I never have enough time! Pt. 4: What are you afraid of?

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Time is finite, unfortunately. I’m sure we’ve all had moments we wish could last forever, and days that simply can’t end fast enough. But unless one of you quantum physicists out there figures out a way to bend time to our wills, we’re stuck with its finite nature.

The questions we’ve been asking around time management in these past few weeks are not about trying to find more of it. Rather, they are questions meant to challenge you about how you use what you’ve got. As one of our wise clients said to us recently, “There’s no such thing as not having enough time. It is always a question of how you choose to use the time you have.” Pondering that idea is what brought me to this week’s topic, closing out this mini-series on time.

Why are we so afraid to take control of our time?

Until you can push through all the layers of superficial answers to that question and get to the heart of it all for yourself, you’ll be stuck. Let me give you a few examples of how other people have started breaking through all the noise.

Gerald is a perfectionist. He doesn’t want to get something wrong, miss something, or have his boss think less of him for not delivering. He equates “no” with “I can’t because I’m not smart enough to figure out how to get everything done”. He’s afraid of being seen as weak, inadequate, and unworthy of his recent promotion.

James wants people to like him more than he cares to admit. He has a bit of a hero complex and equates saying “no” with inadequacy which will cause people to like him less. He wants to be seen as the “go-to guy” who can always save the day. He’s afraid of being less important and less essential to his boss and colleagues.

Lydia has eyes bigger than her stomach when it comes to hours in the day, to horribly mix metaphors. She consistently underestimates how much time tasks and projects will take, leading to endless requests for extensions on deadlines and very long nights working to catch up, leaving her exhausted. She’s afraid of being seen as disorganized and scattered, which would mean (to her) that she’s simply not up for the challenges her boss gives her.

Each of these (real but with changed names) clients started by saying they “don’t have enough time” to get things done. With some help, they are all starting to peel back the layers of what that really means—fear. They are each afraid of something much deeper. Going below the surface doesn’t mean you need therapy; it means you are able to see what’s really going on and reframe your approach.

So? What are YOU afraid of? Tell us how we can help. Stay safe out there, friends.

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