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time

I wish I had a gold coin for every time someone said, ‘I don’t have time to do yoga.’ Or, ‘I don’t have time for socialising.’  Or, ‘I don’t have time to read a book.’

I might add that I’m as likely to be dominated by time as the next person.

There are plenty of variations on the theme of not enough time, for instance:

  • Time gets eaten up by my work (… so I don’t have time to do stuff I love, like walking on the beach.)
  • I’m time poor. (I can never get through that big pile on my desk.)
  • There’s never enough time for everything I want to do! (…so, I’ll just wait for my holidays and hope I’m not too pooped.)

I woke up this morning, my first day back to a routine after teaching a five day intensive yoga course and then doing a week of the ‘Joy of Singing‘ course in Bellingen. As I sat for meditation, my planning mind served up a surfeit of to-do items: doctors and dentists appointments, shopping, and household tasks.

photosThe item on my mental list that got me into ruminative thinking was dread of organising my photo library. I have a big photo collection – 19,001 images and 560 videos.

 

Here are my two approaches for dealing with such an overwhelmingly huge task.

  1. Do nothing…. I’m sure I’ll get to those photos one day, probably the day when I’m finally time rich.
  2. Take little bites out of the job by idly deleting a few photos while I’m on a boring phone call or on hold.

Since neither of these approaches have worked, my library is still in the expanding stage.

A solution came to me as I meditated, something that can help with big projects. I learned about this idea long ago and simply forgot about it. It’s called ‘chunking down’, that is, breaking a large task into digestible pieces.

Thinking smaller fools your mind into seeing the job as not so overbearing. The whole project might take the same amount of time, but you’re not dominated by the immensity of it.

One of the most euphoric explanations for how this idea of creating sub-tasks works is from the TimeGT site. The writer says that this method works for virtually anything, from creating a web design to cleaning your house.

The ever-helpful Life Hacker gives further tips on how to avoid time slipping away from you by eliminating distractions.

So today, I’ve decided that I’m devoting an hour to my photo library organisation. My goal is to decrease the weight of it by 50 percent, not all today obviously, but bite by bite. Very soon I might just be able to find the images I need, a time saver, for sure!

I expect my morning meditation to now have a little bit of cleared space. Will something else pop up in that space that requires chunking? Will the time allocated to photo organisation steal time from yoga practice or beach walks?

Time will tell….