I recently gave a time management course where one of the sessions was dedicated to our attitude towards time. It’s probably something that the course participants didn’t think would be an integral part of the training, but as we went through the session, I could see, from the expresssion on their faces, that indeed, they felt that changes in
attitude could have a significant influence on how they would manage their time
in the future.
Time is a great leveller; we all have the same amount of time in the day to deal with. And there are two aspects to this –
- how we organise ourselves to get our tasks done
- how we feel about the things we have to do or are not able to do
Even if a very busy person is extremely organised but feels stressed about the amount of tasks on their never ending to-so list, or is feeling negative about a task that they feel has been imposed on them, that’s not a good situation to be in.
Getting upset over lack of time is just a mental attitude and as such can be changed. So we can be “Happy Busy or “Unhappy Busy”. It’s our choice.
If we’re Happy Busy we recognise that:
- We may sometimes have to make difficult choices
- Lack of time is a challenge but this can be stimulating
- Doing many things in parallel can be satisfying and fun
- We will never get everything done but that’s ok
- There is no point in getting upset about the perceived lack of time
It’s all about labelling. This is a quick technique that you can use to redefine how you feel about something. We simply relabel something as different to what we’ve considered it to be up to now.
Let’s take the labels of work and play. Labelling something as work, makes it feel
like work. It’s that simple. So if you name your work as play, you get to feel better when you are doing work!
Now imagine you have some tasks to do at work which you find tedious and boring; simply reframing how you label the task can make a big difference to your attitude and ultimately how productively you complete the said task. For example;
Task 1: Write long report for client
New label: Brush up my writing skills
Task 2: Research to prepare presentation
New label: Contribute to my learning and development
Remember, everything is a choice; in the same way we prioritise our tasks thereby choosing what to do in any given time frame, we can also choose how we feel about those tasks that we have to do but don’t like, or indeed about those tasks that we are not able to do due to factors outside our control.
So try on the label “Happy Busy” and see if it makes a difference in your life!