This fall, I am working on my relationship with time. I’ve combined my September and October challenges to take on several aspects of my daily mental struggle with the perception of not having enough time.
In September, I planned to challenge scarcity vs. abundance. Because this focus is so broad, I narrowed it down to specifically challenge my mindset of scarcity when it comes to time.
In October, I planned a “To-Do List” challenge. This again has time as its central theme. I am very To-Do list focused, but find that I never feel accomplished because there are always tasks remaining on the list at the end of the day.
This perception of not having enough time impacts me on a daily basis. Most days, no matter what I’m doing, I am thinking about the list of other things I need to be or should be doing concurrently. Instead of focusing on completing one thing at a time, I am adding unnecessary stress by constantly having a list of unfinished tasks running through my head. I am not enjoying the fun things I have planned, because the awaiting to-do list is always on my mind.
I also want to find space to think, relax, and create. When I’m chronically busy I have a difficult time also being truly creative or productive. I’m focusing on the daily tasks, instead of allowing myself the freedom to wander.
The magnitude of this challenge has led to some procrastination on getting started. This challenge seems epic, with chronic business being an ingrained habit that seems insurmountable to overcome. However, inaction will definitively not help. I decide to take some small steps throughout the rest of October and into November to see if I can incrementally alter my perception of time scarcity.
Some of the small steps I have planned include:
1) Practice daily mindfulness: I took a mindfulness course a few years ago, but have never successfully transitioned this to a daily practice. Starting October 15th I plan to spend at least 15 minutes practicing daily mindfulness and observing the results.
2) Drive perspective into the daily to-do list tasks: I plan to do a bit of research on time management and prioritization. While I don’t think I can do away with the lists (it is a functional tool for not having to constantly remember everything) I want to reduce the emotion associated with checking or not checking things off.
3) Challenge the effectiveness of my time allocation: Look for things to remove from my life in order to make space to relax. One thing that immediately comes to mind is Social Media. I am planning to track my social media usage for at least a week, and see if I can break the habit of scrolling through every time I have a free moment.
About the Photo
I love being near the Ocean. Something about the waves and sand are instantly relaxing and seem to make time slow down a bit. I’m hoping to be able to bring this feeling of peace and calm into my daily routine.