Warren Buffet was saying recently that he can buy pretty much anything he wants, except for time. As a result, he schedules huge swaths of time to be unstructured and open – with no meetings, no consultations, nothing but time to sit and see what comes up. He was talking about the belief that busyness equates productiveness and how pervasive a belief it is in the U.S culture. He is pointing to something that creative and spiritual types have known for centuries and I am seeing more and more in my life.
For the last year or two, I have created the space for my day to have time for the things that help me stay present, have some unstructured time and use a schedule that is full but not set to keep me “busy” so I will feel “productive. What I notice is that I actually feel more productive and get much more accomplished. I had to be willing however, to experiment with letting go of cramming as much as possible into my day. I noticed at first it was extremely uncomfortable as everything I had believed was being called into question. Whose life was this being lived for? Did I want to keep the belief that my worth was dependent on how much I was doing? From where was the busyness coming from? Could I trust in myself to manage my energy? The more I looked, the more I noticed that some things were coming from a centered place of enjoyment, and other things were coming from a place of “should” and expectations and standards. Once I started seeing that no one was going to die if I didn’t do those things, including me, it was easier to let go of them. I will say though, the internal voices that want to keep us in our limiting patterns don’t want to let go that easily. I also can get thrown off with sick days with kids, snow days, summer’s off, etc and I just get to recommit. It is all okay, the internal conversations and changes helps to remind us that we are on the right track of letting go of that which doesn’t serve us.
So where would you like to claim back your time? Can you pick one thing you would like to incorporate more into your day, week, month that supports presence and thus productivity? Life is extremely productive. Babies are born, the sun comes up and goes down, crops grow, life is unfolding just fine, EVERY MOMENT. Without urgency. without needing to be busy to feel valuable or worthy of existing. Life is just full without stress. We are a part of life. We get to have those experiences for ourselves too.