Time Starvers Anonymous


© Masson/Fotolia

© Masson/Fotolia

I’m starving and I’ll bet you are too!

I’m starving for more time in my day and paradoxically I’ve decided to introduce rest in my stand against time famine.

Recently, I was a member of a small team where I worked intensively for several weeks across a range of projects. OK – so there’s nothing new to me about working long and hard when there’s something pressing or urgent to action.

However, in this global team, my routine tasks – I soon discovered – were never ending.

A growing inbox

To cope with this, as well as my steep learning curve, I switched to a state of being hyper alert, especially over my growing inbox which needed constant pruning.

One night, after an evening yoga class, I spotted an email that yielded several more hours of work, after an already busy day. As 9pm approached, I stopped working as my brain was fried and then emailed those words to a colleague, promising that I’d get up early the next morning to complete the writing task – which I did.

Sure, the working hours were flexible and I chose to do the assignment for which I was being paid, but pretty soon work became my life’s focus.

My light bulb moment

On another night, at around 10.30pm, I sat on my lounge room floor surrounded by my newly created pie charts wondering how to carve out more hours in the coming days to finish this task.

I went to bed that night disappointed that my body wouldn’t allow me to squeeze just a few more hours out of the day. Damn. It was clear that my tasks to be done, both in and outside of work, would never end and so it was up to me to tackle this problem differently.

After waking and with less shut-eye than needed, my light bulb moment came. I realised it wasn’t more time I craved, it was rest.

Rest was the only thing that would relieve my overwhelm and jetlag-symptoms, as well as boost my clarity, creativity and well-being. Arianna Huffington would be pleased, I’m sure.

Rest: a state of mind

While you can rest by lying down, sleeping, meditating or even playing ping pong, the kind of rest I mean is a state of mind. It’s resting from work to fully disengage our minds from any stress and that nagging little inner voice that’s always telling us what to do next.

True resting can be a really free-ing experience. Go on – try it! And, as I’ve observed in myself, when I feel free it’s so much easier to see the choices I have in any situation and make more informed decisions.

What’s more, as I’ll always be starving for more time in all areas of my life, resting helps me achieve work/life balance.

  • Do you think time famine is an epidemic?
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