It’s Monday morning—and here it comes again—that rush to get ready, get the kids fed, get the dog walked, and to get everyone out the door, on time, with the correct junk in their respective bags. How is it that every Monday morning seems to start off the same way?
“Is it Friday yet?” will be the most common question asked by Wednesday.
It often feels like we need more time during the day or maybe more hours in the week, but that would just mean that we would spend even more time locked in a pattern of repeated chaos. Is that really what we want?
It’s likely that we are confusing our desire for more space with a desire for more time.
When our task list runs amok and we have a lot of unfinished projects, we feel the compression of our space, and then time seems to move incredibly quickly. We feel the tug all day as we run from one thing to the next, never fully able to get a handle on all of the things that need to be completed.
We believe that if we just had more hours in the day, we would get it all done. And THEN we could rest, or take a break, or just sit on our couch and drift off into space for five minutes.
The truth is that we need the space now, and we need to be willing to make it and take it now, regardless of our to-do list. I realize this seems counterintuitive, but it actually works.
Taking breaks (and making the space for them in the first place) renews our energy stores and our capacity to do greater work that is of a higher quality. Conversely, when we aren’t able to focus our energy or remain focused (which we aren’t when we go overboard with our tasks), it is like having a garden hose that spews water all over the place versus being directed right where the water needs to go.
Tony Schwartz wrote about this in his book The Power of Engagement and has a great article that explains the power of working in 90-minute cycles.
So, instead of asking, “Is it Friday yet?” maybe try this instead: “When will I take my breaks today?”
Look at all of your tasks and build your breaks right in there on your list. Then, when Friday comes, you might just actually have the energy to enjoy it.