Time management tips improve with age – your age, that is! Here are 5 wise ways to use age-related challenges to create new self-awareness, compassion and capacity to let go.
“Who forces time is pushed back by time. Who yields to time finds time on his side.” The Talmud
I deeply appreciate and embrace the process of aging. So I’d like to share personal discoveries that have made a world of difference to me; I hope they open new doors for you, too.
These tips provide helpful stepping stones.
1. Welcome each “wake-up call” as you age.
Have you ever been startled by your reflection in a store window? Turn this into an invitation to develop your wakefulness. See how often you can actively and compassionately explore changes in your mind and body. By stepping forward to welcome what might also threaten you, you develop considerable inner trust.
Review the last few months. What incremental changes can you identify in your energy and/or your efficiency? Rather than worry about this, use your new clarity to accept, deep in your bones, that these changes are a natural part of living.
You exercise positive control by listing those tasks that now take you longer to complete… and then planning accordingly. Welcome less urgency, less stress, and enjoy the ride!
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan
2. Take the long view and relax.
Anger and impatience require energy – if you spin in circles, you waste valuable energy. It’s helpful to embrace your feelings, as long as you encourage them to flow, rather than churn in whirlpools. Once you’ve released them, use your creativity and challenge yourself. How can you craft new ways to maintain your productivity, while accepting that you now require more time to accomplish tasks?
As you gain perspective, you become far more realistic about what is essential to maintain, and what you can simply let go. Scott Peck, in his landmark book, The Road Less Traveled, names “balancing” as one of the essential 4 disciplines for solving all life’s problems. Aging with wisdom offers you the immense power to simply let go, and let be.
3. Allow grief to flow up and out.
Grief cleanses. Like your anger, it needs to flow. That’s how you make way for the new. Is your self-esteem linked to high productivity and accomplishment? If so, you may initially feel like you’ve ‘hit a wall’ when you reduce your pace.
However, as you allow yourself to feel your grief, you will find that aging opens new gateways. If you look forward, not back, and accept your real losses (and honor your accomplishments) you can re-frame this as a time to stretch, savor, and celebrate what truly matters.
“It takes a long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso
4. Use humor.
Simply put, humor humanizes. Try to approach complaints about the changes that aging brings with empathy and a humorous anecdote. You see, negativity is highly contagious, but so is a pragmatic view, softened by humor! Create an environment of acceptance… and see how it changes everything.
“Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.” Robert Browning
5. Grow into your power.
Finally, as you deepen your understanding of what truly matters to you, speak up! Be a strong ally to yourself.
So, what can you do right now to speak out – and take the time and the space you deserve to celebrate your life?© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.