We all have 24 hours every day in which to live our lives. It’s important to manage it the way we want rather than letting others manage it for us. I also believe it’s possible to view it in different ways to get even more from those 24 hours.
Here are five ways we can view time and how to use them to gain more productivity and creativity.
This is the most common way time is viewed. Events happen in a sequence from past to future. When we look at time through this lens, we plan in minutes, hours, days and weeks. The writing we want to get done gets put on a calendar and we show up at a certain day and time to write. This is a very efficient way to work. It’s probably the most intuitive to those of us living in the Western world.
This way of viewing time can pose a problem to creatives because we have to perform on the set day and time. The muse isn’t always cooperative on demand.
The work around is to learn how to get into the right frame of for the muse anytime. It also helps if you consistently show up regularly to write. This consistency lets your muse know you mean business.
Many Indigenous cultures view time as cyclical. They feel there is no lost time because it always returns. They live with such a view because they live within nature. The sun rises and sets every day, the moon moves through its phases every month, the seasons come back again and again.
When you view time this way, you relax. If the moment will come around again, then you won’t miss anything. In a culture where people suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), viewing time as cyclical can release us from this fear. Peace is more easily achieved which is the best thing for our intuition and creativity. And when those are working we’re more productive.
The only issue with viewing time as cyclical is becoming too relaxed which could lead to putting things off. There’s a chance we might become like Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and say too often that we’ll think about that tomorrow or tomorrow is another day.
Time is limited in terms of our life span, the hours in a day, the days in a year, etc. Viewing time this way can cause stress. We feel we must rush to fit it all in. This isn’t helpful to creativity.
But what is helpful about viewing time as limited, is that it narrows our focus. We realize we can’t do everything. It helps us get selective. This is important in order to be productive and do our best work.
In a spiritual sense, time is infinite. And to view it this way expands our being. It opens us up to possibility and helps us relax and not feel rushed.
To view time as infinite can sometimes lead us to feel too lax in the way viewing it as cyclical can. We need to have a sense of expansiveness and concentration in order to be creative and productive.
Because we can view time in many different ways, it is subjective. We especially feel this way when we’re in the thrall of the muse, diving deep into the flow of creativity. Think of the times when you sat down to work and were so engrossed that two hours felt like 15 minutes.
It’s important to let go of time in order to get into the flow. Time is a concept we humans have created. Events do happen in a sequence, but there are moments when it passes differently for me than it does for you. Those times are when we’re in flow or when we’re waiting for bad news and time feels as though it’s barley moving at all.
When we’re in that deep focus of flow, we’re using time most efficiently. More is accomplished with less effort. Even though we may feel only 15 minutes have passed, we did produce two hours’ worth of work and then some. It feels as though we’ve slowed down time.
By taking all the ways we can view time into consideration, we can better use it to our advantage. Walk the fine line between the opposites. Allow the tension to guide you and help you tap your creativity in new ways and use the tried and true methods to help you be productive and get the writing done.
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