Thank you Niecy! I cannot be the only one who feels like there is simply not enough hours in a day most days. Ironically, last week I saw an article on LinkedIn (see my October post on how dope LinkedIn is daily) about the concept of “time scarcity.”
“time scarcity – the feeling that you’re racing against a clock that SOMEHOW ticks faster EVERY day”
Do you wake up and already feel like you’re behind? Running on CP time (btw let’s all try a little harder to stop making this a thing in 2020). If you are not aware of what CP time, please refer here. Back to our race. As soon as the alarm goes off, it feels as if you are in a race that has already started. So once awake, you must run extra fast just to stay in it. And this feeling continues each morning, each day, each week. You are constantly playing catch up from the far lane with the wrong track shoes on. This also causes elevated levels of anxiety. We trying to be Flo-Jo, and we looking like a No Go. I cannot be the only one with these days. So.. what is it? What is the real cause for this time lose illusion? After all, it is an illusion. Everyone, every day has the same 24 hours. Time is the greatest equalizer of life. No matter where you live, what you do, how much money you make, or how important you are changes the 24 hours you are given in a day. So why do some of us feel like time is shrinking and others can seemingly save the world with their time? It’s all based on how you look at the currency of time.Back in 2011, when the iPhone 4s was new and we were all “Watching the Throne” with Jay and Ye.. a very interesting movie came out called “In Time. ” Justin Timberlake was lead and everyone in this new society paid in the currency of time. The rich lived forever because they could afford to, and the poor died young. On the plus, no one aged after 25. Good looking society. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing this flick, you can check out the trailer here. The concept of this movie I thought to be of slight brilliance, definitely a conversation starter. Time is a finite thing, but this movie takes that a step further by giving you an actual number to associate with your time remaining. What would you do if you knew when your clock would stop? What if you could buy more time? What if you knew you never would be able to? How would you use every minute?Unlike the movie, we do not have our number and we do not literally use our time for currency. But time is a form of currency. Every time you open your mouth to talk to someone, you are exchanging time for advice, or knowledge. When you decide to travel, you are investing in expanding your life experiences. When you get home at night and choose to literally spend time with loved ones, you are developing stronger relationships. The thing about time is, it can be spent on anything, so you have to decide what is each interaction worth?So how do we change this mindset and truly make the most out of our time? Auntie Maxine said it best. #reclaiminigmytime. But are you really? Some helpful tips to get yourself back into reclaiming your time!TIME REALITY: How much time do things actually take?Have you ever thought, this will only take 10 minutes? And next thing you know it’s been 30? Sure, me either. Said no one. Most of us tend to underestimate or overestimate tasks daily. This in turn can add minutes or hours to our days that can take away from other tasks or need to do items. Try this:
- List all the tasks that you start in a day as you go
- Write down what time you started each task, then what time each one was done
- Do a quick analysis as to why each task took the amount of time it did, did it take more or less time than you thought, were there distractions that caused tasks to become longer than needed?
One you know how much time certain tasks actually take you can do a better job of scheduling your time. Once you know better, you do better!SETTING LIMITS: Put yourself in timeout!Technology has allowed us to (in theory) get more done in a day. Back in the day (please no one take quick offense, follow me) you had to write real letters, with real stamps, at a real post office. Count the days down and wait to hear back from the recipient. Now we can send emails within seconds and our phones have made us virtually accessible at all times. But on the flip-side, technology (in my experience) has also created a continuous need to be “on.” Whether it’s for your job, a side hustle, or for personal use, with our phones we can always see, reply, and start new projects in minutes. There is no limit, unless we set them. A really easy way to track how much time you are spending on your phone is by using your phone settings for good. For example, my Apple heads, in your Settings find Screen Time and do a deep dive into your screen usage. Then set limits for yourself per day. Reclaim your time with other things! There are other apps out there to help you know how long you may spend on a particular task, or allow you to take a break from your screen. But this also goes hand in hand with saying no. The time is there, how you use it is on you. If you don’t change your daily habits with time, you will always feel like time is slipping away.DOING TOO MUCH: Say YES to NO.The most effective way to gain back your time is to give yourself that time back in the form of less. Say yes to less. I know this can come off a bit “easier said than done” and I have absolutely been a “yes” Queen for years. There are some of us, no matter if you were born this way, learned it or because of your generational background, we naturally volunteer to more than we should. In life, we have been taught or encouraged to take a seat at many tables, raise our hand for every opportunity, and avoid FOMO like the plague. This has made many of us very successful but also kept us in this time scarcity space. A word to the wise, be intentional. Intentional about what you say yes to, and what you say no to. Ask yourself why you are choosing to invest time in this? Many things we do are optional, a choice. So choose wisely.
This wraps up this month’s For The Culture message! Until next time. Share. Hustle. Shine.