Friday, 7 December 2012

The Final Countdown!

One of the most common things I hear when I am working with leaders, childcare practitioners and parents too is:
 “There are not enough hours in the day”
 And at this time of year, I don't know about you, but, it seems that this urgency increases,"time" really does run away with its self, my days pass by so quickly and there are so many things that I want to complete before the final countdown to Christmas.  

Why is it that so many of us, feel that we have so much to do?

I have many requests to lead trainings on “time management” and what most people want is to learn are new ways to manage their time/tasks and they think that this is going to give them the answer to feelings of overwhelm.
There are of course many very useful tools and strategies that can help us to prioritise more effectively including:

  • Categorising tasks into what is important, urgent, not important; Considering how much time we spend on what we value, enjoy, how much time we spend on tasks and relationships;
  • Creating “To do” lists;
  • Appointment and task scheduling: for the week, month or even for the year;
  • Minimising interruptions
  • Changing our internal dialogue. 
All of these strategies support us in our desire to become more efficient and more effective and many people that I work with take this action and yet, there are still times when we feel overwhelmed and find ourselves saying that “there is not enough time”.

Last week when I arrived early for a meeting in Westminster, I took some time to look at the magnificent architecture of our city and the clock that marks time for us all here in London.  I was conscious of the fresh crisp air on my skin and took some deep breaths; breathing in for just a few minutes the magnificent scenery and the whole world seemed to slow time down a little! 
Its amazing that to pause for a while, to be fully present with what is before us, particularly when we connect to the elements that bring us sharply back to our senses, this simple action can alter our perception of time.

How does this work?
When we give our mind a rest from analysing, comparing, evaluating and thinking about what we have done or must do, we feel more relaxed, more clarity comes and the decisions we make are more effective. 

To notice overwhelm and to take action is key
  • Breath
  • Go for a walk
  • Play with the children
  • Stroke the cat
  • Practise yoga
  • Watch the sunset
Whatever works for you!

What matters is that we take time out to restore our emotional and physiological balance.  If we don't do this, our final countdown may come more quickly than we think!

When we connect to what is before us, in every action and interaction. This is the present which is the gift  that transforms our perception of time.

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