Time and change are two words we hear a lot in our lives. With time, there never seems to be enough of it or the quality of it poor. With change, it seems the opposite is true – it is happening everywhere with everything all the time and we wish it would stop. That said, time and change have a great deal in common. Both time and change are constants that we no ability to control and both can result in the same feelings of being rushed, overwhelmed and stressed.
So the next question is given that we can’t increase time or stop change, what can we do to help ourselves maneuver the turbulence and stress created by the uncontrollable constants?
My own experiences have taught me that the answer lies how I respond to the limitations and challenges presented by time and change. And how I respond is about making choices. Choosing carefully how I spend my time and who I spend it with. Choosing my response to change. Accepting those things I can’t change, courageously taking action for those things I can and using the wisdom I have learned or am given to know the difference.
Integral to the process of choosing is exercising ‘free won’t’ as much, or perhaps more, than ‘free will’. I recently learned more about ‘free won’t’ and how to effectively use it during recent coach training from Results Coaching Systems (www.workplacecoaching.com). Free won’t is our ‘veto power’, the time it takes for our mind to determine how we are going to respond to the consciously registered desire to move. It is about 0.3 of seconds out of a 0.6-0.7 second time between thought and action. I use free won’t as a 0.3 second opportunity to tell myself to “STOP”, take a deep breath and choose to give myself more time to think about and decide how I will respond. I am amazed how effective it can be to simply tell myself the word ‘STOP’ outloud as a means to interrupt my impulse to react. Having discovered this I now use the same tool to give myself more time in my decision making. The result – better choices and less stress.
With this in mind my questions out to the world are:
How do you respond to the pressures from time and change?
What and how can you do things differently?
What areas of your life can you exercise ‘free won’t to free up time and make change easier?
What other techniques and tools have you found to help with managing time and change better?