What are your rules about "time?"

“Time is one of the four key rules. We must all set priorities.” I found this bit of authoritative advice in some guide to time management. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of books giving us advice on how to manage our time. I admit to being obsessed with time (hence this blog) but I would like to think I am not a slave to it. I have never thought of time as a “rule” or that I always need to be setting priorities. I probably set more priorities than I need to and I probably have too many rules in my life already.

Following advice from others and not thinking through our own needs, wants and desires can often lead us to become mindless automatons. As such, we become slaves to the opinions of the “experts.” Those noted seers who have all the right answers for others. However, have you noticed how often the so-called experts change their minds? If we blindly follow the advice of others, without applying our own tests and challenges, we risk losing our creative selves and our independence. This is not to say that we should not be open to opinions or advice or should not seek outside counsel. I would be the last person to advise you as such since I highly value the knowledge and wisdom that others have. Nevertheless, I like the Zen saying that: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” The message I get from this saying is to process all knowledge through my own filter and to not accept anything blindly.

Can you take all advice on the subject of time and then filter it, process it and ask yourself, “will it make my life easier and happier or will it make my life more stressful and less satisfying?” What rules about times are you following that help you? What rules about time that you have are not helpful? What keeps you from discarding the unhelpful rules? Will life be any better for you if you hang onto these rules?

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