Clear And Now Blog

Liz’s Theme of the Week 12/4-12/10: A Speedy, Grumpy, Dreadful Christmas, Part 2: Not Enough Time!
December 10, 2016

My plan was to talk about Obligations this week.. but I have such a bee in my bonnet, I need to change the order of topics to address this “I am too busy” and “there isn’t enough time” thing!

So this week’s theme is: “There is not enough time!”

To be completely transparent, just as I typed that, I felt a tightness in my body and had to take a huge deep breath! This problem produces a lot of stress, doesn’t it?

For much of my career (both in agency work and private practice) I have been fighting the battle of “Not Enough Time” with my clients. And just because I like catch phrases, let’s call this a “NET” problem (a “Not Enough Time” problem)… which kind of makes sense right? A NET profit is how much you have left after subtracting your expenditures, so a NET problem means you don’t have enough energy left over after you have done all of your work, chores, or obligations.

So, let’s talk about this NET problem…

My first reflection from talking to so many clients about this issue, is there seems to be a general resignation that having a NET problem is just a way of life. It just is how it is. And to that, I say: This can’t be! There must be another way!

I just don’t believe that our time here on earth is to feel so pressured, so limited and so hurried, with no options to change it! I absolutely believe healing a NET problem is within your reach. And yes, I believe this even if you work, I believe this even if you have a family, I believe this even if you have work and a family. I believe you can change a NET problem no matter what you life looks like right now.

First things first, in order to change anything, you need to make the decision that you:

  1. Want to change
  2. Believe change is possible
  3. Have the courage to change (as noted in my previous blog post: A Speedy, Grumpy, Speedy Christmas, Part 1)

These three agreements are also going to be necessary for my future posts about Obligations and Things Aren’t How I want It!

Now that you want to change this NET problem, believe that there must be some way it can change (even if you don’t know what that looks like yet) and have the courage to make some changes, let’s look at option 1 to healing your NET problem: Saying No.

Saying No is something that so many people struggle with, and the reasons are plentiful. Maybe you don’t Say No because you don’t want to hurt other’s feelings, you don’t want to Say No because you don’t want to disappoint, you don’t Say No because you don’t know how, you don’t Say No because you fear others will judge you, you don’t Say No because you didn’t know that it is an option … These are just a few reasons I hear that people do not Say No, and I am sure there are many more reasons we can add in here as well.

Let me be the first to tell you Saying No is the most loving thing you can do for yourself this holiday season – and sometimes it’s a very loving thing you can do for those around you, too.

If you find yourself saying things like:

“I don’t have time to meditate” (read Dave’s blog with this very title )

“There is no time to have these in depth conversations with (insert significant person’s name here)”

“There is no time to exercise”

“There is no time to prepare a healthy meal for myself”

My first suggestion is for you look at your priorities list and find out (honestly) where you put yourself on the list of importance!

If you are unable to find time to do things that are healthy and helpful to you, you most certainly will have NET issue, as in you are running in deficit. If you are not feeding yourself with the things that keep you healthy, then you are not running efficiently. You are in depletion and deficit, and when we run in depletion and deficit, we can be sure any of these things will follow: illness, injury, dissatisfaction, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, or other mental and physical health issues.

In order to put yourself back on the priority list, you are likely going to have to Say No to something or to someone. We shall talk more about how to Say No in my future post about Obligations. So for now, your homework is to look at your priority list, and figure out what will need to shift for you to have more time for you!

We need to work through this NET problem and make it a … PET (Plenty of Time?) or a TOT (Tons of Time?) or JET (Just Enough time?) or PAT (Perfect Amount of Time?) .. I could go on, but you get the idea! You decide where you are taking this, so come up with the acronym that suits your goals!

Making you a priority and giving yourself more time to do the things that nourish you is not only going to help you with this holiday season, but also overall and in general. This is a skill that is applicable and necessary all year round.

Ok, so one more thing about this NET problem….

The other day I had off from work, and I had a pile of things that had built up from experiencing my own NET problem from the week. I was folding and putting away clothes, eager to move on to some other things that were much more fun and nourishing to me. I was thinking about my own annoyance at time, as well as the handfuls of clients who were talking to me about their NET issues.

As I was pondering this whole NET thing…I came to two truths for myself:

  1. When I experience a power outage, I feel like there is so much time. I get so many things done. And sometimes, I have actually experience boredom!
  2. When I am camping and hiking in the mountains, I am shocked at how early it is when I look at my watch to see if it’s time for bed yet.

So this leads me to just one conclusion: Technology steals my time away from me.

What do you think, same for you?

I have had at least one person share with me about her experience with a “technology detox.” She did one whole MONTH with no technology usage in the home. (I am still in awe of her). Know what her biggest reflection was? You guessed it: “I have so much time.”

We can all see where this is going. I know, I know, I am addicted to technology, too. We all are in some way. The thought of Saying No to technology is one that makes most of us slightly (or extremely) uncomfortable! But remember how you agreed that you had the courage to change this NET problem? This is where that courage is needed…

Knowing I am all about the Gray Way (I really can’t stop with the catchy phrases, can I?), I want to keep you out of all or nothing thinking. I don’t feel like you need to agree to a month of no technology (unless you really feel called to do so)… but I do wonder about a couple hours here or there? Or a chunk of time each week? Some sort of slow start might be good, just to try it out- kind of like an experiment. Let’s see if you actually have more time if you have a few hours away from technology…

So now, you have a second homework assignment. Shut down the technology for an hour or two each week and see if you feel you have more time. And because I like to think of this project as a “we” (because I am no different than you!) if you comment below with your plan to experiment with technology and time, I will also make the same or similar plan- we can do it together! Report back to me and I can make a follow up post about it….

Here is to a season LOTFF (Lots Of Time For FUN)!

Stay tuned to next week’s blog about “A Speedy, Grumpy, Dreadful Christmas, Part 3: Obligations!”

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