torsdag 19 juni 2008

Hur vill vi använda vår tid?


Bild: With permission from Dina ♥ © All rights reserved

Frivillig enkelhet handlar som jag ser det mycket om medvetenhet. Medvetna val, medveten konsumtion men också medveten tidsanvändning. Det sistnämnda är jag inte så bra på men jag arbetar på det. Jag har lätt för att tacka ja till roliga saker men sen är de tlätt att det blir lite för många roliga saker samtidigt. Om man känner sig stressad och pressad blir ingenting speciellt roligt. Just tidsmedvetenhet skriver Sally Lever om nedan;

Time Management for Downshifters.
Have you downshifted and yet still spend your days racing against the clock? One of the bug bears of many of my clients is this: they manage to leave the rat race, to reduce their working hours, to balance their working lives with their personal lives, to find work doing something they truly love BUT they still feel stressed and pressurised because of their attitude to time. Why is this? The traditional approach to time management is all about how to fit as many activities into each day as is humanly possible. Multitasking, efficiency and effectiveness rule in this rat race mindset. Unfortunately, this all too often leads to excessive stress and unhappiness.

In my previous life, about 10 years BD (Before Downshifting), a typical working day would consist of about 10 hours of work in a job I didn’t enjoy, ½ hour of self care mainly to do with work (i.e.. making sure I looked the part), about ½ hour with my partner, 2 hours of commuting, 2 hours slumped on the sofa in front of the TV, 2 hours of household chores, 7 hours of sleeping. If you’d asked me how I most enjoyed spending my time, I would’ve said something along the lines of “Being with my friends and family, being in nature and making a positive contribution to the world.” It took several years and eventually ill health to prompt me to spot the mismatch!
How do we downshift our approach to managing our time and still get things done? I’d like to answer that question by applying the well known principle of “reduce, re-use, recycle” to time management.

Actually, this is not about managing time at all. Chronological time is not something we can manage since it will march on, second by second, minute by minute, however we choose to spend it. The crux of “time management” is really “life management” or even more specifically “alignment with values”. In order to avoid the type of huge mismatch that I managed to create in my life, you need to align how you actually spend your days with what’s really and truly most important to you - your values. The first stage in this process is to start saying no to those things that are not in alignment with your values. This way you can reduce the number of tasks and projects you are committed to and thus create some space in your life.

You can then re-use the space you’ve created to take some time to reflect on what your priorities are and narrow them down to a handful of commitments. This exercise is applicable in your personal and working life. How will you know what to prioritise? Whereas your values are part of the essence of who you are and what attracts you to life, your priorities are what you decide to give your attention to sooner rather than later. For example, “health” might be one of your values but “brushing your teeth” might be a priority only twice per day.

When you create some space for reflection, you can tune in to your values and then your priorities for each moment will become evident. Contrast this with being in the rat race where, if your priorities are not being decided for you, you are so overloaded with stimuli that you do not have the opportunity to even be aware of what matters to you.

Now you can use your time, the same time you always had, but in a different way. Slow down, do one thing at a time, do nothing, be present, aim for quality in everything over quantity, act from your heart. It’s not what you do but how you do it that counts. Why? Because this has a profound impact on your contribution to the world and subsequently on how meaningful and fulfilling you experience your life to be. Think of the consequences of performing a task with resentment, for example reading your child a story, explaining a new business system to an employee or phoning an order through to a supplier. There’s very little that’s positive that arises from performing any of those tasks with resentment.

In his book “A New Earth”, Eckhart Tolle suggests that there are only three favourable states in which to perform any task – acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm. So, I would suggest checking in with your feelings before beginning any task. When you find yourself starting something in a state other than one of these three, try stopping for a moment and asking yourself whether it’s something you really want to do. If it’s something you definitely want to do, what do you need to change in order to perform that task in one of Tolle’s three favourable states?

Time management for downshifters in a nutshell:
1. Reduce to a minimum the number of commitments in your life that are out of alignment with your values and priorities.
2. Re-use the time and energy you’ve just released from your previous rat race habits to reflect, relax and re-balance.
3. Re-cycle your time by deciding to use it in a different way – slow down, give up multi-tasking, shorten the “to do” list and watch your emotional state. Aim for acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm in everything you do.

Suggested Further Reading
The Power of Now. By Eckhart Tolle
First Things First: To Live, to learn, to love, to leave a legacy. By Stephen R. Covey.
Timeless Simplicity. By John Lane.

Från Fruitful, ett månadsbrev om frivillig enkelhet som ges ut av Sally Lever.

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