There is no perfect time management system. There is never going to be that just right solution be it analog, digital, app, plug-in, calendar hacks that will get everything organized just so thereby leading to getting everything on the To-Do list DONE. Even if we stopped sleeping, loving, exercising, well, living all together, tie ourselves to the desk and just keep going. At the end of this massive self/life deprivation push, we would still be confronted with a list of what's next. The list self regenerates!
Welcome to time poverty. Time Poverty "exists across all economic strata, and its effects are profound. Research shows that those who feel time-poor experience lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. They experience less joy. They laugh less. They exercise less and are less healthy. Their productivity at work is diminished. They are more likely to get divorced." (HBR)
What is more surprising is "the more we get paid for our time, the more we value it, and the more intensely we feel the loss of any moment."
What if we reconsidered time? What if time is elastic and fluid and will expand and contract in relation to us and our mindset? As there is a difference between the experiencing self and the remembering self (Daniel Kahneman) what if we revisited the strictness of 60, 24, 7, 365 and allowed ourselves to be generous with it so it may return to us a different experience?
It's mid-February and I struggle not only with the To-Do but big ideas; maybe time is ever more relevant now that I'm 40.
I want to find a new relationship with Time. One where it is not the ruler over me nor am I the delusional person trying to tame it. A relationship that in mutuality with each other. Something better. Something sweeter.
IDEAS YOU CAN STEAL
Work with your laptop unplugged. Work until the battery is about to die, then take a break. I've been trying it out this week and I'm liking it. It builds in these natural breaks that my eyes need.
Compounding Knowledge. "A lot of us are on the treadmill of consuming expiring information. Not [Warren] Buffett. He filled his mental filing cabinet with information that had a long half-life." This is a great argument to stop reading a certain kind of daily news, opt for books and long-form essays in addition to taking a long view on all matters including the information and knowledge that we ingest day to day.
WORTH A READ
Time for Happiness. Insightful HBR article that is cited above.
There are many surprising insights in the article, one of them is "Learn how to say no, but don’t use time as an excuse...People who [use time as an excuse] are seen as less likable and less trustworthy."
A media coach. Or someone who can help me translate my theater training into live presentations.
Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic.
It's an affectionate spoof on Harry Potter. The seven-year sage told through the house that is least mentioned. It's goofy. It's fun. It's low tech and low production value and it is so well rehearsed that they never miss a beat. It's a pleasure to watch. It reminds me of high school and the kind of play we would stage.
“The true material of knowledge is meaning. The only way to glean knowledge is contemplation. And the road to that is time. There’s nothing else. It’s just time. There is no shortcut for the conquest of meaning. And ultimately, it is meaning that we seek to give to our lives.” Maria Popova