The clock is ticking. Deadlines are looming. My inbox is overflowing with unread emails.  Follow-up phone calls and messages to return are piling up.  Another project lands on my desk.  My task list somehow keeps growing regardless of how many tasks I cross of the list.  How is that even possible?  Just when I think I’ve got it all under control, one more thing needs my attention and that’s when it happens: the wave of overwhelm rushes in and threatens to sweep me away.  Why is there never enough time? Where does the time go?  Why does time seem to pass faster and faster?  How am I ever going to get everything done and on time?  OMG, I cannot take it anymore!

We’ve all been there at some point, haven’t we?  The panic and stress that comes with work, family, and friend obligations threatening to take over your life!

So, what do you do?  Do you give into the anxiety and say screw it?  Of course not, even though that thought is very tempting! Unfortunately, your boss, clients, family, and friends wouldn’t take too kindly to that!  Over the last year this is what I’ve learned:  It is possible to get more done than I ever dreamed.  How?   By shifting my context of time.  You see, I learned that time is not a fleeting, ethereal entity.  Time is a real tangible thing.   Time is, in fact, an opportunity! When I feel the wave crashing in, threatening to overtake me,  I cannot see the reality of my schedule.  So the first thing I do is take a deep breath, and open up my weekly calendar.   I need to see the week laid out in front of me, and I make sure that all meetings, appointments, deadlines, family obligations, exercise,  and down times are scheduled.   I even block off sleep, and meal times in my calendar.   Once that is done, I can then take an honest look at my week, and see the empty blocks of time in my schedule!  These blocks of time are opportunities!  Opportunities to get it all done and have it all!   This whole process only takes about 15 minutes.  Trust me, your sanity is definitely worth 15 minutes!  

Lao Tzu once said: “Time is a created thing.  To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to’.”   

So the next time you find yourself drowning under the weight of all that you need to do, take a step back and create the time opportunities in your schedule that will allow you to get through your task list with confidence and ease!   

 

Alanna Carr