“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.”
Time management tips help you recognize patterns and then make conscious choices. This is one of the most powerful skills that you can cultivate in your life.
Which do you keep, and which do you change?
Some of your patterns keep life fresh for you.
These include meaningful rituals you may use to open and close your day, and special pastimes that you schedule on a regular basis. Using time tools that keep you healthy, focused and productive, like templates and to do lists, can also create patterns that help you make the most of your time.
Some patterns serve as dead weight.
But then, there are the patterns that weigh you down. Once patterns become rote responses, you simply can’t see what is around you as clearly.
These constricting patterns are fascinating to explore. Where have you lost touch with your power of choice? How has this muddied your window on the world? Although you might find this uncomfortable to examine, taking this level of responsibility enables you to rethink how far your power can truly extend.
1. Locate the ruts.
If you want to locate the patterns that need shaking up, think through your day. What times of days, and what activities seem gray and undefined to you? How, exactly, are you feeling… pressured, restless, bored, or angry? In what ways can you rethink the situation, to see the range of options you have turned a blind eye to?
2. Spotlight your choices, and identify alternatives.
What if one of your patterns is to always say yes when a co-worker interrupts you to ask for help with her project? You like feeling helpful, but you never complete your own tasks. What will be the sequence of gains and losses if you say a firm but friendly “No” the next time she asks? Some effects you may be able to predict. Others might revise your understanding of your relationship considerably.
3. Make the easiest change first, and study what happens.
Learning to recognize and change patterns needn’t entail a big time commitment. You simply have to be willing, and even eager, to see what happens next. The results will always enrich your understanding. By starting with the smallest change, you will be able to notice the ripple effect with relatively little discomfort. Yet, you will generally discover more side effects than you anticipate. It can be like pulling up a small, annoying weed and being astonished by its extensive root system! Remember that some effects will be visible immediately. Others will take time to ripen. As you grow, your relationships may evolve, as well. As you shift one small pattern and start experiencing the benefits, possibilities will open wide. This is an excellent time to keep a journal, and document changes. When you begin to explore, be on the lookout for fresh opportunities to re-vision your world. Everything will begin to look different!
“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
What can you do right now to replace worn out patterns with exciting new potentials?© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.