Respect your time
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have an interesting relationship with time. I tend to exist on both poles of the time management continuum. On one hand, I am hyperaware of my schedule, I am extremely organized when it comes to deadlines and my calendar app is my best friend.
Yet somehow, this doesn't always translate into how I am in real-time. I start multiple tasks at once, I get caught up and lost in what I am doing and I have solidified my "morning rush dance" down to a tee. It goes like this: Wake up. DO EVERYTHING. And run out the door. Bam. Done.
So here's the thing: I always feel like I am striving for the "perfect", amazing, Instagram-worthy routine. I long to be the type of person who gets it all done and isn't rushing through it. The type of person who has time to make the perfect smoothie, get fully ready and include a morning meditation/yoga practice. It sounds wonderful, but the expectation I put on myself for this always leaves me feeling frustrated. And really annoyed. And frankly, I always fall short of my expectation.
I decided to explore this a bit more. I slowly started to realize why I do this. Here's how it came to me...
I started to do yoga in the mornings before work. It's a new year and I wanted to bring a little stillness and intention to my morning. So on my first day back to work, I got on my mat, set up my phone in front of me with my favourite yoga you-tuber, and started. Immediately, my phone went off with messages (always perfect timing), and my mind started wandering. Who is that? What do they want? What if I miss something important? Omg I forgot to do this. Oh I better do that. I can't forget. I have SO many things to do before I leave. I feel like I'm wasting my time. How long is this video? And so on. I started to get the itch of a phone addict. Aaaaaaand...I checked my phone. I gave in. And I lost all hope for a calm morning.
That's when I realized. My issue isn't time management. It's time respect. I don't respect my own time. It all started to make sense. I create lists, I set up my tasks and my calendar. But the execution falls through because I don't respect my own time. I intrude on my own time. And I let everything around me do the same. I don't respect the tasks I have set up for myself and I don't respect the time I have so thoughtfully set aside for those tasks.
I mean, it is my time. I do have the right to change it as I see fit. But this is different. Respect for time is something entirely different than rearranging a schedule. Respect for time means that you honour the time you have chosen to spend doing something. That you realize that each moment you dedicate to something is precious. That it shouldn't be thrown around like it has no value. Because it does have value and you have the right to determine what that value is.
I'm not saying make a strict schedule and stick to it. I am saying that awareness of time is important. Choosing where you want to put your time is important. Valuing the time you set aside for yourself is important. It brings a whole new meaning to self-care. You can go through the motions of self-care without actually respecting what you are doing or the intention behind it.
We only get so much time in a day. We can't do everything. We can't be superhuman. We can't check off our whole list each day. When you plan things, think about how much time you want to spend doing something and how much time you actually need to do it. Don't put added pressure on yourself to complete something in record time and to have time leftover and to look great while doing it. It will just leave you feeling like you fall short every time.
The thing is that when you don't respect your own time, others won't either. When you don't respect your time, the moments you have set aside for yourself won't fill you up. When you don't respect your time, it moves quickly and things that excite you will come and go without you feeling like you experienced them.
Ask yourself: what parts of my day are actually really important and valuable to me? What things do I really want to invest my time in? Choose. Respect that choice. And then pour yourself into those moments. Those are the ones that are truly important to you, so they matter. And don't let anything else intrude on that time. Not you, not your phone, not other people's opinions. Nothing. Because you are your greatest investment. Those desires you have.... they are worth it. And so are you.