Are You a Victim of Time?

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Sarah Louise LilleyJuggling an acting career and motherhood, Time is often on my mind. Every day feels like a race against the clock as I try to get as much work done as possible in the 3hrs my son is in PreK. I’m still surprised how much time it takes me to get my son out of the door in the morning, but that is a whole other story!

Pre kid – I often used to complain that I didn’t have enough time. All I have to say…. WHAT WAS I THINKING???

However Time is a funny thing….

Years ago, a bar I worked in closed unexpectedly and I collected unemployment for a few months before I found a new gig.  I was so excited about the idea as I’d have all this free time to focus on my acting career.  I was convinced it would create huge breakthroughs for me. However time expanded and I found myself just as busy without a job as I was with a job! I saw friends and went to the gym and without structure it took way more effort to get stuff done than before.  I got more done in an hour before heading to work than in an entire leisurely afternoon! Time was NOT the problem.

I need to remind myself of this lesson!  I can get a LOT done if I do the “right” things.  I try and focus on the out of my comfort zone actions, scary actions that yield the biggest results and not get trapped in minutia and busy work. It has taught me to focus and prioritize and I’m a lot less precious with things.  I don’t have time to obsess over emails and re-read them a thousand times, I just have to hit send and move on.

In his book The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks states that we often think of time as outside of us as if it is something we can’t control.  In contrast he encourages people to shift to what he calls Einstein time and the concept that You’re where time comes from. I’m what he calls a classic victim of time as I have a lifetime habit of complaining about time.

His example –

Your son comes in and says, “Please play ball with me.”

Your respond “Sorry, I don’t have time right now”

Next imagine instead that he comes in and says, “I’ve just cut my foot and there is blood everywhere.”

Of course NOW you will help him.  In those two examples you had exactly the same amount of time, the TRUTH was that you did NOT WANT to play ball but you WANT to take him to the hospital.

Gay Hendricks would advocate saying “I want to finish what I’m doing before we play ball” as opposed to using a lack of time as an excuse.

When I first read The Big Leap, I tracked how many times I said, “We/I don’t have time,” it was astonishing! Habits can be tough to break but being accountable certainly helps! So I declare – Time, There is a new Sheriff in Town!

About Sarah Louise Lilley

Always up for an adventure- Sarah has crossed the breathtaking Namib Desert on horseback, done a grueling century bike race around Lake Tahoe and run the inspiring NYC Marathon. As an actress she has witnessed crimes twice on Law and Order, had sidesplitting recurring roles on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and enjoyed numerous jam-packed days on the festival circuit with such films as Blue Road, Zooey and The Date. She’s devoured Japan and Europe with avant-garde luminary Richard Foreman and collaborated with the provocative artist Julia Mandle. She has produced two award winning short films. Her latest, Nothing Happened, has screened at over 30 film festivals including; Cinequest, Berkshires, Bend, Woodstock, Edmonton, Outfest and BFI London. When she is not acting or chasing her 3yr old around the playground, she is trying to figure out when she can go horseback riding again. SarahLouiseLilley.com

  • Jessica

    I love that last point–about “not having time” v. admitting you don’t want to. That is so it. And you’re right–I marvel all the time how little I accomplished pre-kids and how much I can do now all b/c I’m always racing against that preschool clock. I have two kids and let me tell you–you think you’re busy now? Just add another! It’s like pre-kids v. having one kid. If you have another, you’ll laugh at your one kid self and say, oh, If I had only known then.

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