Are you desperate for more time?

I have noticed over the last few weeks that I have felt year-end rushing upon me faster and faster. It has begun to feel overwhelming. My behaviour has been snappy.  My thoughts chaotic.  From studying Emotional Intelligence I know that thoughts and emotions are deeply intertwined with actions and if you can address one it supports a shifting of the others.
Journaling is a powerful way to create space in any situation and research shows it help us to make sense of our lives and improve our resilience.   The method I used to explore my thinking was Byron Katie’s Judge-Your-Neighbour worksheet as a way to pour stressful thoughts onto paper. This process usually leaves me more aware and peaceful. What I discovered in judging time was eye opening for me and so I am sharing the finding here.

The Judge-Your-Neighbour worksheet is an opportunity to throw a tantrum on paper.

A time-tantrum of my stressful thoughts about time:

  1. I am overwhelmed with time because there is NEVER enough.
  2. I want time to stop rushing.
  3. I want time to take a pause and let me catch my breath.
  4. Time should stop hurrying along.
  5. Time should allow space to fit everything in.
  6. Time shouldn’t create such pressure.  Time shouldn’t run away.
  7. Time should allow enough time for everything.
  8. I need time to not hassle me.  I need time to not devour my days.
  9. I need time to extend, stretch and adapt.
  10. Time is pressuring, relentless and stressful.
  11. I don’t ever want time to make me panicky, stressed and hassled again.

Beliefs are thoughts with attachment or big emotions.  It means we believe they are true even if reality is different.  So here is what my mind does when it buys into the thought ‘There is not enough time’

1.    I live in the future.

I am unable to be fully present to almost any task.  I do the work in front of me while also watching my to-do list.  I work from a place of micro-managing, in my mind, as though every minute from here is under my control.  As though planning will make the unexpected disappear.

While I do one task, I’m focused on what other tasks I can fit in before my next appointment.  I glance at the clock continuously to see how I’m measuring up.  As my partner poignantly pointed out ‘you are a time trader’.

I talk about taking on the next task, agreeing I can do more all while trying to convey the pressure to fit everything in.  I don’t say no.  So my words are incongruent with my schedule.

I live as though in the movie ‘In Time’.  It’s pressuring, demanding and downright unpleasant.

 2.    I loose connection with myself

I notice I literally ignore myself.  I behave with almost no awareness or consciousness.  I’m so focused on my imagined deadlines it’s like I become a machine.

Usually, I’m a person who enjoys being me, taking delight in little things and I love sharing.  When I’m caught in my story ‘there is no time’ then I lose that Candice.

I’ve invested a lot to work for myself, in a career I love, I live in paradise (my home & office overlook the ocean) and I forget to feel the pleasure of that.  I am so busy rushing that I don’t have a breath to spare to relax into the joy of just being me.

 3.   I don’t connect with others

This is a big one for me.  It matters to me how I treat others.  I don’t always get it right.  I’m still working on that.  I do believe it doesn’t take more than a few moments to be kind, cheerful and connect with people.

What I notice is that when I’m believing ‘there is not enough time’ all this attention to moments of connection goes out the window.  I forget kindness.  I don’t take the time to make eye-contact and connect with the people.  I don’t believe that I have the extra 15 seconds or minutes that it would take to pause and really see a person.

I realise I treat people like I’m herding them, I don’t see them.  I rush them.  The quality of ‘the how’ of what I do is lost.  I notice not only do I feel rushed, I don’t particularly like who I am when I’m believing ‘there is no time’.

4.    I argue with reality – continuously!

  • This shouldn’t take so long.
  • You should have already finished that task.
  • You shouldn’t have to make that detour.
  • This journey should only take 15 minutes. (It’s clearly 20-30 mins door to door)
  • This meeting shouldn’t be running over.
  • On and on and on goes the ‘should’ list.

My mind believing ‘there isn’t enough time’ argues with each and ever incident that appears that wasn’t scheduled into the calendar of my mind’s eye.  I feel exhausted just sharing this.

Wow! The hours, minutes and day’s I’ve spent fighting with what is.  And to quote Byron Katie ‘When you argue with reality, you lose –  but only 100% of the time.

 5.   Joy, fun and engagement deminish

As I am galloping through my to-do list, ticking off tasks and getting things done.  I am do, do, doing.  There is no being.  It’s an old story I’ve heard a number of times, we are human beings, not a human doings.

Another way to explain it is – I begin to think to engage with my work in a playful way seems almost sinful. There is too much to be done.  How will I achieve anything? Aaah – the magical paradox!  My experience is the more fun, joy and engagement I bring to my work the quicker, better and more creatively it gets done.  So it’s no surprise I have been pondering for at least ten days that my beliefs around time are not helping my work, life or being.

 6.   I believe that the minutes, hours and days are moving faster

The story I have bought into is that it is ‘November’, which means December is around the corner, which means it’s almost year-end.  Which means I should have done more. I have to finish up and tidy-up. It’s end-of-year so everything moves faster.

I notice, for me, I could have the same tasks, the same schedule, nothing had changed except I believed it was February I think I would approach things quite differently.  It’s a crazy thought. The shift in my head is so profound I may well put up a calendar in front of me reading ‘February’.  Just to remind me to take a breath and remember there are no less days in the month of November than there are in February. In fact, there are more!

This article holds no advice of what you need to do or how to change things.  It has only my awareness and insights into who I am with and without the thought ‘there is never enough time’.  Can may want to consider your own awareness

Vernon Howard in Pathways to Perfect Living says

“Not to know what will happen to you is no cause of anxiety.  It is not worth the slightest thought on your part.  You are being cared for in a way which you cannot see as yet.  Once you see, you will take no thought for tomorrow.  Your task is not to know the events of tomorrow, but the know the true self of today.”

Perhaps through doing The Work I am a step closer to knowing my true self of today.  Who are you today with your thoughts, beliefs and stories of time?  Who might you be without those thoughts?  Interested in experiencing The Work of Byron Katie – all the resources are available free on her website on contact me.