“Every second is of infinite value..”
About 8 years ago I met what I soon termed the ‘worlds’ most positive person’(WPP). She was a breath of fresh air in the rigid, quality-controlled environment that’s very typical of a German owned manufacturing concern. She was bubbly, happy, friendly and so happy – did I mention happy?
It was around the time where my own life was thrown upside down with pre-migration arrangements. Much to do in very little time and of course work did not let up either. The manufacturing concern I worked for were offered a time limited education grant of 1.8ZAR that required spending within a 6-month timeframe.
The heat was on!
WPP soon taught me that time was a friend, not an enemy, if only we gave it…well, some time. The concept of it was foreign to me – after all there’s only 24 hours in one day and I needed 36! She explained further that by giving thought to time it made it a real thing rather than the arms on a clock or watch. Let me be clear, this is not about getting more out of your 24 hours per day, it’s about thinking creatively, changing habits and routines and getting more “bang for your buck”.
It's impossible to change multiple habits at the same time.
It starts out with changing one tiny habit or routine – mine at that time was getting out of bed on the other side. No no no, I don’t mean on the “wrong side”, just on a different side – after all, a bed has 4 sides with 3 available, so easy peasy! This little change in habit gave me a giggle (Hein just frowned!) which naturally changed the mood in which I got on with my morning routine. What followed was a series of breathing and yoga exercises which I won’t bore you with at this time (Hein just rolled his eyes!) but the cracker for me was the little routine she taught me to practice as I arrived at my office to sit at my desk.
It was all about self talk and self awareness. Two minutes of decision making. What do I want from my day. How will I achieve it and how will I reward myself for the achievement. Now this took a little more effort – I’m sure you remember how I blogged previously about my habit of having to do lists within other to do lists!
Funny thing is, once I got into it I couldn’t start my day without it. It was my own mantra each morning and do you know what happened? Slowly but surely I found myself looking at the day ahead with energy and optimism rather than feeling sluggish and anxious about what lay ahead.
I won’t kid you, it wasn’t easy and I found myself fighting this change in habit more than once. Self talk can be a great thing, but boy can it also beat us up!
Tis a lesson you should heed. Try, try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, Try, try, try again.
-William Edward Hickson
The key is consistency and try and try and try again.
WPP left my side after her contract ceased and moved into another role no doubt wowing her new colleagues. I often think of her and the little reminder she gave me of the importance of time and how it can be our friend and not our enemy.
In our work- and personal lives we often feel consumed by everything that requires doing. As parents, partners and employees to do lists often extend beyond our control. We loose track of where we are up to. We loose track of time. We stress and worry.
By changing one tiny little habit at a time my focus shifted, my energy levels were up and I had a giggle, a feel good. It’s different for everybody and of course what works for one may not be practical for others. And boy oh boy is it easy (and comfortable!) to fall back into bad habits!
The important thing is to start. Find that little habit you can change. Roll with it. Stick to it.
Give time some time!