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Nov 12, 2021 in 

The Holidays Are Coming! The Holidays Are Coming!

The holidays are once again upon us, from Thanksgiving to the New Year.

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Chet Spence

Life Coach

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The holidays are once again upon us, from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Holidays are supposed to bring cheer, allow us to reap the harvest from a year’s worth of toil, and share our bounty with our loved ones and those who are less fortunate. What I see and hear, however, is overspending, overcommitting, and over pleasing, so that what is left over after the holidays is a disappointment, dissatisfaction, and depression. To help avoid that, I have compiled the five top holiday joy killers, and what you can do about it to avoid the Holiday Blues. Today I am going to discuss time. I figured the best place to start is what time is and isn’t, so let’s start with what time is.

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., says “Physicists define time as the progression of events from the past to the present into the future. Basically, if a system is unchanging, it is timeless. It is not something we can see, touch, or taste, but we can measure its passage.” Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a B.A. in physics and mathematics with a minor in chemistry from Hastings College. Time is the progression of events from past, to present, to future. It has a starting point, but we don’t know if it has an ending point. We know for us on earth, time is finite if we measure from when we were born to when we die because there is a physical beginning, which is birth, and a physical end, which is death. Beyond that, we know time goes on, we just don’t know for how long. 

Time is used as a measurement to achieve whatever it is we are to achieve between birth and death. We are impressed by how little time it took someone to accomplish something, such as when a musical prodigy plays a piano symphony at age seven, a 16-year-old wins an Olympic medal, or an 18-year-old high school student becomes mayor of a city! Those are amazing and well-deserved accolades to accomplish such a feat at those ages, but it sets a dangerous precedent that our children need to be great before puberty to be successful in life. That sets the anxiety wheel in motion that if we don’t have life figured out by 18, it will pass us by. I have coached plenty of clients who feel pressured to accomplish more, and more, and more because they feel as if they are behind in life, or they are trying to prove something. I have found that as long as you continue to do what you are meant to do, timing is more crucial than time, but we are impatient people. We want what we want today. The reality is, things happen when they are supposed to happen.    

Ask yourself, are the events and projects you have planned bring you joy and purpose? Or do they feel like an obligation? Plan your time wisely with what matters to you, not with what matters to others. Trying to win approval from others is a time stealer. 

Are you allowing yourself time for rest and proper care, or are you throwing things in your schedule to keep you busy and distracted? Having too many projects to do can overwhelm you and lead to failure when you keep jumping from project to project and nothing gets completed. Limiting what you say yes to will help keep you from overpromising and underdelivering, and allow you to focus on what’s truly important to you. 

 Time is an equal opportunity provider, which means there is the same amount of measurable units of time each day for all of us. Each of us has 24 hours in each day, 60 minutes in each hour, 60 seconds in each minute. Time is free of any judgment, discrimination, or bias. From that point on, how we use time is as different as the various cultures on this earth. All too often time is used as the scapegoat as to why something didn’t get done. For example, when facing a deadline, it’s not uncommon to hear,  “I ran out of time,” or  “Can you give me a little more time?” When in reality, time had nothing to do with missing the deadline at all. 

Now, let's reflect on what time isn’t; time is not money. You can’t reproduce time as you can with money. You can’t save and invest time to create more time. You can’t buy groceries with time. Time is not a commodity that can be traded. Time is more precious than money because you can’t get time back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can reproduce money. Even make more. The phrase, “Time is Money,” and “You're meter’s always running,” suggest that you should always be busy, actively earning money and never rest, for fear that you’ll get behind. Unfortunately, there are business cultures that still operate with this philosophy in mind, which creates more anxiety at holidays. 

This is a good time to pause, and again take into consideration what is truly important, and learn to say no, even at the risk of a promotion. I have coached clients who have realized there are things more important and crucial than the next sale or promotion. More money is never the answer to anything. 

The bottom line is, we all have the same amount of time today. Learning how to manage and leverage time effectively, not so you can do more, but so that you can make a greater impact with the time you have takes practice. It starts with what you want to accomplish, and what you will say no to. 

If the Holidays create anxiety in you, let’s talk. The first session is on me.

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