We have if we're lucky, about 30,000 days to play the game of life.
How we play will be determined by what we value."
~ Arianna Huffington
- ClutterFreedom™ #2: A positive well being is the third freedom to reclaim power back into your life.
- Time Freedom allows us to the ability to enjoy quality time with the people, places and things that really matter.
Dear Mindful Friend,
- Do you have enough time for what really matters in your life?
- Are you aware of how you are contributing to time clutter in your life?
- Are you ready to experience time abundantly?
When I begin to work with my clients, who aspire to live a mindful, functional and clutterfree lifestyle, I most often hear, "I don't have time to get (my home, office or life) organized but I know I need to." Whenever I would hear this, I would pause, lean in and listen with greater presence. I'd reflect back that the essential need is not about having enough time but being able to experience time in new and positive ways that make you feel like time is on your side for what matters most, your basic needs. You need efficiency in your spaces with intuitive systems and simple strategies to eliminate the time wasting clutter and chaos in your life. You need to feel in control of your time and be connected with feeling good about the quality of time you are spending.
TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE
With tears in her eyes, papers piled all over her office desk, a tower of boxes on her floor and frustration in her voice, she looked at me and said, "I need more time, I don't have enough time to get everything done here, I'm drowning. I try to work harder, faster, longer hours and I just can't seem to have enough time. I can't get off this hamster wheel. All I do is work, I have no time for my husband and now I've given up my weekends to work, and my home is in shambles. I have no time to myself. I'm exhausted. I don't know what to do. How do I get more time. Please help."
My heart so compelled as this is not the first time my client would come to me in tears of frustration feeling pressured by time and endless obligations, unfortunately. And it wouldn't be the last. When I hear my client's cry out for help like this, I become very present to allow them to hear their cries for themselves as well. A cry is a signal that an unmet need exists within us. Although the cry may sound verbally like, "I don't have enough time" the underlying need maybe something as simple as, "I need to be able to breathe again. I need quality time in my life to feel relaxed, accomplished and peaceful without worries or stress."
When we feel like we don't have enough time, the pressure can trigger a response within us similar to the emotional experience of losing something special. When we are triggered into a state of losing something we become immediately induced into scarcity mindsets. And when we react from our scarcity mindsets we are creating future scarcity experiences. This is the opposite of living the lifestyle you aspire to - the abundant, mindful clutter-free lifestyle.
It's not that we don't have enough time - we all have the same amount of time as Oprah, as The President Of The United States, or The Dalai Lama - it's that we need a new model of how to enjoy our time without stress and worries.
We are seeking new mindsets, habits and abilities to navigate our relationships with time in ways that makes us feel like time is on our side, that there is plenty of time for what matters because we choose to prioritize what matters. This is what Time FREEDOM is all about. The more we become aware of what really matters to us and what contributes to time clutter, the quicker we can make changes to experience Time Freedom.
""For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned."
~ Benjamin Franklin
WHAT IS CLUTTER?
- Clutter is anything that blocks your flow in life and the joy in you.
- Clutter is the result of prolonged indecision.
- Clutter is a distraction (consciously and subconsciously).
- Clutter takes up space and costs valuable time.
- Clutter shows up in 7 forms (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).
WHAT IS TIME?
- One of the simplest ways to think about time is in reference to the past, present or future. These forms of time can be separated by hours, weeks, months, years. These are all units of measurement that help us track the passage of time.
- Time is something we create a relationship with. If time was a person how would you rate your relationship?
WHO EXPERIENCES TIME CLUTTER
Suffer from a scarcity mindset believing there is never enough time get everything done.
Pride themselves with taking on high levels of responsibilities.
Are unable to set or communicate their boundaries to take care of one's needs first.
Lack time efficiency mindsets and approaches to life.
Identify themselves as people pleasers.
Are constantly busy.
Makes excuses for why they are late.
Constantly lose things and can't find what they are looking for.
Struggle with one or more types of clutter.
React impulsively rather than pausing and peacefully responding.
WHAT IS TIME FREEDOM?
- Time Freedom is a positive state of well-being.
- Time Freedom is the ability to enjoy quality time with the people, places and things that matter.
- Time Freedom is the ability to live in the present moment, intuitively in sync with the organic rhythm of life's natural flow.
- Time Freedom is the ability to exist without stress, anxiety, fear or worry.
- Time Freedom is the result of cultivating a mindful partnership and relationship with time.
- Time Freedom is an abundant and focused way of being.
ARE YOU STUCK IN THE PAST?
This is emotional clutter.
ARE YOU PRESENT NOW?
This is ClutterFREEDOM.
ARE YOU FUTURE TRIPPING?
This is mental clutter.
HOW DOES TIME CLUTTER MANIFEST?
How we respond to our circumstances dictates the relationship we have with time.
Imagine you are getting ready to drive out to a very exciting and significant meeting that could help advance your career. You got a good night's sleep, ate a healthy breakfast, had a kick ass workout and you are ready to Rockstar your day. You walk out the door but almost forgot your business cards. You can’t remember where you put them and don’t want to show up appearing unprepared or unprofessional without them. You run back into your home and begin to look for your business card holder with your business cards. Five minutes have passed and you don’t want to risk being late to this meeting so you leave without your business cards.
You still have plenty of time to arrive to this meeting 30 minutes early. You keep thinking about the business cards and now you remember where you last put them but it’s too late to turn around. As you are driving, you are thinking about this meeting and stressing out. You decide to let everyone know you have gone paperless so your business cards are now exchangeable electronically. Awesome, ok you are back into feeling good. You crank up your music and feel excited and ready for this meeting.
All of a sudden you notice traffic ahead has come to a complete standstill. You think I’m 30 minutes away and I have 45 minutes to get to this meeting. I’ve got plenty of time, I’m good. 15 minutes pass by and you now have 30 minutes to arrive to the meeting on time. You see construction workers ahead and no sign of this traffic speeding up. You begin to feel annoyed and panic begins to set in...what do you do?
ARE YOU CREATING A TIME FREEDOM RESPONSE?
- What’s the worst way to respond to this scenario...the absolute worst?
- What do you believe is the the best version of your response?
HIGH STRESS RESPONSE
You have racing thoughts and feel stressed and pressured by time. You speed up in traffic to arrive on time feeling unprepared, frazzled and have a difficult time being present and focused.
You turn up the music and hope for the best.
You call ahead and let a key person know you are going to be (xxx minutes) late but will be ready to go upon arrival. You remind yourself everything happens in divine timing, you are supported and people understand unexpected things happen. You trust this scenario and are confident, calm and focused.
WHAT CLUTTERS OUR TIME ?
1. Physical Clutter And Distractions. This is the number one thing that causes us to feel powerless to our time
DID YOU KNOW?
The average search time for a misplaced item is 5 minutes and 20 seconds.
The objects American's spend over 15 minutes looking for are:
- House keys
- Wallets / Purses
- Driver's License
- Credit / Debit Cards
Searching for lost items have time costly consequences
- Have you been late to work or school?
- Have you missed an appointment or meeting?
- Have you argued with a significant other?
- Have you missed a plane, train or bus?
- Have you spent $50 a year or more replacing lost items?
- The average American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items at home and in the office. (PR Newswire)
- Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday. Not because they aren’t smart, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands, (Inc.com)
- People who multi-task decrease their productivity by 20-40% are less efficient than those who focus on one project at a time. Time lost switching among tasks increases the complexity of the tasks. (Forbes.com)
- It's not the amount of time you spend working each day, Entrepreneurs get paid through problem-solving and creativity. You can create a solution in a shorter period of time if you are rested and rejuvenated. (Entrepreneur.com)
- Women will spend more than eight years of their lives shopping (The Daily Mail).
- Studies show executives will pick up a single piece of paper from their desk thirty or forty times before acting on it. (Seize the Day)
PRO - TIP: The Best Times To Let Go Of Time Clutter. One of the quickest ways to experience more time on your side is to create mindful home and office spaces to live intuitively and efficiently everyday. If you are experiencing a change in relationship (newly single, married, separated, divorced),change in lifestyle (new career, business, baby, moving, retiring, downsizing, minimalism) or are ready to make a big change in your life, you’ll love that by letting go of clutter you are adding more time on your side.
2. Obligations. When we feel obligated it's easy to say yes when we actually mean no to things that take up our time. These are times when we put others needs before our own. If we are inspired there is a natural ease with helping someone get their needs met. If we are in obligation it is an indicator we are doing something that may be distracting us from getting an important need we need to get met.
3. Overwhelm leads to procrastination. When we feel overwhelmed it is an indicator we are taking on too much. It's important to look at ways to delegate and break down the overwhelm into smaller chunks to stay focused on what's important right now. Overwhelm can also be an indicator we are future tripping (we have mental clutter) and it's blocking our ability to think clearly and spend our time wisely.
4. Over-committing can be a deeply (hidden) result of not feeling good enough, and so we need to do more in our lives. To overcompensate for not feeling like we are doing enough, we create mile long to-do lists only to not get things done and feel like failures because we set ourselves up for it. Overcommitting can bring up very difficult challenges for people pleasers and people who have a difficult time setting and communicating boundaries. It can be especially difficult when we feel like we are disappointing people we love so we can take on additional responsibilities to help. These additional responsibilities can compound the problem with taking on more obligations that make it impossible to get everything done. We can easily forget that we are the masters of our time. BOTTOM LINE: If we want people to value our time we have to value our time first.
5. Under guesstimating (guess estimating) how much time something will take. Are you allowing yourself cushion time for appointments and activities or do you allow just enough time to arrive on time to appointments? Time guesstimating is a practice of guessing how much time something will take, then blocking this time out on your calendar.
6. Feeling pressured by time. When we feel pressured by time the most common response it to try to multitask, work harder and faster to get caught up. Feeling pressured by time can lead to procrastination, raise our stress levels and cause us to react in ways that make us feel powerless to time.
7. Stuck in the past or future tripping. Being stuck in the past can cause us to react to time in ways that our old self would. We may have thoughts like, "I don't have enough time, why does this always happen to me, I don't know what to do." This creates a perpetual cycle of time limited mindsets. Future tripping costs us time when we are worrying about things that haven't happened and spend time over preparing for something that is highly unlikely to happen.
Become aware of how you are creating Time Clutter of Time Freedom in your life.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do important action items get lost, forgotten or misplaced?
- Do you often find yourself running late?
- Do you often have to re-juggle your commitments?
- Do you check messages on your smartphone or email more than five times an hour?
- Do you often underestimate the length of time it will take to complete a task?
- Do you have "one-more-thingitis" when it is time to leave for an appointment?
- Do you have difficulty saying "no" to activities you don't want to do?
- Are interruptions making it challenging to get tasks done?
- Do you keep appointments, lists and other important information in your head?
- Do you have difficulty prioritizing?
HOW TO CREATE TIME FREEDOM IMMEDIATELY IN YOUR LIFE
1. Identify Your Time Clutter. Make a list of how you are contributing to wasting time, not valuing your time or how you are communicating your experience of time. Choose one time waster to eliminate per week.
2. Become Mindful With Your Essentials In Life. Like anything if you want to measurably transform something in your life we must track it so we can monitor our progress and observe what is contributing to our success.
PRO-TIP: When I first began reclaiming my time, I stopped using my online calendar and went back to using a hand written appointment book. I need to trust my time freedom system and my online calendar kept having glitches and would lose saved appointments. I came across two very incredible time systems that helped me identify my essentials in life. 1) The Passion Planner 2) The Daily Planner by Jessica Mullen I utilized the daily planner for one month and the passion planner for one year. These planner systems helped me get clear on my essentials in life. I developed new mindsets and habits that allowed me to reintroduce myself back onto an online calendar system (google calendar) that I could trust and use effectively.
If you are ready to create time freedom in your life, you will need a reliable calendar system you can trust with the days and hours listed in detail, this is essential. This will provide you with the ability to look on your past days, weeks and months to evaluate how you are spending your time and if adjustments need to be made.
3. Prioritize What Matters First. Way too often, we create long to do lists that take us away from spending time on what really matters. Make a list of your top priorities in life (be sure to add self care, this is often last on the list.) Build your time around your priorities first, then work your busyness around it.
4. Time Guesstimating. Begin practicing to guess how much time activities, projects and tasks will take. Be clear on an agenda and what you need to accomplish. Give yourself extra cushion time if you are unsure how much time something will take, set yourself up for success. This is key. For example, if you time guesstimate how long a meeting will take including drive time and plenty of time to account for traffic and being early and you have a good experience of being early, prepared and on time you are creating a new experience of time. You will feel the gift of time freedom.
5. Time Blocking. Now that you've time guesstimated an appointment, block it out on your calendar. Many times we try and keep too much in our heads trying to remember appointments, dates and important events. Once you've time guesstimated a special event, immediately reserve this time on your calendar.
PRO-TIP: There are days I'll reserve on my calendar for "Self Care and Dates With Myself" to ensure my core needs are getting met so I can feel balanced and have more to give in other areas of my life.
6. Setting a Timer. This is a great tool for valuing your time. Whether you are working on a task at work, you are at a meeting or conversing with a client or a friend, setting a timer allows you to be present with how you are spending your time without having to check your watch every five minutes.
7. Honoring Your Time. One of the biggest challenge we can face when comes to creating Time Freedom in our lives is learning how to honor our time effectively. This requires communicating healthy boundaries as necessary which may mean saying, "No" more often. Saying, "No" may disappoint someone else's expectation of us which can make it much more difficult to uphold boundaries.
Honoring our time comes down to this - your needs are non-negotiable. If you aspire to live to your highest potential and be a force of positive change in your world, you must ensure you are overflowing with your needs getting met. We can only give what we have received and what we have the capacity to give. If we spend our lives pleasing others with our time we'll not have any left for ourselves. Most time sucking habits are reactions to not being clear on what our true needs in life are. When we are clear we are able to utilize our time wisely while helping others in ways beyond our imagination.
What is are 1 - 3 ways you are contributing to what's cluttering your time?
This blessings and wisdom in this blog are intended to be an educational and inspirational resource to enbolden you to transform your home, office and life, at all levels of intuitive organizational needs.
When it comes to creating TIME FREEDOM - reclaiming freedom in your time for what matters most - and you are reading through this blog, notice 1 - 3 + ways you are experiencing time clutter in your life.
Clutter and disorganization is overwhelming enough and I want you to be able to apply simple new habits and tools consistently so you can eliminate all sources of stress, disorganization and clutter for good. Small habits done consistently is how your will create clutterfreedom sustainability.