Govern the clock
“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” — Golda Meir
As strange as it seems, much of what we think of as “time management” is just one more way of being governed by the clock. While some principles of time management are useful, such as setting goals and priorities, other advice may end up being counterproductive. For example, this whole idea of multitasking is taken too far when we get so greedy about packing so much into our lives that we give nothing our full attention. Rather than having a few very enjoyable projects and hobbies, we take on too much and end up with a vague feeling of stress, pressure, and lack of fulfillment when things go undone. Rather than enjoying time with one special friend or family member, we feel an illogical urgency to make ourselves available every waking hour to anyone with our cell or text number.
Whether we are managing money or time, if we lose sight of them as means to an end, we wind up with the tail wagging the dog. Zealously plotting to squeeze 25 hours into every day often means that we push too hard to relax or enjoy anything, defeating the whole purpose of planning our time. I plead guilty to being one of the worst offenders when it comes to wanting to do too much. It goes with the territory of loving many things. But age does confer certain benefits, one of which is the absolute necessity of slowing down; achieving less but savoring more.
“Time for Living” is a favorite old song from the 60’s by a group called The Association. I’ve sung this song to myself often over the many years since I used to play it on my record player with my brother’s LP. One of my favorite lines from the song says “I took off my watch, and found I had all the time in the world.” Though no one would ever accuse me of being a workaholic, I do get stressed about time far more than I should.
Today, I hope we can all use the clock as a tool to help us enjoy life more, rather than allowing it to be a tyrant poking us in the backside with a stick, telling us to HURRY UP and keeping us from paying attention as our life ticks away. Whatever you are doing today, take five! or ten! or maybe even an hour or two — and just enjoy something. Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below.