Stuart Wilde, Author of
One of my students said "Now is the only time I've got."
I thought it clever as it is so true for all of us. Imagine if you knew exactly when you were going to die, and imagine if that day was, let us say two thousand days away, would you spend more time in the office, or filing taxes, or would you spend more time with your kids?
Would you allocate more time to fight with your mother-in-law, or would you walk away and send her on way wishing the scraggy cow all the very best.
Some years ago I wrote out a process I called "minimal movement". It is a time-management discipline where you brutally eliminate all actions that serve no purpose, and you allocate the least possible energy and effort to the tick-tock humdrum things you have to do.
For example, let's say doing the weekly groceries takes you two hours by the time you get to the store buy the stuff and schlep it all back home. Maybe you can order on the Internet and have them delivered. Never run when you can walk and never walk if you can hire someone else to do the job for you. Box clever, if you buy one hundred stamps at time you may only have to go to the post office once or twice a year.
Essentially, minimal movement is analysing what is very important to you, slightly important and not important at all, thus focusing on what serves you best. In business, it is usually the case that eighty percent of your money comes from twenty percent of your clients. So you butter up the good ones and you offer politeness and pre-printed information to the less profitable ones, but you don't waste a lot of personal time on them unless they suddenly come good.
There are people in your life that are warm and valuable and important to you, a few say, and there are loads of marginal dead-beats that are emotionally disturbing, expensive, and a complete waste of time. Minimal movement requires that you politely eliminate them. A few good ones are way better than a hundred dubious ones. The less people you are emotionally involved with the less obligations on your time. Sooner or later everyone wants something.
I have the philosophy of (if possible) never agreeing to attend anything -- wedding, funerals, functions etc. Then sometimes (very rarely) I capitulate. For decades people thought me odd as I don't do Christmas. I'm not a Christian. I don't eat turkey and I feel the materialism of Christmas disturbing so I refuse to attend. I don't mind going to the horse races on Boxing Day as I enjoy that, so it is allocated an 'okay' in the minimal movement file.
Respect the "Now" by Saying "No"
I met a shaman in Brazil who is a very kind man, but he has absolutely no ability to say "No" to anyone. He travels on a bus for twenty-two hours to go and do sacred ceremonies for people who don't pay him and he says they never change one jot because of his efforts. Then he takes the bus home. The trip takes him five days in total. I held his hand and took him to a mirror and had him practice saying "No". We laughed a lot as he couldn't even do it in the mirror.
The trick to saying "No" when feeling awkward about something is to start by telling the recipient of your decision how fond you are of them, or how much you respect them, then you tell them how uncomfortable you are saying what it is you are just about to say. Then you politely and firmly decline their kind invitation but you are not coming. Don't lie as an excuse, just be brave and tell them you do not want to attend—period, full stop. Try it in the bathroom mirror first if needs be.
Once you don't have to pander to your Mr. Nice Guy illusion then many obligations fall away and you can concentrate on living life and being creative. People pleasing is not allowed in minimal movement as people pleasing is often a burden and usually it has an agenda that either feeds your dark shadow (you covertly want something), or your white shadow (you seek to create an impression). You need to act coherently and fairly explaining your self well to people and not be arbitrary or crass, and of course, dismissive. You hope they are pleased with your actions, but you didn't come to the earth plane to keep people happy that was not on your list of prior instructions, and you should never be burdened as the custodian of another's happiness.
This is especially true in relationships where one partner might use anger or threat to force the other into becoming his or her slave. So the slave trots about endlessly trying to please the aggressor under the threat of emotional or physical retribution, or financial punishment of some kind, the withdrawal of funds say. You don't need that.
Remember, I say in one of my books "Love is like the #49 bus that winds down Kings Road, Chelsea and over Battersea Bridge, there will always be another along in a minute! Failing that "marry yourself" and wait and become strong.
So you make a list of what is important and what is not and you evaluate each thing carefully deciding what it offers and what defined benefit or pleasure you derive from the outcome of each action. You should agree to make everything around you simple, clean and Zen, so you don't waste time looking for things and you are not surrounded by confusion and clutter.
And if you can afford to you put all your domestic bills into the automatic payment system at the bank you will never have to mess with that stuff ever again. You start to design your life with you in the center like a general at a military headquarters, you make everyone come to you whenever possible and you stand in the middle in a Zen-like stance in your minimal-movement-mode as much of the time as you can.
If you have a job your time is not entirely your own but you can still put minimal movement into the work you do and get more done with less effort and time. Essentially you should think about guarding your kilojoules of energy—heat. You should not become exhausted after a day's work as your function in working it to provide you with a nice life. If work destroys your heat so that you collapse in a heap you've lost the plot a bit. Insist on minimal movement with the people you work with. Require them to be brief and precise and stop them when they want to waffle and waste your time.
What is it?
If you rise one hour earlier each day and you go to bed one hour later by that's seven hundred and thirty hours extra each year, the equivalent of thirty days a year or one extra month—amazing. You can have the equivalent of thirteen months in every year but just altering how long you sleep and when you rise.
Now is certainly the only time you have got, an extra thirty days of 'now' is a valuable asset.
Stuart Wilde is the author of 20 books,
including The Art of Redemption, Grace, Gaia, and the End of Days;and
many self-help titles such as Life Was Never Meant to Be a Struggle,
The Little Money Bible, The Quickening, Silent Power, Whispering Winds
of Change, and Infinite
Related Article: How to Get More Done in Much Less Time