If you’re feeling crunched for time, do something you don’t think you have time to do
Time is a funny thing.
We think of it as something that’s objective – there are after all, 60 seconds in a minute, and a 60 minutes in an hour.
We think, therefore, that our relationship to it is objective as well.
I either ‘have time’ for something, or I don’t.
But our relationship to time is actually subjective. We have a felt internal experience of time. We feel rushed, or not. We feel like we have plenty of time, or not. We ‘lose track’ of time.
All of these are descriptions of our internal subjective experiences, not really of ‘time’ itself.
That’s why two minutes sitting in a painful position can feel like forever, and an hour with a loved one can fly by.
Since when we’re talking about time, we’re talking about our internal experience in relation to time, when most people say “I wish I had more time to do the things I really want to do” or “there’s not enough time in the day”, what they are really wanting is to feel more spacious in relationship to time, and how they choose to spend it.
Since spaciousness, or feeling relaxed in relationship to time, is also an internal experience. One way to create more spaciousness is to take a look at what is causing your current lack of spaciousness in your experience.
If you think you truly don’t have time for something you want to do (not the “I don’t have time” that means, I don’t really want to do that thing that I think I should be doing), then what you are feeling inside is tension. Tension is the opposite of relaxation, and it’s a good thing. But not if that’s all you feel.
One of the main sources of tension is incompletion. The human organism is designed to finish the movements it starts. Think of how much energy it takes to hold back or stop an object once it’s in motion. It can take quite a bit of force depending on the weight of the object and the speed at which it is moving.
That’s the same amount of energy it takes us to hold back or stop a movement, thought, expression, activity, or project, once we have started it. Now think of all the impulses you’ve had, activities you’ve put in motion – even just in your head – and not finished. They are each like balls you have tossed in the air, and are trying to hold up. They naturally want to come down, and holding them up is experienced as tension in the body. Let them down allows you to relax.
It is that level of tension or relaxation that we experience in our bodies at any given time that dictates our relationship to time.
This is why even though it may take an initial burst of energy to complete a project you have not finished, you will often feel a sense of relief and relaxation once you have finished it – and you will often feel like you actually have more time do to the other things you want to do.
What this looks like on a practical level, is doing more and feeling like you have even more time than you did before. Soph and I experience this on a regular basis. So do our clients.
When I first started implementing becurrent, I would regularly have whole afternoons where I literally didn’t know what to do with myself because I was so used to feeling busy – and having done everything I had set out to do, and feeling relaxed about it, was honestly a bit disorienting.
But now I’m used to it. And get excited when I see other people heading in the same direction.
So if you want to play a little game with yourself – next time you feel stressed, try taking a look at your list, and start doing the thing that you feel like you really don’t have time to do – and see where you end up.