In session number 9 of K Mummy’s Focus Group, we discussed time management.
In this blog, as usual, I will share the insights I’ve gotten from the session and also my take on time and how I “manage” it.
First, we need to have an awareness as to how we relate to time. One mummy shared that time can be a friend or a foe, depending on how we use it.
From that perspective, if we relate to time as a friend, we would see time as being given to us to spend and we would spend it according to how much time we have and all of us have 24 hours a day. If we relate to time as a foe in a way that we are always running out of time because we are not given enough time, then we would always feel stressed and pressured to get things done.
I have all the time in this world to just sit on this rock, at least it felt like it when I am being in the moment. It felt as if time paused for me to enjoy this beautiful scenery. Nowhere to rush.
One of the mummies shared that instead of trying to find more time, she challenged herself to complete a certain task within a timeframe, for example, instead of wishing for more time given to finish cooking, she challenged herself to complete cooking within one hour. She said that she learnt how to trust herself in being able to complete tasks fast and that also lead her to cook simpler, healthy and practical meals for her family.
Another mummy shared that time is precious, time that has passed will teach us to appreciate things that we have achieved or missed. Time needs to be utilised fully and wisely.
She shared that during her younger years as a mother, she spent a lot of time at work and she missed out on spending enough time with her children and her spouse. Since that realisation, she allocated quality time spent with her children and her spouse because she learnt that she cannot get back the time that had gone by, she can only learn to utilise time wisely moving forward.
Many of us struggle to manage our time, sometimes we struggle to be punctual, we fail to hand in our assignments or tasks on time and we find it hard to see things through completion and we say that we do not have time or we are busy.
I used to struggle with time, I remember my principal in school said that I would never be on time. She added that latecomers would always be latecomers for the rest of their lives.
Yes, I was always late for school. The school was 2 hours bus ride away from home and I had to walk at least ten minutes to the bus stop. Imagine every day spending four hours to and fro? Plus school started very early in the morning too.
I know some of my schoolmates travelled to school from across the border so, it sounded like I was giving myself excuses for always being late.
Deep down, I did not enjoy going to school. I was not the smartest in class and I struggled to cope with almost twenty subjects. My mom was a teacher there too so the pressure to perform was ten times more. Why am I sharing this?
I want you to see that how you see particular tasks or situations will affect the relationship you have with time too. I did not like going to school, so it made sense why I was constantly late, it was not the journey to school, that was just an excuse that I could use to validate that I was always late. I did not dare to tell my mom or my teacher that I did not like to go to school.
Guess what? This happens to adults too. We sometimes give ourselves reasons and excuses as to why we are not punctual or why we did not do our chores on time. If we are honest with ourselves, we find the answer as to why we continuously struggle to complete or do certain tasks. That is why having awareness as to how we relate ourselves to the chore or task will help us see how we relate to the time needed to be spent on that chore or task.
For example, if you constantly struggle to leave work early for home, it could mean that you find explaining to your boss or colleagues daunting and so it is easier to tell your family that you cannot finish work on time because the boss gave you too much work. If you keep doing this all the time for years, your relationship with your family would be affected and your boss and colleagues would continuously expect you to stay and do more work for them.
Time waits for no man. As cliche as it sounds, the majority of the people in this world still takes time for granted. Usually, they would only have a realisation about time on their death beds. It is morbid but this is how it is for most.
How can we manage time?
One mummy shared that she does not manage her time but she manages what she can do with the time she has. Yes, we can only optimise our time. We cannot buy time. I shared that we need to be realistic with our time and set realistic goals within the time that we have.
If we have smaller children to care for, we know that they could have their meltdowns, they would ask you to play along with them, they may want your attention and so our days become predictable as such with young children. We got to be realistic with our schedule and the things we want to do.
Sometimes we tend to be too hard on ourselves by setting unrealistic goals, goals that are impossible to accomplish within a particular timeframe. Scientists needed years to build a rocket and that’s calculated, even babies need 9 months to fully develop. Why are we giving ourselves an unrealistic timeframe to complete a lot of tasks in one day, one month and one year?
There is a difference between being productive and being a doer. Some people do a lot of things but they are not productive. For example, they cook, they clean, they work but they do not do a proper job at all of them because everything is a rush and it felt as if we were in the middle of a war zone at home (I am exaggerating). Then, there is another person that aims to complete a few important tasks that he or she sets out to do. When that task is complete, albeit being a few, that is considered as being productive at least for that person.
With time on your side, you get to smell the flowers.