Friends and other people who follow me on social media often ask me: “How do you manage your time?” referring to my apparently restless lifestyle and routine which combines a full-time office job, a freelance home-based job, a distance learning degree program at a University of Applied Sciences, running a social initiative (the Free Hugs Vienna group), rather frequent travelling, constant partying and gathering with friends, a highly active social media life, more than enough ‘me-time’ and well, taking care of my cute little Chihuahua, Besty.
My straightforward answer to this question is: I want it! And I want it all hard enough to make them happen! In other words: I have time for all these and other things that I passionately want. And if I seem not to have the time for something, it only means I haven’t yet placed my heart on that particular subject.
To start with: It amazes me to read about some multi-million businesses that were born at a coffee house table, bands that started their world-wide known musical career in a garage somewhere, writers whose drafts were written down on restaurant napkins and world-acclaimed artists who claim to have put drafts down on paper while sitting on the toilet. When I hear these stories, I can only think of how great these people were/are in managing their time. They did not miss the right time and place to get started on their dreams. They anticipated their future by making it happen right in front of them, no matter where they were.
And I continue: we live in a world that demands a lot from us. To get what we want (aka. make our dreams come true), we must give (aka. study/work/sacrifice) and make use of our talents (inborn), skills (learned) as well as of the available resources each one of us has. Resources range from natural through human to financial resources. And all of what is available for each one of us comes in different measurable amounts, except one: time resources. On one hand, we can say that time is the only resource available for us equally, for we all have exactly 24h in a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year to make things happen. On the other hand, it is impossible for us to measure how much time we actually have, for our lives are limited and as much as estimations about life spans give us expectations about our future, no one knows the future with certainty.
Now if two people want the same thing in life and both have the same amount of resources available, why does the constant resource ‘time’ make such a difference? And the answer is a rather silly statement: what each one decides to do with it.
Wait! It can get even sillier! At this point, I seem to disregard basic variables such as the opportunities that present themselves to people in different ways, or let us just call it ‘luck’? No, I do not disregard them. While I do agree several variables come in different amounts, from money to luck, I defend the point of view that blaming the world, faith, luck or whatnot for not having is just a lot easier than the pursuit of having some or all of these things in the first place, for it takes efforts! And while we all have different amounts of money and luck, time is the available resource we all have equally, and since many of us cannot deal with the fact we do not possess X, Y, or Z despite having time, we prefer to let go of the feeling of lack of accomplishment for not possessing them through blaming.
Now back to the initial question, by getting all Jewish on it: I will use a parable!
How do I decide what I do with my time? To answer this question, I ask: how do I decide what I do with my money? We have a limited amount of money available and we must plan ahead how much we can spend, right? We estimate the pleasure and value gained from the money spent before we decide to give it. By investing our money in things that make us happy and things that we truly want, we see our dreams get shaped in front of our eyes. And the same principle applies to time as a resource available to us. The only difference between money and time in this context is: money can be regained, but time cannot. Money that was wasted can be recovered to cater for the real pleasurable things, but wasted time never comes back!
When talking about time, there are so many perspectives one can take to it. Some call time the 4th dimension. And like the other dimensions, we live inside it. Others simply define it as the measure of things from past through present towards future.
Fine, but now let me get really weird on the subject…
My understanding of time goes into a rather philosophical understanding of it: we do not live within time. We are time! In other words, the past exists in the present and the future is the state of foreseeing a potential happening. Thus, the concern for a potential future occurrence allows the future to exist in the present. We are not stuck in a sequential timeline of things. We have the ability to be our past and experience our future while living the present. And this ability is given by the power of our thoughts. And the power of our mind is energy. And energy transcends the common sequential understanding of time – it is constantly transformed, but never created or destroyed. It simply IS.
And what does it all have to do with time management in the first place? Simple! If we understand that the power of our thoughts is a power we possess to break the common notion of sequential time, we can anticipate the ‘life of our dreams’ (the future) and make it exist in the present. And this is the ‘wanting something hard enough’ part of the opening of this text. We CHOOSE what to think! We choose what to bring from the past as experience and what to wish for the future in order to make our present be that what we want. And by anticipating the joy of WHAT WE WANT HARD ENOUGH for the future, we can make it all happen today, and when we do, we experience the joy and well-being of ALREADY HAVING it.
To sum it up: all it takes to have the time for all that we want is to want these things hard enough and project them into our future to be able to experience them happening today!