By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
I am sure you know all about wasting time, but have you ever heard of the idea of time expansion? (And, no, I am not talking about something from Back to the Future or astrophysics.) I am talking about when you use or set aside a larger amount of time than needed to complete the task. Time expansion is the ultimate in time wasting. A few examples might help illustrate this better.
My younger son, Liam, is a professional time expander for spreading out how long it takes to finish something. This kid can eat meals leisurely; I am talking about taking an hour or more to finish a meal. The rest of us will be moving on with our day, and there sits Liam, casually eating his breakfast without a care in the world. On the flip side, if we have a place to be like school or practice, he can eat the same meal in a normal time of 15-20 minutes. I remember my husband taking the boys to a fast food restaurant for a quick dinner before baseball last summer. Expecting that Liam would not be done in time, he warned him that they had 15 minutes to eat. To his surprise, Liam finished with plenty of time to spare. Adam asked Liam why he didn’t eat that fast all the time. In true Liam fashion, he responded with, “we aren’t always late for baseball”. Gotta love that kid’s outlook on life!
A great example for overestimating time that comes to mind for me is when you have a deadline for completing a project, like a semester-long assignment in college. Who actually took the whole semester to do it? If you were like me, and most other college kids, you saw that semester-long deadline and thought, “Ahhh...I have plenty of time”, and put it on the back burner. Then, with two weeks left of the semester, you pulled it out from the back of your syllabus and frantically got it done just in time. This wasn’t really a project needing 4 months; it was really a 2 week project, right?
Why is this idea of time expansion a big deal? It’s a sneaky little saboteur of your goals, DreamChasers! Time expansion causes you to waste precious time! And, in the case of overestimating time, you might delay getting started or put off starting something because it will take too long to complete it. How frustrating! Both are roadblocks in the way of you living the life you really want and deserve!
As both examples illustrate, there is an anecdote to time expansion that is equally powerful. Focus and intention. When the deadline is upon you, you no longer have the luxury of pondering and distractions; you are down to the wire and need to get it done efficiently and effectively. Push comes to shove, you have the ability to double down, take action, and execute. Afterwards, you may even say to yourself, “that wasn’t so hard...what was I waiting for?!?”.
Time expansion is a pertinent topic right now. It’s June, DreamChasers. June. That means we are almost halfway through 2020. With the way 2020 has been going, you may be ready to close this chapter now. You may have totally forgotten those goals and dreams and plans you had for 2020, or this slap in the face we didn’t see coming with the pandemic may have derailed your plan. You might think you don’t have enough time to get those goals done! Give yourself grace that you lost focus and got off track.
It’s tough love time. There is a fine line between grace and excuses. There’s so much time left this year to reset those goals and knock it out of the park! Stop using 2020 as the reason you couldn’t hit those goals and get started living the life you have always dreamed. Perhaps this year’s events were the hard reset you needed to get your life on track - give you time back from “all the things”, re-evaluate your priorities, and restructure your life the way YOU want it with better alignment. You have the opportunity to choose this time to be a blessing or a stressing. Shift that mindset to blessing, and you may look back in the near future and see that 2020 was the spark you needed to start on the path to the life you have always dreamed of living.
Let’s kick time expansion to the curb and double down on your goals and dreams, DreamChaser. The time is now, not next week, next month, or next year. NOW. I am willing to bet with focus and intention you can accomplish more in the back half of 2020 than you thought was possible. That’s the challenge I want you to join me in; lets bet on ourselves, double down our efforts, and kick the sh#t out of the time we have left this year!
Start by getting your focus back! The best way is to make a list of things you want to accomplish or do. (Guess what these are? Goals!) This list is your compass and will help you zero your efforts and time on the things that are important to you. Intention is making purposeful choices and taking purposeful action that moves you towards these goals. It's really that simple!
This will take effort and work. But as we get going and grab a few wins, momentum will be created that we can build on and ride to the end. All it’s going to take is focus and intention held together with commitment. You are worth it. Your goals and dreams are worth it. The life you are dreaming of is waiting for you. Going after your goals and dreams might be hard at times but it will be worth it. If there is one thing 2020 has taught so far, it is that you can do hard things. Double down and get it done!
P.S. If you are looking for more guidance in goal setting, check out the Ready, Reset, Goal Program we have been doing on Facebook this past month! It will give you a plan to put doubling down on your goals into action!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.