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It was a hot, sunny day. My new garden was bursting at the seams with ripe tomatoes, green peppers, squash, zucchini, and watermelon. I’d worked so hard to get the garden going and felt a deep sense of pride that I actually grew all that myself.
It was time to harvest…and can pasta sauce…and freeze veggies so they could feed us all winter. I pulled on my gardening gloves, wheeled the wheelbarrow out to the garden fence (there was too much to carry to the house in bags), and happily got busy picking.
As I finished gathering the butternut squash and moved on to picking tomatoes, my mind shifted from joy to GUILT. Why was I spending so much time in the garden when I should be working on getting launch materials ready? How could I justify “wasting” the whole day canning pasta sauce when I “should” be spending quality time with my kids?
The Ghost of Time was haunting me and I was fully caught in her illusions.
How did I break free from the guilt? How was I able to release myself from the overwhelm of an exhaustive to-do list? How can YOU escape the powers of the Ghost of Time?
Find out in this episode of BUSINESS TALES FROM THE CRYPT.
The Ghost of Time uses her powers to mess with time, making it seem as though there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all your goals.
The time illusion this ghost creates makes you feel like you “should be doing something else”, that you’re always taking time away from one task to devote it to another, and you’re never really accomplishing anything.
And she had me in her clutches. My mind filled with “should” statements…
“I should be spending more time with my kids.”
“I should be spending more time working on my business.”
“I should be spending more time exercising to get rid of these flabby butt cheeks…and prepare healthier meals…and finish the weeding I started out front…and make more progress on the RV renovation…and work on the online class that’s collecting dust on my laptop.”
The Ghost of Time wouldn't let me just enjoy the leisurely pace of tending to my garden.
She twisted her claws into my psyche, reminded me of the million other things on my to-do list, and blew her breath of overwhelm, guilt, and pressure into my face.
And she haunted me for weeks. I couldn’t escape her. Every time I started working on something, she would grab hold of me and tell me I should be doing something else…something more important than what I was doing.
Every time I started to make progress on a project, she would remind me of all the other projects that I hadn’t finished yet, and she’d pull me to another task, making me feel completely scatter brained.
I couldn’t EVER relax…I was always working on something…and always feeling like I was sucking at everything because my to-do list seemed to be getting longer instead of shorter. I felt like there was no time to play or rest…and if I tried to do either…the Ghost of Time would swiftly scoot my butt toward something more productive.
If I was working on the RV, I felt like I was stealing away time from my business. If I was working on my business, I felt like I was stealing away time from my family. I was never happy…always panicked…always rushing. Miserable.
Then, something happened that made it possible to dodge the Ghost of Time…
I thought to myself, “Everything I’m doing is important and meaningful to me, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. As long as I’m spending my time doing things that are important to me, I’m doing exactly what I “should” be doing.”
With that one thought, the Ghost of Time vanished. That mental reminder rid her of her powers, freed me from her time illusions, and I regained my sense of reality.
These additional mental reminders helped me to create a force field of protection from the Ghost of Time:
- Stop using “should” statements.
Using the word “should” creates a feeling of duty and obligation. When you don’t do what you “should” do, you feel guilty. Replace “should” with “it would be nice” or “I wish” to alleviate the burden of obligation and give yourself permission to do what makes you happy.
- A life that’s all work and no play isn’t a life at all.
There’s a time for being active and a time for being at rest. You need a balance of both. You’re not a machine designed to be productive all the time. Using your energy to have fun or do nothing is just as valuable as working on a goal.
- You make the rules.
You’re in charge of how you spend your time. You make the rules when it comes to what you’ll do and when. Your kids, partner, boss, clients, or dog aren’t forcing you to do anything. No one is making you do anything except YOU. Think about how you can use your time in ways that feel good to you and set clear boundaries to protect that time.
When the Ghost of Time haunts you and you get all wrapped up in the chaos of your to-do list, the overwhelm of not finishing work fast enough, and the guilt of not doing what you think you “should” be doing, pull out these mental reminders and take back the power over your time.
Getting in control of your time feels so soothing, relaxing, and freeing…but what happens when you spend time working on something you’re wildly excited about, get it out into the world, and no one seems to care? What do you do when it seems like no one reads your emails. No one buys from you…when you feel invisible and unimportant, and you wonder what’s the point of even trying?
Find out next week in Episode #3 of BUSINESS TALES FROM THE CRYPT.