Time Gremlins will keep popping up, just when you thought you’d banished them! Fortunately, you can learn priceless lessons from them, even as you’re lessening their impact and building productivity.
1. TIP: Time Gremlins Help You Identify Your Illusions
If your plans consistently run into obstacles, perhaps your understanding of yourself and of the world around you needs some restructuring. Noticing your Gremlins will help you identify just where to focus your attention.
Each of us navigates by hand-drawn maps that retain some distortions from earlier times. So pinpoint the source of your frustrations. That’s where your life map needs updating. Revising it will restrict your Time Gremlin’s range considerably!
For example, let’s say you always arrive at an appointment 15 minutes late, despite careful preparations. Chances are you miscalculate how long it takes to gather supplies, or walk the dog, or some other prior activity. You might try sketching out how much time you think each step takes. Then try timing yourself a few times, and compare your estimate with reality. By replacing how long something “should” take with how long it actually does take, you stand a far better chance of staying on course. This is simple, practical and quite effective.
2. TIP: Time Gremlins Are Great Motivators
Time Gremlins cramp your style, hang you up, and keep you over-extended. It feels terrible. And that’s what makes them such valuable teachers. It’s like taking the same class year after year with your least favorite professor. You’ve got loads of incentive to graduate!
How badly do you want your time back? Well then, this is an ideal opportunity to make strides. Create a plan of action that guarantees you won’t have to repeat this particular boot camp. Make your study plan watertight. When you feel resentful about the lessons, remember; this teacher may provide some of the best training you’ll ever receive. If the misery you feel now is any indicator, you’re on your way to making your life SO much better.
3. TIP: Time Gremlins Flag Unexpressed Needs
There’s a reason that your Time Gremlin keeps its firm foothold on your life. On some level, you might unconsciously protect it. Perhaps it serves some function, even though it also trips you up.
Does that spark your curiosity?
By exploring the Time Gremlin’s secret payoff, you may spot a genuine need of yours that you’ve pushed past. And then, you’re free to find a truly rewarding way to fill it.
For example, perhaps you spend twice as much time reviewing your email when you feel isolated. Yet you deprive yourself of chances to catch up with an old college friend on the phone. When you over-discipline yourself to the point of neglecting important areas of your life, you will seek ways to sneak around your boundaries.
Listen to the messages underneath your Time Gremlin’s actions. In this instance, by proactively planning time with those you care about, you can return to your work in positive control, ready to
focus on that project.
© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.