Doing Less in More Time


Over the years, the compelling challenge of time, priorities, and life balance has been a frequently mentioned concern of individuals. Our lives have sped up so much that we often feel that we are losing track of who we are. And, in our rush to achieve ‘more’ in less time, the things that really are most important to us seem to always drop to the bottom of the priority list. We often approach our daily to-do’s thinking that if we can just cross every completed task off our list, we might find some for the important things, but – given the complexity and demands of every-day life – most of us find it difficult to get everything done.  You can certainly make a renewed effort to achieve more in less time, or you might actively work to discover the real secret of life: how to do less in more time.

How you spend your time reflects your priorities and what is important to you. Rather than composing your daily list of to-do’s list based on what seems most urgent, or what you’ve failed to do the previous day, make sure you schedule at least one thing that reflects your personal values.  Focusing attention on how you spend your time can bring new energy to every aspect of your life; instead of efficiency, aim for integration and balance in your life.  As a life coach, I have often observed the conflict that arises for people between Chronos time – time related to getting things done (agendas, tasks, schedules) – and Kyros time – time related to process, deep listening, relaxation, and understanding that the time it takes is the time it takes.    Take a good look at your work habits. Are there ways you can restructure how you spend your time to be more productive in a shorter time period, to implement better ways of doing things, to see new approaches to performing tasks? When you have more space, you conversely have more time. If you clear any clutter in your living and workspaces, and create pleasing environments that inspire you, time will automatically feel expanded. The more time we can spend in Kyros time, the more expansive and elastic time becomes. This is the kind of time we lived in when we were children. Time did not have the meaning for us then of clock hours, commitments, appointments, to-do’s. These are the things that chop up our time into Chronos time, and make it seem short and hectic.    Perform a self-audit on how you manage your time to focus your attention on how you want to be spending your hours and your days. Start thinking of your time as a “return on investment”.    Aim to spend more time in Kyros time by doing less in more time. It’s all about your state of mind. Remember: life is just one long time line, and it’s too short and too precious to be focused mainly on just getting more things done.  Here are six steps to help you start doing less in more time:

1. Slow Down

Begin to slow down your pace.  Take a yoga class or go for a walk.  Get in touch with the rhythm of your breath, and slow it down for a few minutes regularly.  This will relax your body and your mind.

2. Set Goals

When we know where we’re going, it’s easier to make the decisions on how we will get there, and to make the important choices on what to do and not to do. Formulate some long range goals that can serve as a compass for your daily decisions.  

3. Choose

Make decisions about what is most important for you to do, and how you want to spend your time.  Choose to say no.

4. Prioritize

Prioritize your choices in order of importance. Choose activities that will give you a sense of belonging and of feeling grounded, balanced, connected, and any other values that are important to you.

5. Let Go

Let go of 50% of your commitments. Look at your calendar to see where you’re over-scheduled, and eliminate or start to say no to new engagements. Find ways to delegate or let go of items on your to-do list.  

6. Clear The Clutter

Create time to clear the clutter, the piles of paper, the closets, and remove
all the distractions that get in the way of your daily life.  Eliminating clutter in your physical environment will free up energy for you personally, which in turn will expand your feeling of time.  If you feel like you don’t have the time to spend doing this, consider hiring someone to help you get organized.  Then you can start with a clean slate.

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