“You can’t do traditional work at a modern pace. Traditional work has traditional rhythms. You need calm. You can be busy, but you must remain calm.”
— BILL BUFORD
We are so tempted to cram more into our already busy lives we give in to such temptation eventually. We take on this thing and that thing and we wonder why we run spare on time; we wonder why we have no time for the important issues of life, like family and quality time (which always translates in quantity time at the right time in the right ways).
Time is a mathematical prospect. It is finite and logical. Yet we assume and expect it to be abstract; something that is mouldable around our priorities and needs.
We tend to make more expectations of our time than we have time.
But we can smash open the terrific mystery of time if we work against the role of our expectations; if we can build in margins into our days, like margins on a page, where there is whitespace in our lives to gain perspective and to enjoy reflection.
If we do not build time into our schedules for reflection in order to gain perspective we are on the way to crashing and burning. Only this way is it possible to be busy, yet remain calm.
If we are to enjoy the regular 80-year life, we need love, we need to love, and we need hope. These are philosophical and spiritual facts. But one fact of our practical lives is our need to right-size time.
First, as I’ve mentioned above, we must get our expectations right and not expect too much of our time; not be driven to achieve more than we can; to be realistic.
Second, we must build margins into our lives. I quickly learned in the secular world that three full days of appointments in a five day period was unrealistic; I just found there was not enough time to do the important work behind the scenes. I quickly realised I could do one full day of appointments per week and two half days like this. I needed margins in the other days and half days. Between hour appointments I would need at least one half hour to plan for the next one, to have time to go the toilet without rushing, and just simply to slow down and become myself again.
We find when we build margins into our busy lives that we don’t lose anything; but we do gain time for reflection and the gift, therefore, of perspective.
Making our time work for us is about getting our expectations right and then building in margins so there is enough free space for reflection and the gaining of perspective. When we achieve this, we are able to be busy and calm at the same time.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.