Creating Time

Ask most men what they would like more of and if the answer isn’t sex or money - it will be time. None of us seems to have enough. And it also seems that no-one is responsible for this. It is just how the world is. It is just how things are. It is just how things must be.

“Sorry darling, I’ve got to be here for a meeting”, “I must dash, Mum, doctor’s appointment”, “Sorry kids no time to play, got to check my e-mail”. Where will it end? As it is we deprive ourselves of all sorts of vital daily things because of our need to hurry. Love, food, sleep, conversation - all things that we curtail or postpone or cancel because of our need to meet deadlines. And yet who are we meeting these deadlines for? The answers come back thick and fast. My boss, my colleagues, my partner. When are we going to start meeting deadlines that we set?

Are we really listening to our own needs often enough? Do we really need to live life at this breakneck speed all the time, or is it purely habit? How many of us for instance find that we work and work and work leading up to our holiday, only to find that when we finally switch off and slow down we have developed flu, if not something worse? How many of us find that when we ask the children to do something for us, we expect them to do it for us right this minute, even though they may be involved in some other game or activity?

So manic have we become that our whole life tends to revolve around schedules. Schedules that very often we are merely playing a part in rather than taking hold of and saying “Hey, hang on a second, this is my life, I want to have a say in what happens and when”. We may have come so far down this path, that most of us no longer realise that we have any say in how our time is filled.

I would suggest that nothing could be further from the truth.

Our time is our own. Our life is our own. Only we ourselves can make our decisions. Believe it or not, we have chosen our schedules as they exist at the moment and only we can choose to change them.

If you are the sort of man who is frequently hurrying and never seems to have enough time for anything, then now is the time to consider change. Change your approach to yourself, start taking your own needs and desires more seriously and you may find that you begin to abandon activities which no longer fit in with who you now wish to be. You may well find yourself with more time on your hands. The more time you spend listening to your own requirements, the more time you will have to fulfil them. Carry on hurrying from place to place, from meeting to meeting, from TV programme to TV programme and you will find you will never have enough time to do all the things that you really want.

There is a saying in the financial world that you have to ‘speculate to accumulate’. The same is true of time. If you spend more time listening to your own needs, you are likely to accumulate more time to do these things. There is no reason to be proud of the fact that we are always busy. We could all fill our time permanently. Part of the reward that we may receive from this hectic activity is that it makes us feel important, it makes us feel wanted. Having to be somewhere all the time not only gives us a feeling of importance and value in society, but it also gives us ‘valid’ reasons as to why we cannot attend to this family matter or that relationship problem. Time spent at work becomes in particular a fact of life which apparently can’t be controlled. We have become pawns in a game that, judging by the state of some men today, we are not sure we even enjoy playing that much.

The key question is not how much of my time do I fill every day, but how much of my time do I fill doing what I love?

Here we are often complaining of not having enough time, only to find that we spend much of our time doing things that we don’t really enjoy. People talk about quality time as if time itself were the problem. It is not. And it never can be. The conditioning that tells us to fill every available minute is the problem and that can only change if we choose to change it. No amount of complaining about the lack of time will make one bit of difference. We have to change our understanding of our relationship to time if we are to start making the best use of the time that we have.

Changing our view of time can have extraordinary effects upon our lives. If we can start to change from feeling we have to get things done as quickly as possible to wanting to do something that is as good as we could do, we will find that our end result is that much better and consequently our self-esteem that much higher. For instance, explaining to a client that we think their deadline is going to jeopardise the end result can only make us feel better about ourselves, even if we end up losing that job. This generally doesn’t happen. Worthwhile businesses would far rather employ conscientious people with high standards.

It is the feeling that we have somehow achieved something good that is so important in our development as men. Getting things done quickly is unlikely to engender the same positive feeling. It is perhaps through this greater understanding of our relationship to time that we could begin to contribute so much more to improving the environment that we live in.

©2010, Barry Durdant-Hollamby

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Barry Durdant-Hollamby is the founder of The Art of Change , a UK based organisation specialising in helping individuals and corporations to effect sustainable, holistic, positive change. He works intuitively on a 1-1 or group basis and also conducts many talks and seminars - all without notes or preparation! Barry is also the author of three books the latest of which is The Male Agenda - a book which seeks to inspire men to create greater life balance and happiness. He is the father of two daughters and lives in the South East of England. Contact E-Mail

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