You can’t get control over your world and get the Rock Star results you want without having an understanding of time. Not having time is a deception. Not having enough time is even more of an illusion. Time doesn’t change because you all of a sudden you need more of it. It moves along the same way regardless of how much of it you need. Time only becomes crucial when you have to do something. Doesn’t matter what it is, if you have something to do, it’s gonna take time. Here’s another extraordinary fact about time; If you have a month to do something it will take you a month to do it but if you have a week to do something it will take you a week to do it. And the scary thing is it can be exactly the same thing, if you are given more time, you will use it up.
Behaving as if time doesn’t matter, that’s it’s ok to fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way, that it’s something to be completely disrespected like the three Star Wars prequels is going to haunt you. With all due respect to the misunderstood Jar Jar Binks, time will have its revenge if you don’t respect it. Think about it this way; if you are always to the one to blow it off, “ Ahh forget about it, I don’t have time anyway.” Or if you are the one who is constantly late, “I couldn’t help it, something came up.” Or you’re the first one to ditch the plan, “ I don’t need to call, they’ll understand if I just don’t show.” You are putting it out there that you don’t recognize the value of time and it’s ok to waste it, show contempt for it and just generally dishonor it.
If you want to improve your alliance with time it’s pretty easy. If you are the one who is always blowing things off, don’t. Honoring commitments is one of the best ways to gain credibility. And what you start noticing is that when you begin to take time seriously, serious people begin to take you more seriously. I’m serious. It’s like you become part of a secret “Skull And Bones Society”, word of mouth spreads and all of a sudden you find an invite to Deer Island in your Gmail inbox. Respecting time is not just showing respect to the other people or the situation, it’s showing respect to you.
Improving your connection with time is the key to getting control of how to have more time. Which, by the way, is a cop-out. Think about how much time you spend every day with distractions. Now, I am going to have to stop the rant right here and admit that this is an especially hard one for me, hard for me to admit and hard for me to confront. Checking my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, taking phone calls and talking about crap that can wait, glancing at the Google TV to see if Giorgio Tsoukalos has any new evidence about Ancient Aliens. All stuff that distracts me from doing the things that I know I should be doing. This why I say not having enough time is a load of crap. You have the time; you’re just using it wrong. Well, let’s not be that judgmental, let’s just say – you could be using it for something more constructive. It’s absolutely your choice. This one is easily fixed. Figure out what habits you have that are keeping you from your best relationship with time and catch yourself. It might be that these habits are so involuntary that you don’t even realize you are doing them. Unconsciously opening the kitchen cabinet door, standing there staring at the cups and glasses in a trance before realizing, ”What was I looking for again?” is something we all do. Or is that just me?
Once you identify what your distractive behaviors are it’s easier to get a hold on controlling them. Instead of thinking “ Oh, maybe just one more episode of Sons Of Anarchy on Netflix and I swear I’ll get back to work.” Get up, point the remote at the box and click “off”. Easy task, just hard to do. Start to defend yourself against distraction. Equip yourself with the fortitude to delay a little bit of the gratification of the diversion for the much larger payoff. It’s a habit that will absolutely reward you in ways you hadn’t even thought of.
Here’s another one to get rid of. When someone asks you,”Hey, how are you doing” do you answer, “I’m good, just really busy.” There seems to be some sort of badge of honor in announcing to the world that, “You got lot’s of work to do”. It could be you are just trying to motivate yourself by announcing to the world that you are on it, that you KNOW you’ve got to get moving. It might mean that you want to be perceived as someone who has a lot of “important shit going on”. All it really does is communicate that you feel overwhelmed.
So, what happens if you really DO feel overwhelmed? Everyone at some point in life becomes Thunderstruck with a task or an assignment that feels so unbelievably daunting that you are convinced you are not the person to accomplish it. How are you ever going to get it all done? If you cannot delegate any of the project or task to someone else and you need a strategy to get it done as a solo act, try “chunking”. Chunking just means that you are going to break the entire task down into smaller more manageable pieces. Something like, “I am going to work on this for exactly a half hour and then get up and take a break.” By breaking the overwhelming thing down to more controllable pieces you gain domination over feeling like you are “in the middle of a railroad track and there was no turning back” [AC/DC lyrics used entirely without permission, they just illustrate the point perfectly]. But, the most important reason to find a way to accomplish difficult tasks – telling yourself you can’t do something cuts you off from the flow you need to make it materialize. You start to distance yourself from the possibilities and from the “why” of what you wanted to accomplish in the first place.
One of the best movies of all time is The Wizard Of Oz. Early in the movie Dorothy goes to the Wizard and explains what she wants. The Wizard says, “ I will help you get what you want, but first you must bring me the broomstick of the Wicked Witch Of The West.” The Wizard didn’t need a broomstick. The Wizard probably couldn’t care less about getting a broomstick from Dorothy. He just wanted to send her away so she would not come back. You have to make sure that you are spending your time in a way that benefits you and your goals. All of the people in your life that you are hoping to be picked by, trying to get approval from or needing to be reassured by, make sure they are not asking you to “bring them the broomstick.” They don’t need the broomstick. If you are spending your time “looking for broomsticks” you are wasting your time. “I really like the song, but could you just redo the bridge” or “ I think this is a great project, I just need to see more data” or “This might be good if the PowerPoint deck were just tweaked a little more”. Instead it might make sense to get outside your comfort zone, look at The Wizard and say, “Wizard…Really….Do we NEED a broomstick??” “Or is this about you needing more reassurance or you are afraid or you just want me to go away?” It could be The Wizard’s problem not yours.
Remember at the end of The Wizard Of Oz, we find out that The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow and even Dorothy had everything they needed all along.
They didn’t need any more permission, reassurance or broomsticks to get where they wanted to go and neither do we. We just need the time.
Thanks Uncle Seth for the Broomstick story