The importance of time generosity came up with a client recently, she's a busy Mum living in one of the most hectic places in the world who wants to establish her yoga classes and healing practices. This means making use of promotion methods and technology that' are new to her and 'putting herself out there', sometimes in direct contrast to how she feels.
I know her as a loving person who is very generous with her time when it comes to her family, friends and students. It soon became clear she is less generous when giving time to herself. She recognised her morning practice was central to her emotional well being, being a patient parent and modelling the behaviour her students are aspiring to, but how could she possibly fit in her 25 minute practice?
We have approached this from 2 angles...
Recognising this needed to happen before the children were awake, we worked back to the action needed the night before to create the space. The preparation and communication that made it easy to slip into the practice before any other busy-ness could get in the way.
We also got real about the likelihood that, despite all the planning, some days this wouldn't be possible, and that is okay. 5/7 days is a win! We experimented with contingencies- a 5 min version or doing the full programme later in the day. In the coaching sessions we continue to work on the 'perfectionist mindset', that creates impossible standards, and to bring more kindness and acceptance into her day as she negotiates through her different roles.
The yang flavoured activities of getting things done, being busy and having everything under control have been idealised in our society as 'good time management'. When you have routine things that must be completed, getting on with them promptly gets them out of the way works. It stops resistance building and procrastination. Once you start contemplating why there's so much 'life admin' these days, how terrible it is no one will do this for you or how long you could put it off for, you're on a slippery slope! Unnecessary thinking isn't going to help here.
Equally, if your to do list stretches out into infinity, this becomes a prime target for that perfectionist voice to have its say. Better to be realistic about how many of these tasks you can and want complete in your day, given the other things that are important to you.
When, like this client, you're starting a new venture, your primary focus is learning and creativity. You need to be able to explore the technology you'll be using, experiment and play with new ideas. These actions have more of a yin energy and can't be approached in the same way as the yang tasks above. In allocating time to these activities, you need to be generous. Allow yourself to get lost in the process, let your thoughts run free. Adventure. Discover.
We often think we must be 'in the mood' for these more 'in depth' activities but waiting for the right mood is another form of procrastination. Our moods are transient. It's quite likely your mood will change once engage with a different activity and give yourself permission to play and, if it doesn't, that's okay too!
We might think we are being generous with our time because we give freely to others, perhaps we even volunteer our time to help in our community. However this generosity needs to start with ourselves and the value we create by investing time in our well being, allowing free-flow time for learning and exploration and giving ourselves permission for full creative expression in our lives. In one of those lovely twists, this means we have even more riches to share with others.