You know the phrase “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Well, what does it do when you’re not having fun? Bored? Lonely? Impatient? Anxious? Excited?
You get the idea. Our perception of time changes depending on how we personally feel about what we’re doing.
Procrastination is a great example. Time drags on. The thing hangs over our head like homework. Then when it’s due, somehow there’s a mad rush. Procrastination turns to motivation because of perception.
How about road rage? With plenty of time to get somewhere, the ride is pleasant. But run late and everyone on the road has suddenly been put there to drive you crazy.
There are laws of physics where time is the same for everyone. That’s clocks, day & night, and the calendar. Clock Time is a frame that can feel limiting. If you ever say, “There’s not enough time in the day!” you know what I mean. But clock time also helps us reflect (change of seasons, anyone?) and make choices (What do I need to do today? What am I doing with my life?) Most of all, clock time helps schedule things. Otherwise, would any of us really ever show up to a meeting on time? We’d go when we felt like it.
Which brings me to feeling like it. Your emotional experience of time is truly unique to you. That’s what I’m interested in here because I think awareness of it can not only minimize feeling extensive periods of “lousy”, it can also maximize your Clock Time.
For example, I hate the stressful, dreadful feeling of running for a train. Once I realized that, I have very purposely planned plenty of time before I have to take a train and I’m able to enjoy it.
Emotional Time Management can be as simple as that, or way deeper. It’s being aware of how you feel in your time, high, low, or neutral. That lens allows you to make healthy choices from there.
- Emotional Time Management can help you self-regulate.
Where’s your energy level right after you’ve spent time on social media or the internet or TV? If it’s landed you in a sewer of despair or anger, please minimize your time on it and be selective about what you’re feeding your eyes.
- It can help you choose better friends.
What’s your energy like after you’ve seen your friend? Low? High? If you can recognize that, with someone new you’ll say to yourself, “Run for the hills!” or “Let me get your number!” and you won’t waste time in unhealthy friendships. Or, perhaps you can change how you are in the friendship and make it healthier for yourself.
- It can influence the choices in the rest of your day.
Things enter our day all the time that we don’t expect and that we have to now deal with. Great. (Sarcastic.) How’s your recovery? Do you stay low energy the rest of the day or can you gain some energy back? Can you move forward instead of getting stuck?
- How about some self-compassion?
Instead of dwelling in a low-energy range all day, when you become aware of the cause of your dropped energy and honor it (meaning, not judge yourself for it), you can pivot. “Yeah, okay, that sucks. What’s next?”
- Emotional Time Management encourages taking good care of yourself, physically.
If you notice you’re low energy all the time, and I mean all the time, there’s tons of information out there about raising your energy level even if you have an auto-immune illness. If you don’t know where to start, Kris Carr is a great suggestion for diet. Meditation time and time again is talked about as a healer and can get you essential rest. If you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring, where you’re getting the hours but not the rest, I’d suggest looking into integrative orthodontics.
Time fascinates me and our use of it even more, now that there are fewer boundaries (TV used to go off, people.) and so much opportunity for distraction. Click-bait thrives on spending our time – not our money, but our time! (In order to then spend our money.)
Your time is yours to do with what you want. Emotionally speaking, at least. If you think about it, even Clock Time isn’t the same for everyone. There’s time differences around the entire globe. Time changes when you get further away from earth. There’s Daylight Savings Time which still doesn’t make sense to me and every year makes me say, “See? It just proves we do need one more hour in the day!”