Monday, 24 January 2011

Have you got the Time please?

Most people would agree that the single most precious commodity is time- apart from money that is, though as John Rohn says: “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” 

Whilst we have all the latest gadgets and mod cons that we would want to try and make our lives easier, time seems to be even more limited. We all try and cram more into our hours, minutes and seconds, despite the fact that the average life expectancy is longer than it has ever been. We end up feeling like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, feeling as if we are chasing time rather than believing we have the choice how we spend it. How many people say “I haven’t got the time” whilst they are busy trying to get to the next place or achieve the next thing?

Time rich or time poor?

True time wealth isn’t all about how much time you’ve got- it’s about having the right kind of time. If we did actually log our time and looked at how much we were spending on pursuing our careers, looking after our family, seeing our friends, spending time on ourselves, we would get a more accurate picture of where we needed to be spending more time.  I use the analogy with some of my clients of each of us having an energy or time bank account and needing to make sure we invest into all the life areas.  Sometimes we are so focused on keeping all the balls in the air, we miss the bigger picture!

A good example of this was a client of mine, Sam who came to see me as she was suffering from stress and anxiety and on the verge of burning out.  Using a balance wheel, we were able to establish the amount of time she was spending (and enjoying) in each area of her life.  It was made clear to her that her personal life had suffered a great deal from her new promotion at work and that she rarely spent any time with her friends or on herself.  She also admitted feeling quite guilty at the thought of spending time just on herself and that any spare time ‘should ‘ be  spent on others;  she was a mother and wife and it was her ‘duty’.  Sound familiar?

Stop ‘Shoulding’ over yourself

A lot of us get caught up in the ‘should’ trap; feeling ‘I should be doing this’ and ‘I should be doing that’, rather than asking ourselves ‘what do I really want to do?’.  Okay, we may need to go to work and take the kids to school etc. though what would I like to do with the time that’s left? 

Just for starters, just take a few moments  to make a pie chart or balance wheel of your life and the different areas, including time for yourself and fun. Divide the chart depending on how much time you spend in each area then rate it out of 10 how much you feel happy and content  (10 being really satisfied, 0 being zero contentment).  Then just choose two areas you need to improve on based on the time and contentment factors. For example, Sam chose to focus on investing more in her friendships and hobbies.

Following this, make a list of things that come to mind relating to each of these areas; whether it’s going to the gym regularly, going to see a friend or having a hot bath- write it down.  Then look at the list again and commit yourself to doing one of those things today and then do the same tomorrow and the next day. Just experiment with how that feels- be aware of the ‘shoulds’ and guilt creeping in and then challenge those thoughts: ‘Why shouldn’t I do that and make myself happy?’. Keep affirming to yourself as you do it that you deserve to do this for yourself to increase your sense of wellbeing.

Also see it as investing more into your energy and time account for you before you go into serious overdraft like Sam.  Time is precious so make a choice how you spend it- just remember to make the right investments!

Alexandra Bacon is a certified Advanced EFT Practitioner, Counsellor, Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner, Wellbeing consultant and Trainer. To book your personalised treatment session please call Alexandra on 01629 825968/ 07950 568635.

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