In recent weeks I’ve posted about the concept of time. About letting go of the clock. About no longer watching the calendar like some sort of fever chart. But not obsessing about time is one thing: re-imagining how we use it is entirely another.
Our days and our weeks have always followed a certain cadence and rhythm… because, for the most part, they've had to. Because the traditional gathering time was in the early mid morning, you had to get the 7:25 Metro North train into the city, or get on the 405 at eight. Because the client in Seattle could see you on Wednesday, you set the machinery in place to work backward from your departure time out of Newark. All the while, you ask yourself, how would I do this differently if I only had the time.
Now you do. But don’t read that the wrong way. It’s not that I think many of us are working to fill long, languid blocks of time. But we do now own and control time in a way that we never have before. So how will we use it?
Structure is still important: Committing to your workspace for blocks of time, and even dressing as you would for the office are great moves. But the key to re-imagining that structure, and your relationship with the time, lies in a very straightforward question.
What can I say yes to, today?
Non-traditional scheduling options. Early morning time devoted to creativity, analysis and problem solving. 45-minutes of business reading... time you'd have otherwise spent in cabs or the car each day. A two-hour mid-day break to spend in family time or exercise, making up work time in the evening. 30 minutes a day, three days a week, for mentoring or otherwise connecting with an extended member of your organization or network.
Re-imagining your relationship with the calendar and the clock won't just happen. It all starts with you choosing your own narrative about possibility.
It starts with you saying yes.