How we manage our time (or fail to)
Time is a funny thing. Depending on your commitments at any given moment, you can either feel like you’ve got nothing but time, or like you’ve been given a smaller lot to work with than everyone else. I’ve recently started a new job, and sometimes I look at the people around me and wonder if they, too, feel like they’re on the verge of drowning. The answer would probably vary from person to person, because stress, like everything in life, is cyclical. It shifts and changes as we do, and I suppose that’s something.
The thing is, I’m used to feeling in control of the time I’ve been given. I’m organised, I plan things. Like a lot of people, I like to know when I’m going to wake up, when I’m going to exercise, work, study, and see my friends. But at the moment, I feel as though my very concept of time has been shaken up and handed to me in disarray. I’ve had to adjust my schedule to allow for earlier starts and later finishes, depending on the day. I’ve had to re-consider my priorities and decide where they rank in importance. This, I suspect, is an almost pointless exercise, because we don’t exist in binaries: we aren’t one job, one passion, one commitment, one goal. We are a multitude of things, and we owe our energy to all of the different parts of ourselves.
I’m not sure I’m really in a position to offer any advice, but here’s some anyway. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t give in to the pressure or the guilt, whether it’s external or self-imposed. As a culture, we tend to throw the word ‘balance’ around with flippancy, forgetting that it holds weight; it has to, or else we’re all at risk of losing our time (and possibly even ourselves) to the things we ascribe a false superiority. Truthfully, no one thing is more important than another because, to revisit an earlier point, it’s all cyclical. At one moment, your career might be your core focus, and a month later, it might be your family, your social life, your physical health, or your emotional development. Whatever it is, it’s important, it’s part of you and it deserves your time (just not all of the time).