What if we all stopped trying to “keep up?” Last week I gave a Time Management workshop to a group of parents. They all expressed that they attended the workshop because they felt time management was important, and most of them expressed having “no time but to just keep up.” Keep up with work, house chores, child care, family responsibilities ect… I asked them what they wanted more time for and they expressed more time with their partner, more time to play with kids (without trying to accomplish something at the same time), more time alone to explore their own interests, ect… We reflected on how exactly we were spending most moments of our day. We took an inventory. Then we talked about what was not necessary. What in fact we could stop doing. One mans jaw dropped when I told him I stopped folding my children’s clothes. I just decided it didn’t bring anyone in my family joy or meaning and it actually wasn’t helpful in getting the kids ready. So I stopped.
What would it look like to stop keeping up. The term “keeping up” is a very reactive statement. It means we are trying to deal, cope, and get-by. Getting-by is not flourishing or thriving. Getting-by can be saved for when someone gets sick or we are coping with an emergent situation.
Why do we often feel like we are keeping up: because we are. I didn’t want other parents to judge me, so I spent too many minutes folding toddler clothes. How else do we “keep up?” Is your gym routine about fitness and emotional balance, or the way you look? Is that birthday dinner you are attending with a group of people that add value to your life, or is it so you don’t “feel guilty” for not going? Do you make your bed only when people come over or do you make it because you love crawling into a well-made bed at night (like my husband does…I never made a bed before we met).
Why does a value driven calendar make the world a better place? When we stop trying to keep up, and instead set our own intentions for how we spend our time, we are able to be of more service to ourselves, and the world at large. We are not running around feeling like victims, but instead, empowered beings that can make a difference. We can take time to determine our values, and then decide how to best use our time…even down to the minute.
What will you stop doing?
**If you want help taking ownership of your time, contact me about my time-management workshop. It’s fun, personal, and will leave you with a calendar you will love.