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An Experiment in Time

Ever think that time is spending you more than you are spending time? If so, you're not alone. It seems like the everyday demands of work, culture and family are eroding our limited reserves of time. Here are a three proven time enriching techniques that can have great returns on investment for your time well spent.

Although it may seem counterintuitive you can make more time for yourself by taking more time for yourself. Here's how. Start your day a half hour earlier. In that half hour find a quiet, private space and take time to simply sit with yourself. Don't look at a newspaper or read a book or surf the internet. All you need to do is let your thoughts and ideas meander and wander about your mind. Play a game of mind tag with them. Don't grab onto any particular thought or idea. Just watch them play through your mind as if they have a life of their own. Every now and then reach out and lightly touch or tag one of them with your awareness and then let it go. You'll be delightfully surprised how playing a game of mind tag can be a nurturing and nourishing way to start the day.

Once again it may seem counterintuitive but shortening the work hour from 60 minutes to 50 minutes makes time fuller, richer and more satisfying. Here's how. Work as focused and efficiently as you can for 50 minutes straight; go all out, no holds barred, really use that time, and then at the beginning of the 51st minute stop doing whatever you're doing. Take the next 10 minutes off just for yourself. It's time to reward yourself for giving work the other 50 minutes of your time. During this 10 minute reward period you are going to act as a human being not a human doing. Go ahead and play mind tag or close your eyes and have a rest or see how many breathes you can count in a row or just stare out the window and watch the world pass by or entertain your wildest fantasies and daydreams. At the end of the 59th minute, that's it, times up, get back to work.

This too may seem counterintuitive but time can be too big for most of us to handle. One of the better ways to make effective use of time is to make it smaller by breaking it up. Ironically shrinking time frees time. Here's how. Divide every 50 minute hour into some combination of these workable time units: 20-one minute units, 3-five minute units and 1-fifteen minute unit. Now look at what's in your in-box, what's on your to do list, what phone calls you need to make, what meetings you need to schedule and assign a specific time unit for each task. Make it all fit into the time units you have assigned. Complete each task within the time unit you have assigned it. At the end of the 50 minute hour you will have completed 24 tasks. Now there's a reason to celebrate! Take a break; you're completely free, so reward yourself in the 51st minute. 

Remember we only have so much time, so don't let time take you, you take time.

 

 
 
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