Time is a strange thing. Often, we have too little of it, but when we are waiting in line it seems to pass by too slowly. In this blog I share three ways to change your relationship with time. This way you can get more done in the same amount of time and will be less stressed.
1. Surfing the time
The first thing you can do, is stop trying to manage your time. Time is not something that can be managed. You are not in charge of time and time doesn’t listen to you. Trying to manage your time will only bring you frustration and stress every time you don’t get done what you had planned, when something unexpected arises, or when you are not in the right mood for what you had aimed to do.
Instead, you can decide to surf the time. This metaphor gives a new perspective on dealing with time. It suggests that time is like a wave, a given element that you can use as a carrier of your activities. Zen monk Paul Loomans describes the art of time surfing in his book “Time Surfing, the Zen approach to keeping time on your side”.
Surfing time will invite you to tune into the current moment and sense what it is asking of you. What does have the right momentum now? What is the wave that you can surf? When you start adjusting your activities to the energy of the moment, you will find out that something that normally takes hours can also be done in just one hour. Besides, activities, like your bookkeeping, that you don’t like, will be less tiring if you do them at the right moment.
Paul Loomans suggests getting rid of all your to do lists and to let your intuition guide you in when to do what. This requires creating empty moments in your day. Moments in which you just wander around, clean out the dish washer, or walk the dog. During these moments, your intuition will be able to tell you what next activity suits the current wave best.
So, sit down, close your eyes, breath in and breath out. Become still and ask yourself “What is my next activity?”. Now be curious how the answer presents itself to you.
2. Distinguish between Chronos, Kairos, and Aenos
The second way of creating a different relationship with time is by embracing a different approach to time. The Greek had three gods that represented three different approaches to time. These views can help you to get a different perspective on time.
The god Chronos represents the linear time. This is the time we are most familiar with. It is the time that is ticking away, that is making our lives finite. It is the time that we use to make appointments, plan our activities, and for measuring different things. It is very useful to be able to synchronize agendas and plan your activities.
At the same time, the linear approach to time creates a fixed framework that might not fit your personal or your business’s rhythm. Then you will experience tension, unrest, and stress. If you, for example, are not a morning person, then it is hard to adjust to the fixed framework of 9-5 workdays. In the same way you might not be made for a 5-day work week.
This linear approach to time also bears the premise that time is scarce and that we don’t have enough of it. This creates stress and the fear of not doing enough.
It also Chronos that makes us overestimate what we can do in 1 year, but underestimate what we can do in 5. It is good to have a look at 1 year ago and see what you have accomplished in that year. Now have a look at 5 years back and see what you have accomplished since then!
The god Kairos represents the idea of the right moment. In this view time is a flow of moments, each with its own energy, quality, and substance. By choosing the right moment for your activities, you will be able to get the best results. These right moments create a sense of flow and of being connected with a larger whole.
The concept of time surfing is also using Kairos’ approach to time, allowing you to let go of the deadlines, limitations of time, and the idea of time being a long succession of separate units. Being in this flow, will make you more relaxed and allow you to get more done.
Finally, there is the god Aenos, representing eternal time. This idea of time will help you to see things into a larger perspective. By connecting with Aenos you will realized that what we are doing in our lives is just a small dot in eternity. It helps you to put things into perspective and let go of some of your unrealistic expectations, fears, or wishes.
Aenos will give you more air and space to do what you need to do. You can make mistakes, it doesn’t matter if you take a week, a month, or even a year longer than planned. In the eyes of Aenos that is peanuts. The Chinese are good at approaching things from a broader time frame. Their country has a history that is so much older than most other countries’. Therefore, they can more easily access this concept of eternity, of a larger time perspective.
Geologists also work from a much larger time frame. They look at things from the perspective of the evolution of earth. Even continents are not fixed in that timeframe and neither are countries or civilizations.
In another blog I describe a narrative constellation in which I represented the mountain that has always been and always will be. It was interesting to experience this different perspective on time from this position.
3. Beyond time and space
Finally, you can connect with an area beyond time and space. This is a more spiritual process, which can help you to influence the strings of time. It can also help you to access information that otherwise wouldn’t be available.
We live in a three-dimensional world with time as the fourth dimension in some theories. This is the world that we are aware of, the world that natural sciences are investigating. This is what we have created after the separation of church and science and the separation of mind and matter.
But there is another field that you can tune into. There is an energy field that is connecting all that is. In quantum physics this is called the zero-point field (see the book The Field by Lynn McTaggert). In religions this is called Brahman, Allah, or God. Others call it Ki or love.
Using your pure intuition, you can tune into this energy field. You are capable of tapping into this field that is non-local and without time. It is a place outside our spacetime world.
This might all sound very psychic or supernatural, but we deal with it every day. How often have you thought of someone and then this person calls you? Or that you sense the collective energy in the room? Or that you come up with information that you rationally shouldn’t know? Or that you already ‘knew’ something was going to happen, or that a certain event would take place?
We often get these insights, sensations, intuitive knowledge, but we don’t do anything with it. We say it is not real, not based on facts, and not scientific. I can tell you that this is a very powerful ability that everyone has. It is up to you how much you are going to use it and act upon it.
Let me give you two examples of how you could use this in order to deal with time.
Creating a time bubble
If you are busy or know that you won’t have enough time to finish what you need to do, you can create a time bubble. Close your eyes, breath in and out two or three times. Relax, let go of thoughts and tensions. Then imagine a bubble around you and the space in which you have to do your work. Make it a nice bubble with a lot of space, air, light, and other things that are important for you. It is your imagination, so use it! Then imagine a time-knob indicating the speed of time. Have a look at the number it is on. Now, turn this knob down, like you would turn down the volume on a stereo. Or maybe you can see a time-slider, indicating the speed of time in the bubble and then slide it down. This way you slow down the time in this bubble.
Then start doing your work and enjoy the time that you have!
Tapping into the future
You can prepare for something that is going to happen tomorrow. This way it will be easier to deal with it. Again, close your eyes, calm down, slow down your thoughts, let go of tension. Breath in, breath out, three times. Then imagine the meeting, training, activity that you will have to do tomorrow. Now, follow the flow of images, sensations, and insights. Ask your intuition what the essence is of the activity or meeting. Be curious to how the answer will come. Then ask what is required by you, what is that you will have to do or not do? Again, open up for the intuitive answers coming in images, insights or sensations, or maybe through sounds, smells and flavors. Finally ask your intuition what the common goal, direction, or higher purpose is of that what you are going to do. Let the answers come to you and be curious like a child.
Explore the information some more, by following the flow of images, sensations and insights. You don’t have to understand it, so tell your mind to back off a little for now.
Then write down or draw what you have received. Now you can ask your mind to interpret the information, but you don’t have to. After the event has taken place, check your notes and see what they were telling you.
Let me how this information has helped you!
In my book, that will be available in English in a few weeks, I write more about time and rhythm. I also share systemic, holistic, and energetic insights about five other key aspects of doing business. Contact me if you would like to receive an email when my book can be ordered.