Are you like me and feel constantly under the pump as the clock ticks away in the background? Do you look at your to do list and wonder how on earth you are going to get everything done? Do you feel like there is no bottom to the in-tray?
Managing time has been an ongoing thorn in my side. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone take a break, or have some “me” time. And, if I do it’s because I’m tired, then I’m stuck with the guilts and the heaviness of knowing that all that stuff that needed to get done, is still waiting for me. Its exhausting just thinking about it!
I recently came across the idea of managing our energy rather than our time. Now this sounded like something I thought I could do. Given it’s also about achieving more by doing less - I was in. According to the work of Kate Northrup we’ve lost our way by no longer following the natural rhythms of life. We live in a perpetual stage of harvest expecting more from less without allowing ourselves due time to rest, plant the right seed, germinate and grow - the predecessors to a healthy harvest. By being in this constant state we don’t properly prepare the soil and therefore continuously deplete it of nutrition until eventually there is no more crop to harvest. This is what we are doing to ourselves and we can see it in the increasing numbers of those reporting to feel stressed and overwhelmed by our modern way of working.
So, if we were to manage our energy rather than time what would this look like for us as busy working women with significant responsibilities at work and at home?
It could look like:
· Considering the contribution we make to raising the next generation as more valuable (or maybe the same) than the work we do in the office.
· Being satisfied without having an output or something ticked off our to do list at the end of the day because we were present and available to our people and our ideas.
· Understanding our own cycles (whether they be biological or taken from nature such as the moon phases) and scheduling meetings, creative time and/or rest in accordance with our body clock.
· Asking for assistance without apology or the needs to reciprocate.
· Deciding what’s important and then deciding how to go about it, rather than the other way around.
· Living with the feeling that is plenty of time and managing our energy levels accordingly.
Our relationship with time often sits within a mindset of lack – we don’t have enough of it. What if we were to switch that up and try on a mindset of abundance. What if we saw ourselves as the source of time rather than a slave to it? Now I get that this all sounds interesting but when you are at work on someone else’s schedule managing their priorities it’s not that easy. It makes sense why so many women leave the workforce just as they are about to hit their strides in leadership positions. But hey we can’t change anything if we’re not prepared to give it a go.
What would life look like for you if you were the source of your own time? Why not try and look at managing your energy rather than you time and see how that works for you. I’m going to experiment with this for a month and then get back to you.
Let me know what you find by emailing me or let me know via my socials.