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Mindful Time Management

What is time?

Is it just the numbers on a clock or is it something more than that?time management.jpg


Time management has been a staple topic on the training plan of most organisations for decades.  A recent Google search for “time management training UK” revealed 197,000 results!  So, it’s still big business.


Yet, time is something which seems to be in increasingly short supply in organisations.  Many of us are working in environments where there are less people to do the same amount of work. Where “time is money” which encourages us to speed, even if quality is negatively affected.


The result…..Sacrifice Syndrome and Time Famine.  We feel depleted, demotivated and disillusioned. We become so focused on achieving targets and goals that we lose connection with why we are doing what we are doing.


There are cultures in the world for whom time does not exist in the same way as it does for many of us.  Hopi tribe of Native American Indians do not have a word for time and do not have past, present or future tense in their language.


Before clock time the decision about when to engage in certain activities was guided by an intuitive awareness of when it was right to do something i.e. work when it’s light, sleep when it’s dark, plant crops when the rain fall and sunlight are in balance.


Today we continually over-ride our circadian rhythms with caffeine, artificial light and 24 hour opening hours.  So, it’s no surprise that the rates of stress, heart disease, mental health conditions and disengagement at work have increased.


What if there was a different way to relate to time at work? A way in which time is not a scarce resource which needs to be managed but is instead about the experience, the ebb and flow of energy and doing the right thing at the right time?


This is what my research on into time in organisations is beginning to show.  I’m asking the question – Is there time for mindfulness in business; making the case for an alternative approach to time management.  The findings will be published later in the year, but so far it is clear that how we experience time is directly influenced by how we think about it.


Being more conscious of the present moment shifts our attention and our energy.  It is not that planning, prioritising and creating a structure are not important or helpful but there seems to be a balance between the structure and allowing a fluidity and natural flow which leads to a healthier more effective relationship with time.


Instead of diving into your to-do list each day, consider pausing and asking yourself what is would be the most effective thing you could do right now in this moment and see what emerges.  Then check in which yourself through-out the day by asking that same question.


If time is an issue for you, here are some other blogs you might want to look at:

Making the Most of your Time

Brain Insights – Make Time Management Fun!

The Impossibility of Time Management




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