of Time

Another part of transformation is related to time. It takes time to transform. A butterfly doesn't launch from worm to flight overnight. Anything worth having takes time. One can't decide to lose 50 pounds and wake up the next morning and have the weight gone. Building wealth takes time. Healing takes time. Building relationships takes time. Everything worthwhile requires some measure of time.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and how you chose to spend those 24 hours of your day is also a factor in terms of your individual outcomes. Are you choosing to watch TV, play video games, read Facebook for hours? Or are you doing something, "anything" that will move you toward the transformations you want to realize in your life. Are you exercising? Are you working on improving those relationships? Are you reading and building knowledge to improve your situation? Are you spending quality time with your children or husband? Repeatedly people say things like "if only there were more hours in the day". Yet, how would you chose to spend them if you had them? Really?

I've personally been looking at how I use my time more wisely, how I can work smarter instead of harder. Plan my day better. Feel less hurried and stressed. I've been reading a book called "The 4-Hour Work Week". There are some really interesting concepts about how to reduce interruptions, distractions, and "busy work". After all, it's easy to feel really, really "busy", but not actually be accomplishing anything meaningful. The author suggested asking yourself the question, "Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?". That would be called procrastination. (I now have that phrase on a sticky note on my computer to keep me focused!)

The book also focused on being effective in your use of time rather than being efficient.
"Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness--lazy thinking and indiscriminate action...Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective--doing less--is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest...It's easy to get caught in a flood of minutiae, and the key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities."

Now, I must say reading the above statements was a huge point of awareness for me. I can't tell you how many times I think (and say out loud). "I feel overwhelmed." In fact, I think as a mother and entrepreneur there is a conditioning that happens that tells us we should feel this way. I hear this from many other women as well. We tend to share with one another the endless lists of activities, responsibilities, commitments, projects, chores, and responsibilities all in the name of validating why we deserve to feel overwhelmed. I decided I need to think about how I'm aligning my priorities for how I spend my day and consider how to make some simple changes so I can stop feeling overwhelmed.

Probably the most profound of my most recent realizations about time, is something a friend suggested to me. It was the notion that I need to spend time in intentional action, doing the things that will move me toward my goal. Then give it up to faith and trust God to do the rest. Since I like to be "in control", I've had to remind myself of other instances in my life where I wasn't in control, and I turned it over to God. And God did not fail me.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9

Love and Prayers,

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