Last week I was in San Diego attending a conference for the National Association for Professional Organizers. The first day I was there I called home to talk to my girls and to see how they were doing. My oldest daughter who is 6 asked me what I was doing and I told her I was taking a class. She asked “on what?” and I replied “time”. She said “Mom, you know time!” I laughed out loud.
From the perspective of a six year old who has been working on how to tell time, I do see how this would seem odd. Of course I DO know how to tell time, but there is still much to learn about how to use time efficiently, wisely, and in a way that supports and fills us rather than drains us.
I started to think about how a child perceives time verses how adults perceive time. Isn’t it funny how time for a child can seem to drag on, while for us adults it often feels like it is going by too fast? It is all a matter of perspective. So how can we shift our perspective of time to mimic that of a child? Here are a few tips.
1. Get things done and move on. Have you ever noticed that children can be playing and having a great time one moment and then literally drop everything and decide to move on to something else? You can do this too. When you have finished a task move on. Don’t linger on it and review it 15 times. Review it once if needed then move on. Stop being a perfectionist.
2. Have a reward or goal. It’s true most people work better if they have something to motivate them. If you tell a child they get a Popsicle when they finish their homework they will typically work a little faster to get it done. You can do the same thing. Identify what motivates you and then create a goal to help you get your next project done early or on time.
3. Don’t have a problem saying NO. I saved the best for last. If kids don’t want to do something, they are not afraid to tell you NO. As adults we are often saying yes to too many things. You don’t have to volunteer for 10 different organizations and you don’t have to take cookies to the bake sale. Take a tip from your child, it’s okay to say no.
How can you shift your perspective of time?