For much of my thirties and forty’s, I struggled with how I would manage time in my head. I would be so obsessed with timing things and knowing the running time for completing something that it became the framework for much of my day.
Everything was a calculation. Time for getting up, showered and ready for work was a very exact measurement. Ironing a shirt would take me a specific time. Doing household tasks, all budgeted exactly. Time for watching a movie was the time counted beforehand, and it had to start on a particular turn of the clock or I would be thrown. Driving specific routes to a destination was a benchmark of three carefully calibrated expected times. My arrival ETA would be updated constantly throughout the journey. I would arrive on time.
Any deviation from completion times would cause me stress. I hated being late and detested lateness. It was just one of these things that made me, me.
But I hated it. I hated the stress and the frustration that came with it. If I took longer than I expected to take, there was whole new stress to calculate and recalibrate in my head. Out I would push a freshly agreed time to measure myself by. Like a newborn baby, screaming and crying.
I knew I had to manage this stress out of my life, and I accomplished that by researching and working through elements of personal development.
Over time, I began to let go and clear my head through positive self-talk and reframe my thinking about what was really being impacted if I did not beat the clock.
The reality was there was never any damage done. I slowly began to be able to manage my anxiety related to time management.
The most considerable success was when I replaced the counting of time with habits and frameworks to get things done without the stress. Although I was focused on my habits and delivering on my commitments, I never had the same obsession with habits that I did with manage my time. Habits were the right solution for me, and ironically, they arrived at the right time.
Now I am in my fifties, and I am more relaxed and communicative with my inner voice. I can talk myself back down from any distress or anxiety, but it takes concentration and patience. I have to be listening to my voice and be prepared to have an open and honest conversation with myself.
I have not had a time-related self discussion for such a long time. However, yesterday, after losing productivity to sickness, my inner voice was screaming. It was hollering like a Trump supporter on January 6th. He was ready to scale the walls of my mind and take back the house and the senate. We had to talk. I thought.
But, I stopped him in his tracks by quickly pushing through a counterattack.
As time became the distraction, I got up from feeling sick and published a blog. It was a rough and ready entry, but it was done. It was possibly a compromise, a counter offer, but it did its job. I manage to complete it because of Habit. I made the decision to complete the post, and it was Habit that carried me through.
On this occasion, my use of Habit has been the equivalent of a Supreme Court Judge. It has saved my house and my senate through quick and sensible action and allowed me to get a restful night.
I have no idea how long it took me to do yesterday’s post. It was short in form. Likely quick. But I didn’t measure the time involved.
I had no reason to do that, and that made me happy.