Finding time is always a great feeling, isn’t it? I think it’s especially luscious when you can turn the tables on your time traps and start seeing (and using) them as opportunities. How can that be possible?
Well, the thing about time traps is that they often hide things that you are not fully conscious of. More often than not, they hide values conflicts. When you aren’t sure what direction to take or are in conflict about what’s most important to you, that’s when you get bogged down … stuck … trapped.
But, by spotting, and then resolving, the values conflicts that your time traps hide, you not only get yourself moving again, but you learn things about yourself that will help you reclaim energy and time that was tired up with these traps! You can use this original approach to both clarify your priorities and free up your time!
In this, and some upcoming articles, I’ll offer 3 tips that you can use as gold keys to help you open the most stubborn time traps for yourself.
Today’s Tip: Time traps can pinpoint where fear rules your life.
Do you seesaw between wanting to live bigger, on one hand, and slumping into inertia on the other? If so, it can be extremely tempting to use a time trap to keep from embracing an important new challenge.
Here’s an example: let’s say you end the day by watching TV programs you don’t much enjoy, simply to unwind. Perhaps you do this instead of pulling apart some difficult aspects of your day that have stayed with you. If you took a closer look at your time choices, you might take some steps to lower your stress level. But since you don’t, you backslide into a routine of dissatisfaction and discouragement, instead.
Now, consider the alternatives. There’s generally an unacknowledged and deceptively attractive payoff to each unrewarding choice you make. So it’s good to get clear on what that illusory benefit is.
In this instance, would stepping forward and addressing those nagging dissatisfactions require that you to take new risks, or develop new skills? Would you need to stretch into more assertiveness or self-confidence?
Envision making progress, and see exactly where you balk. Then focus on this juncture; it’s your entryway to developing competence and changing your understanding of yourself.
Now you see exactly what the trade-off is. And you can also see where and how to take that first baby step forward, towards new possibilities! The illusory payoffs of resistance tend to lose their sheen under the bright light of scrutiny!
By applying pressure at just the right point, you can convert inertia into incentive! Simply break down each challenge into workable increments. Then, devise a plan to move forward. I bet you’ll find that moving through resistance and trying something new will make time traps much less tempting!© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.