Well, it appears you’re not alone! Below is a recent google search result:
Our language is filled with references to time running out, lacking time, and time being short. Having “no time” is THE prime reason for not doing things and any indication of having “plenty of time” seems to be equated with “having no life”. Being busy is often equated with having status and leading a meaningful life, yet it is precisely because we are busy, that we don’t get around to doing the things that are highest on our wishlist. (and oh, how many conversations don’t revolve around our: “if only I had more time I would…” stories?).
It’s no wonder then that time seems to be the last thing that we could control. Others demand our time, we have too much to do and too little time and simply no time to sit down and set some priorities. And we believe it and are encouraged to believe it. “I don’t have time” get’s a sympathetic nod. “I don’t want to do that” receives a disapproving frown. The “no time” way of life then is not only acceptable and mainstream, it is also the proper thing to do.
A big problem for HSPs tends to be that we have a tendency to let others decide how we should spend our time. We let mainstream opinions on how we should spend our time run the show because it can be hard to say that we want something else (I mean who wants to be different all the time?) and we let others claim our time because we don’t want to upset anyone. It’s a recipe for disaster really because it’s a sure fire way to lead other people’s lives instead of our own.
I’ve specifically written this post for people who reach out for help and then don’t follow through on doing much with the help they get because they allow their time to be controlled by others. If this is you and you are brave and want to make some changes, then I’ve got some questions for you.
So, just for now, let’s be radical here. Let’s assume that you do have a say in what happens to your time. And let’s assume that it all starts with asking a few questions.
The first step, is to reconsider any automatic assumptions about what time is and how it is allocated. Especially when other people are somehow taking up all or most of your time, it’s important to look deeper.
Our own attitudes are running the show.
- You might have a sense that others don’t really respect your time. Yet conversely, do you respect your own time? Do you treat it like a valuable resource? Or is it something that is “just there” and tends to run out? Do you allow it to run out? Do you allow it to be filled with all kinds of things that you’d never consciously choose?
- Do you know what you want to do with your time? If you don’t, then claiming your time will be hard, it would be like saying to someone:“I need you out of my time because err, ehm, well, I guess I want to do something with my own time, I guess, hmm, I don’t know what though, ah well, maybe I don’t really need my time. Hmm, never mind, you can have it. All right, what do you want?” Doesn’t really work, does it? That is to say, it works for other people.
- So, start thinking about the value you could create with your time. What would be some of the great things you could do with your time? If you have trouble coming up with anything then consider, what wonderful (or just nice) things might you be able to do with more time?
And now sneak in this piece: “for myself”.
The problem is never that we need more time as such. We all have 24 hours in a day, and after being active during the day, we need to sleep. There is only so much we can do during the day. More hours is not going to help! Where we can start making changes is in how we allocate our time. When you feel like you need more time then chances are that you haven’t finished the sentence: you need MORE time for yourself!
Catch yourself whenever you feel that desperation of needing more time. Breathe. Think. WHO am I giving my time to now? Chances are, you need to reclaim it.
(were you looking for a post on running out of time at work? There’s one here)
*time metaphors screenshot from http://grammar.about.com/od/rhetoricstyle/a/x.htm