How is your relationship with time?
I can’t say that I have a love-hate relationship with time but my feelings about it vary due to the circumstances… Perhaps that’s no surprise but my experience of it does take very different shapes.
What about you—when is the last time you thought deeply about how you engage with time?
In general, I tend to run toward deadlines because I like that feeling of some, but not too much, pressure. Honestly, I prefer if someone else imposes it. When I make a deadline for myself, unless there is a deliverable to a client or a colleague, I am likely to postpone the task if something more urgent or interesting arises.
I noticed just the other day, as I was working on a project that I had given myself enough time to be able to think very creatively about what I wanted to accomplish. I had space to let my mind wander, really engage in some divergent thinking before shifting into reaching decisions and conclusions. This experience of giving myself an abundance of time to imagine, change my mind, make new connections, experiment, and revisit ideas, was outside my pattern of thinking and doing, and enabled me to really consider a variety of perspectives and possibilities. My approach and process felt quite different and enabled me to realize richer results. It was great! Upon reflection, I’m realizing I need to find that balance between feeling the welcome pressure of a deadline and having enough time to explore deeply, draft a design or plan, revise, and develop/move forward with the final design.
What’s your pattern? How does it serve you? Would you like your habit to be just a bit different, to gain even more from your experiences?
This lovely experience also has me re-thinking how I talk about myself, how I see myself as a result of discovering and develop this new relationship of time. I am no longer imagining and describing myself solely as a person who talks, works, and makes decisions “New York fast.” I will say though, that there is a challenge in this spacious feeling and generating so many ideas that the convergent thinking process becomes longer and more involved—but that is a “happy problem” and I’m fine with it!
Perhaps my feeling was also an aspect of that particular experience’s nature and composition —I was so deeply engaged in the work and play of the project the I was in a state of flow… I lost track of time, having given myself permission to devote as much time as I wanted to this task. Of course, I don’t often have that luxury, though I think that there’s something for me to learn about this. I believe that it’s consistently dreaming about what I want more of, then designing those experiences, because I LOVED the generatively that was possible when I gave myself free rein to create.