Do you ever feel that your days are too short, that they´re not enough to be able to do everything you want (or need) to do?
That was totally me a few years ago when I bumped into a TV programme from RTÉ, the Irish national television, which was called precisely this: “Not enough hours”.
Thinking about that time, I remember I used to feel quite stressed out in general; in fact, the subtitle I gave to the blog I was writing back then (the previous incarnation of BinaryWords) was “fighting against chaos”. Because that´s how I felt: there was a lot of chaos in my life, and I had to fight against it, and everything seemed like a huge effort… Basically what was happening was that I had a full-time job, one little girl plus one more on the way, and a set of expectations for myself that I wasn´t able to live up to.
So that TV programme was to me just what the doctor ordered, for multiple reasons. First, I felt better when I saw that what was happening to me was also happening to many others, in different ways. Second, I learned several things that I found both interesting and useful; I´m sharing two of them down below.
And third, that´s how I got to meet Owen Fitzpatrick, the psychologist and time management expert who presented the programme. He accompanied a different person in each episode, helping them with their particular problem. I loved the way he explained time management concepts and then applied them to figure out solutions that truly worked for each of the participants... Later on, speaking with a work colleague (thanks Tim!), I found out that Owen was an expert in many other areas as well, and that´s how I ended up taking my first NLP course, in Dublin, back in 2013, with Owen Fitzpatrick and Brian Colbert 🙂
These are the two learnings I took away from the programme, as I remember it:
- How perfectionism causes us more harm than good, and the “perfect” phrase to not let ourselves get blocked or stressed by it when tackling something:
Interestingly, even today, when I realize I´m stuck trying to perform a task to the level of perfection, what I hear in my head is Owen´s voice saying this phrase, and that helps a lot (it also confirms that one of my main representational systems is the auditory one, which is something I learned in his NLP course).
- How the concept of time is something abstract, represented internally in different ways by different people. For example, when imagining a timeline, some people visualize it from left to right, placing the past on one side and the future on the other side, while others represent it perpendicularly, placing the past behind them and the future in front of them. Depending on your particular internal way to represent time, you may find it more difficult to get organized with a traditional format calendar, and if so, there may be other strategies that suit you better to get things done.
What do you think about these two ideas? What would help you to make the most of your time?