Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Are You a Time Debtor?

A time what?

I stumbled across this concept of being a time debtor probably when I was procrastinating down the rabbit hole of social media but in this instance I'm so glad I did.

I've been a time debtor but I never knew until it was pointed out to me.

American author, book coach and podcaster Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) is the one who introduced me to this concept of being a time debtor.

So what is time debt?

As defined by Linda here - Time Debt is:

"The misspending of time - either consciously or unconsciously - in ways that ultimately lead to a life half lived".

Similar to being in financial debt, spending our time in unconscious ways does not serve us.

The gap between what I dream of achieving and what I actually do has been W  I  D  E.

To close that gap I have taken stock of my time.

How do women fall into this time warp?

There are lots of reasons. 

My reasons include: 

- being a giver 

- not wanting to rock the boat

- not easily stating my needs and wants

- not prioritising things I want to do over and above all the things I feel I HAVE to do

And I've worked out what's behind that behaviour. And it's deep.

It's not simply a matter of "I've run out of time today".

We all have the same amount of minutes in a day.

I've worked out that living in a place that comes from feeling like I'm always trying to catch up and that there's never enough time comes from these (somewhat embarrassing to admit) deep seated places:

- by not committing and claiming time I can stay small and safe ie. if I'm always running out of time to pursue or complete my creative projects then no one can judge or criticise me for what I've created. But it also means no one can enjoy or celebrate what I've created either. (this one comes back to self-belief / self doubt)

- I dread having to say "No" to other people's requests on my time (I am much better at this than when I was younger)

- if I say yes then I don't have to brush up to my emotions and the emotions of my family and friends when I say "No" (which comes from my deeply ingrained pattern of 'avoid confrontation at all costs')

Hard truths right there.

I bet you'd never thought of all those emotions in relation to how you're spending your precious time?

Neither had I!

You can watch Linda's Ted Talk about Time Debt and what to do about it here.

It's 12 minutes of your life worth spending on YouTube :)

So, what have I done about my time debting? Well it is a work in progress but a couple of easy things I've done is looked at my life and set some priorities.

It doesn't mean I don't want to still be a deeply giving and loving person, I do! Caring for others is what fills me up and makes me happy, but I've realised I can't do this at the expense of my own dreams, desires, health and happiness.

It's a similar theme to last week's post about filling our cup first before giving to everyone else.

The other major change I've made is, when I can I go to bed at 9.30pm or 10pm at the latest and then get up at 5.30am.

Having one and a half to two clear hours to myself in the morning before anyone else is awake in my house is a gift I'm giving myself.

It means I can meditate, journal, write, get some computer work done, exercise - whatever I need or want to do without question or interruption.

It means I start the day ahead, giving to myself first.

It's not possible for me to do this every day because I can't always get to bed that early but when I can I do.

I hope this concept of time debt makes some sense to you too and is helpful in making some much needed change.

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