In the current climate of modern business and busy lives where you're expected to diarise everything from a morning meditation session to lunch with your significant other; visiting your parents or going to the park to play frisbee with the dog, you don't have to look far for some sort of self-help product, guru or super session offering the latest in a time saving app or military styled discipline to ensure you're where you should be at the precise second you're supposed to arrive. Phew, long sentence but you get it, right?
You must be more productive, more attentive and more present at all times and the clock is ticking and the annoying buzz alert of your phone calendar determines how long you spend in the shower. Seriously? Yes, I'm afraid so.
We all do it, become ruled by a watch or the phone or someone else's expectations. Most of us don't exactly know why. Is it because we want to fit more in to our day? Is it to be better at what we do? Is it to be better than someone else at arriving on time and looking like we're doing it more? Who knows? I don't!!
What I do know is that if you want to watch time management at its peak performance, watch someone try to fit something they're passionate about into their schedule. There is always time in your day if you're hell bent on pursuing it.
Earlier this week a close friend who we'll call Chris (not his real name) boldly gloated in a phone call that he had surfed twice during the day. A work day mind you. Now, for context, Chris is an incredibly high performer and fantastic organisational citizen. He works diligently for his employer and can often be found on his laptop well after midnight making sure certain things are done. In short, he is the opposite of lazy and is indeed an excellent employee.
"But he surfed twice during a workday" you might remark in a whiney, somewhat envious tone. Yep, he woke up at 5:30am, a quick breakfast and a 45-minute surf at his local break. He then got in his car and drove the 2.5 hours down the freeway to attend a client meeting in Sydney at 10am. Nailed the meeting, achieved the outcome with time to spare and drove back up the freeway, on the phone most of the way managing his clients, their sites, the sub-contractors and anything else he could do from behind the wheel and was back at his local surf break by 2pm.
Luckily, the surf was still pumping, and Chris took the opportunity for another hour in the surf to wash off the street grime of Sydney traffic. Straight from the surf and back to the office until 6pm to round out the day.
Productive, high quality work, still present in the office to complete what was necessary, exceeded client expectations and managed to fit in an activity that brings joy, creativity and wholeness. Twice!
The moral of this poorly written and grammatically flawed message: Find your most passionate pursuit and insist on it becoming part of your daily or weekly ritual, no excuses!! You'll fit more into your day proceeding your activity in excited anticipation of doing it and you'll do better work afterwards when you're energised and feeling great.
Of course, you might need to tailor your passionate activity to something that fits into your life, I can't imagine many people having the time or money to go parachuting at midday, but you get my drift.
Forget self-help books and time management seminars. Go surfing. And, if you're lucky, Chris might say hi as he's pulling into a little barrel and give you a story to tell your jealous co-worker back at the office as they eat their 4th foot long subway for the week.