How to transform your relationship with time ⏰
Today I’m excited to share with you a revelation about time (and how we can improve our relationship with it) I had last Friday, at the end of a solo-parenting week.
When I reflected on the week I was truly amazed by how much I've accomplished. Not only was I more productive than I’d usually be on any “normal” week, I’ve also really enjoyed everything I did. By the end of the week I even had an idea for a new program/experience I want to create and found some time for creative thinking. I felt vibrant, alive and inspired, I couldn’t believe it!
Because it was a full-on coaching week (including welcoming three new clients into my coaching programs) and life responsibilities were all on me, I didn’t put any pressure on myself to progress with my to-do list. I also gave myself permission to be really flexible with my time outside of coaching sessions. The result was that most of the week I was in ‘flow’ mode, meaning I got more done in less time, with so much ease and pleasure.
The nerd in me wanted to understand what had happened that week, the science behind it, so I can try and replicate it. That’s when I remembered a concept I once read (another one shared by Gay Hendricks) about Einstein Time (vs. Newtonian Time). So I did some reading and research and my mind was blown by how understanding these different concepts of time can really help us improve our relationship with it.
I know that so many people these days feel rushed, pressured, busy but not productive, like they’re always losing the battle against time, so I hope my experience of solo-parenting and what I’ve learned from it can help you improve your relationship with time.
Here is what I found, in a nutshell…
According to Newton, time is absolute, fixed and universal. It's the everyday notion of time that we grow up with and it’s how most of us run our day to day life. This paradigm creates a scarcity of time, where we feel like there’s never enough time, which leads to feelings of time urgency inside us.
In Einstein’s general theory of relativity, time isn’t fixed, it’s personal – meaning the experience of time will be different for us relative to what we’re doing, where we’re doing it, who we’re doing it with, etc. That’s why an hour with your beloved feels like a minute; a minute in the freezing cold feels like an hour.
In Newtonian time, time is “out there,” an actual physical entity that can put pressure on us inside. In Einstein time, time is “inside of us”, it’s where we come from, and therefore it’s something we create.
If you’re like me, you probably know all the productivity hacks out there, some of them you’ve even integrated into your routine and are somewhat helpful. But here’s what I learned – none of them matter if our conception of time is broken at its core. Einstein Time is a new kind of time management that reorganises your perception of time at the very core. And the thing is, it’s so profoundly simple that it’s almost hard to believe.
We want complex systems (that often require time using it or understanding how to use it), a step-by-step method, but Einstein time is really about deeply understanding, embodying, this idea that we are where time comes from, which means we have the power to make as much as we want of it.
What happened to me in my week of solo-parenting is that I let go of my ‘rigid’ structures of time (aka newtonian time) because I knew it wouldn’t be realistic or at least I felt that it would exhaust me. I was in Einstein time; which in turn, generated more time while also producing abundant rewards in creativity, feelings of ease and well-being.
This week, I decided to really focus my intentions on nurturing this newfound relationship with time. I decided to take time off the pedestal and take full ownership over it. And I can already testify that so far it’s been working. Does it mean that everyday was super fun and productive? Absolutely not. As humans, our energy fluctuates and we need to observe and honour that, after all we are human beings, not human doings. The difference is, that if I am more tired and less focused one day it doesn't stress me out because in Einstein’s time, time is abundant.
If you feel rushed, time pressured and exhausted because you feel like you’re working all day and don’t get any of the important things done, I invite you to take up the challenge –
This week practice shifting the way you think about time. Here are some practical steps/tips to do it:
Affirm to yourself each morning – I am where time comes from, therefore I am the creator of time. Truly embrace it. Even if you’re not entirely convinced, start acting as if it’s true and see what happens. Think about moments in life where time flew by and moments in your life where time slowed down.
Try bringing in more flow and flexibility to your days (within the constraints of Newtonian time – meetings, appointments, etc.) It can look like switching things up - going for a walk in your lunch break, taking the morning to work from a cafe, shifting tasks according to what you feel like doing, etc.
Stop complaining about time, which reinforces the concept that you don’t have enough of it and puts you in a victim position instead of a position of ownership (“I wish I had more time but I’m really busy” “I’m in a rush today” “I wish there were more hours in a day”)
Be really attentive to your body’s signals – notice what time pressure feels like in your body and when you feel that tension rising in you put a hand on your heart, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you are the creator of time
Invite more pleasure into your day-to-day life, both mentally and practically. Ask yourself – What would I be doing differently if I made pleasure my driving force? What are small things I can do today to make my day more pleasurable? That may look like lighting a candle, making your workspace inspiring and uplifting, taking little self-care breaks during the day (maybe a 10 minutes walk or meditation?), drinking your coffee from your favourite mug, etc.
Start your day with 5-10 minutes for intentional time for yourself. How you start your day dictates the pace for the rest of your day. If you start your day feeling rushed – alarm goes off, snooze, second snooze, wake up, screen scrolling in bed (news, social media, emails…), get ready for work, coffee while reading the news or in the car and maybe traffic to add on some stress – this triggers your nervous system to go into stress mode, getting you ready for the rat race of the day.
Let me know if you’re joining the challenge and how it’s all landing with you! I hope that you’ll soon start feeling less stressed as you go through your day, that you’ll free up time for creative thinking, that you’ll experience an abundance of energy and a major surge in your productivity, and most importantly – more enjoyment and ease. Can’t wait to hear how it’s going for you! Love, Naama