When you feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, constantly focused on time, feeling like there is never enough of it, or you’re always late, keep these tips in mind. I suggest following these mindfulness tips that I learned when I, too, had to shift my relationship with time.
Mindfulness is the practice of cultivating focused attention or awareness in an experience. Studies show that the more mindful our experiences are, the less stress we experience and the domino effect goes on – increased sense of joy and happiness, better physical and mental health, greater creativity and more contribution to others. Not only that, mindfulness helps keep us receptive, resilient and more in control of our thoughts. This is why mindfulness is a key tool in my teachings.
Now let’s look at an exercise of mindfulness with regard to your relationship with time. I have adopted this exercise from Marc Lesser, CEO of ZBA Associates who is the developer and instructor for the Search Inside Yourself program at Google.
- Arrive Early – For the next seven days, see if you can be early for scheduled appointments. Notice how this impacts your state of mind. Do meetings feel more spacious? Do you feel more relaxed and better prepared? Do you feel that more is actually accomplished? If you are late, relax. Just be late. Don’t punish yourself.
- Focus on Strengths – We often waste time focusing on what isn’t working, which spills over into time required to deal with bruised feelings. If you’re looking for what isn’t working, you may notice a lot, but you’ll limit what you can learn and use. Look for strengths, in yourself and others, as a conscious practice, and you will find how much more energy – and time – you have to accomplish things. Notice your state of mind during this practice. What supports you in this practice, and what gets in the way?
- Take a Break for a Breakthrough – Take a few minutes each day to step out of conventional clock time. Taking this break may lead to a breakthrough, since many of our best ideas arise when we let our minds relax and wander. By relaxing our focus, we can be open to creative impulses, surprising questions, and, at times, robust answers. Each day, for the next seven days, spend ten minutes on not focusing. Just let your mind wander; get up, move to a different space. Be aware of your breath, your body, our walking; notice your surroundings as though seeing things through fresh eyes. Bring a heightened sense of awareness to sensations of sight, sound, smell, and touch.
Our relationship with time is really within our control because it’s within our perspective and THAT you can always adjust. Take time to do the above practice and let me know how it goes.
Here’s to cheatin’ time!