How to be free of self-made time traps

Living time

We’re moving through the effects of time in this series and this post shows us how to free ourselves from time traps of our own making; often an issue with many people – where do I find the time to achieve the results I want?

In essence, our problem is that we fail to systematically set priorities for our life. And if we don’t discriminate between what’s important and what’s secondary, we’ll never have enough time.

Regardless of whatever medical breakthroughs might occur in our lifetime, immortality simply isn’t in the cards for us. Despite our human limitations many of us live as though we’ll be around forever. A key assumption linked to our tendency to procrastinate is that we can always deal with something later, a hypothetical later that may never occur.

So many of us unwittingly waste our time, then rationalise our failures by saying that there’s never enough time. That, we mistakenly reason, explains why we haven’t achieved what we’d hoped to. But ultimately, the responsibility for not accomplishing what may have been most important to us lies not with the lack of time but with our misguided use of it.

The solution is that we have to seriously reflect on what we care about most. Given who we are and who we aspire to be, what is it that we most value?

The process of prioritising is hardly anything new. But we’re unaware of what realistically we can achieve within a given time frame. After all, if we became clear about what means the most to us we should be able to schedule our life accordingly. And we’ll almost certainly discover that there is enough time to bring our ambitions to fruition.

Arranging our time requires eliminating those things that aren’t our highest priority. If we have many interests, at the very least, we’ll need to prioritise them. The amount of time we have is not limitless so we need to choose those things that promise us the greatest rewards.

The pace of time

Despite the many time saving devices, instant communication and technology that allows us to do things NOW, we often complain of not having time, the pace of everyday life and the speed of the years flying by. The paradox is the more labour saving, time saving devices we have the less free time we seem to have for ourselves.

We can accept the effect of technology with its instant communication, the technical fulfilment of many human activities that previously required at least some physical presence. These are, more often than not, good things – but we need to consider how much of this progress is accompanied by the fact that we need less and less conscious attention to perform these activities.

The effects of advancing technology, for all the promise it offers the world has, to many people, placed the instant satisfaction of desire above the art of living. To be present, truly present, is to have conscious attention.

It’s not, therefore, the pace of change that is the source of our problem of time. It’s our reaction to it and the way we allow it to influence our lives. Enjoy the many benefits technology provides, but also know when to take life ‘off line’, slow down and enjoy what we’re doing.

I don’t have the time!

Lack of time is the single biggest excuse for not doing the things that need to be done in our lives. It’s the major excuse that holds us back from ever realising our full potential and achieving our goals. The reality is that it’s often the busiest people who get the most done.

Managing yourself within time takes discipline. Discipline to avoid wasting time and to keep focused on being productive. If you don’t manage some time to pursue your dreams they will slip away.

We create our own destiny with the choices we make. Time can be our saviour or executioner depending on how we act on our choices. There is a price to pay for everything we do; the price of time.

There are more demands than ever for the hours of our lives. So many have given in and decided that their dreams have to wait, putting them on the back burner until the mythical ‘someday’. If we’re time poor now it’s because of the decisions we’ve made. We choose the activities and priorities in our lives, and filling our time with secondary activities or those we believe others expect us to do have a cost. Everything we do and everything we commit to takes away the minutes and hours and ultimately the years of our lives.

While managing ourselves within time is relatively simple it’s never easy. Like most things in life, it’s all about choice. Many people have the expertise to do great things but few take the steps required to be exceptional. They remain locked in the procedural flow of life and fail to break out because they just don’t have the … time.

So how do we make time work for us? That’s the topic of the next and final post in this series.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: