Summary: This article is for those who want to have more career opportunities and become well-off without sacrificing themselves, their families, hobbies and other aspects of life. What to do when it seems that time is never enough? Is it really about time?
We often have a feeling that our life resembles a race. Or even worse than that: we feel like a squirrel in a wheel and are constantly stressed. At such moments we cannot help but think: “When will I finally get a bit of time for myself and my own needs? When would I get time for some other important things?” It seems that we are constantly lacking time: for ourselves, for our loved ones, children, for sports, hobbies or travels. No matter what we try, some sphere of our life suffers.
How to distinguish time management problems from deeper issues? Case study.
Working with my clients, I have realised that many problems, initially perceived as the problems of time management, have deeper roots. Just one case study. A rather successful businessman was trying to develop his business further. He sought some professional help in time management: how to reach an effective work-life balance so that there is enough time for family, business and hobbies? During the sessions, we found out that behind his time management problems there was the fear of losing his business and reluctance to develop it further. Those fears had considerable impact on his inner well-being. He had developed a constant feeling of anxiety, which was hidden behind a seeming problem of the lack of time. Having successfully worked through his fears and beliefs (e.g.: business is a dangerous endeavour; big money creates more enemies), the client began to devote less time to work than before, while managing to do much more. The business began to develop actively. What was even more important, the time was freed for loved ones and himself.
There can be many layers, hiding under the excuse of the lack of time. They have their roots in various spheres of our lives: childhood, societal or family pressures and constraints, peer pressure, etc. These issues are in no way related to time but we link them together out of ignorance: it is a protective mechanism for shifting or avoiding responsibility by transmitting it onto an artifact - in this case, time.
Do we lack time or flee some problems?
Even the best time management techniques won’t work if the problems we try to solve have deeper roots. There are problems that are not related to time: those are internal situations from which we try to flee. Worse than that: while confronting such situations, we experience anxiety but cannot understand why we run away or continue to worry.
At first glance, we do everything correctly: we set up our goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and then we take action. But somehow, magically, time is running out again. This happens because there is internal resistance.
The irony of the situation is that somehow, often unwillingly and unintentionally, our attention is directed not on our plans and goals but towards our internal discomfort. No matter what we do and how hard we try, there is no satisfaction. Instead, we are entering a vicious circle: we try harder, we run faster, but the result is all the same - internal discomfort, accompanied by frustration, depression and discontent. Even when we have successful days and feel fulfilled, there is no regularity in this.
What our body tells us about our problems?
When problems get really serious and persistent, our body tries to warn us by giving such indicators as anxiety, headache, poor sleep, breathing problems, problems with heart, thyroid gland or hormone levels, inability to relax or simply knee problems.
These are all signals that our body is emotionally overwhelmed. It's high time to take care of yourself. "Push further!" is not a good option. What is really important here is to start taking care of yourself on time!
Sacrifices and drastic decisions to gain some time
Chronic lack of time leads some people to drastic career decisions. People are ready to sacrifice their career growth and business expansion, reflecting: “If I don’t have enough time now, what would happen if I get promoted? It will only get worse, there will be no time left for anything!” As a result, we are shutting doors to new opportunities and don’t let our talents and potential grow.
Most people, realizing this problem, turn to time management tools, but hardly anything changes. Time management techniques are good and productive, why, then, they don’t work for everybody?
Constant “no time” symptoms signal that there are unresolved issues. Only when we finally accept that we have to confront them and work them out, can we reach inner calm. At such a moment, our priorities will begin setting up automatically. As a result, our attention, concentration, and focus will improve. We will be able to devote our time to career, business, and money without sacrificing other areas of life.
If you recognize your own situation in this description - take a break. Assess where you are, where are you heading to? Is it deliberate racing or one that is genetically transmitted to you by your parents or imposed by society? Have you seen any improvements in your life in the last 6-12 months? Does the cognitive calming phrase “everything will be fine” help your emotional state?
Everything can be changed and it's never too late to start! But the sooner you do this, the easier the path of change will be. Without going through ALL the loss and pain. All of these problems can be worked out with a coach or psychologist. So people think that a psychologist or a coach is an expensive solution. Approach this matter from the other side: this is your investment in the future. It is much better and cost-effective to invest in coaching today than to spend much more money tomorrow on resolving the consequences of your health problems (which will be inevitable if you suppress the need to confront and solve the inner fears and constraints).
All the limitations that we experience have their roots within us. Only we ourselves are capable of changing our lives, by developing different attitudes and perceptions of the world around us. This is by far the best approach, which saves time, health, money, and relationships with loved ones.
And what about the lack of time? Time will not appear from the thin air, this is an illusion. As there will never be a right time for a change unless you decide that this is the right moment. An action is needed. This decision may seem inconvenient, it may seem that the time is not ripe yet. But this is the only way to get out of the vicious circle of constant race.
Our clients (and they come from such well-known companies and firms as Credit Suisse, UBS, Novartis, Nestle, LOnza, GSK) have all gone through similar circles at one point. Yet, they were bold enough to make a right decision and just started approaching their problems differently. This has led them to incredible results. And that is exactly what we wish our readers.
You can get in touch with us through our website. Together we’ll look into your issues and discuss the range of possible solutions in order to reach the optimal result that suits your needs and expectations.
And what about you? Do you experience any challenges with time management? Do you feel there are deeper issues that need to be tackled if we want to have enough time for everything?
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…”
(W. Shakespeare, As You Like It)
We believe that each and every one of us is not only a leading actor but first and foremost a writer of our own destiny. Overwhelmed by life events, we may unintentionally forget that we are the sole playwrights of our own lives. We may even unwittingly drop or lose the thread of our unfolding life story. Then, we start questioning ourselves and let others do the writing for us. Doesn’t this happen to all of us occasionally? The best thing we can do is to resume the leadership as soon as we can: only we should write the play of our life!
With the renewed confidence and new skills, we design new perspectives. Coaching and training are the best instruments we use to achieve this goal.