Time, Time, Time, Time, Time, Time…

The clock by my desk at work.

Just like many adult children, I am in the habit of worrying about time.

Whenever I have a lot of things on my plate, which is quite often, I become frustrated about not having enough — time, that is. Then I get even more frustrated because everyone worries about it and no one — definitely not me — gets anything achieved by worrying. Actually, sometimes I think that I lose even more time whenever I shake my head and say, “There is not enough time…”

Lack-of-time is an issue in many of our lives, one of those not-so-little facts of life that we cannot control. Our work days belong to different constituencies — and then we go home to our kids, homes, families, and aging parents.

Bottom line is, this is not a time management problem. Instead it is a “life it too crowded” problem. So I have to make myself more comfortable with life the way it is, especially since I am not especially stressed, just bothered.

So I’ve decided to try a bit of a mindfulness strategy with a some cognitive restructuring thrown in.

Whenever  I’m in a situation that makes me say, “I don’t have enough time,” I am going to attempt to stop myself, because talking about time does nothing for me. Instead, I’ll ask myself, “What is possible for me to do?” (Changing the dialogue — this is the cognitive restructuring.)

So maybe I need to write a post for my blog, but I am too crazy with school work. Instead of being frustrated with time, I’ll ask myself what I do have time to do on my blog (add a link, add a quick post and link about an article in today’s paper, skip the blog and read student work, etc.). If someone asks me to do something (or worse, why I haven’t done something), I am going to focus on when I can get started with some part of the task. Cognitive restructuring even means that I can also say that I can’t do something — at least in some situations — or even say no in the first place.

To me cognitive restructuring means that I am going to attempt to change the conversation (in my head) a little bit, focusing on something more positive rather than the negative issue of not having enough time (which I never do).

I am trying this mindfulness strategy in my work at school, my household tasks, my blogging, my exercise, and when I start worrying about my parents and their health. Wish me luck.

Any thoughts or advice to share?

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