Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Time Shifting vs Time Management

--by Stephan Rechtschaffen (Jul 14, 2008)


"I've observed over the years that many people in our culture experience not having enough time in daily life. The feelings: frustration, anxiety, panic, pressure, stress. It's as if somebody yelled "Fire!"-and although we could get out of the room, we don't. This is the way we live in relationship to time, all day long responding to the subtle message, "fire, fire, fire, fire ..."

Many cultures, however, have a completely different experience of time. What is a moment in New Guinea, for example, where there are no words for hours or minutes? Maybe a moment lasts all morning. But for those of us who live in nanosecond time, a moment becomes very, very short, and in each moment we ask how much we have gotten done. How much did I cram into it? Was I successful in multitasking? As one woman in a class I was working with said to me, "I have finally figured out how to relax. When I go from my job teaching to my consulting job and I'm driving in my car, I listen to a self-help tape, I eat lunch on the way, I talk on my cellular phone, and I relax at the same time."

This approach to time management simply turns up the speed on the treadmill of our lives. I propose we evolve beyond time management to "timeshifting"-which is different from merely "downshifting." The practice of timeshifting recognizes that every single moment has a particular rhythm to it, and that we have the capacity to expand or contract an individual moment as appropriate. One way to shift what's going on in our world is not to try to rush to do more, but to allow ourselves to go deeper into that moment of being present. Our ability to shift gears, to shift our rhythm to meet that moment and be present in it, is what allows us to experience the fullness of life - to create our life in the way we want it to be."

--Stephan Rechtschaffen


Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

17 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jan 12, 2014 Silvia wrote:

I couldn't agree more. There is a saying in German that goes "Gut Ding will Weile haben.". A postmodern translation of this would be "Good things require time" - understanding "time" as an indicator of duration. But I prefer to think the real meaning is "Good things require their time" as in dedication, presence, attention and focus. The verb "weilen" implies staying or pausing at a place, as opposed to be rushing through. Each task takes up its own while, and the magic is that the more thoroughly you handle it, the more worthwhile is the result. We aren't more efficient by trying to do everything at the same time, but really committing to nothing - it just makes us more frustrated and stressed out. We learn, achieve and enjoy more when we wholeheartedly embrace whatever activity we're up to. Society presses us to think in terms of productivity over time and make projections into the future. Yet, reality only happens in the present moment. If we keep our present empty, we miss ou  See full.

I couldn't agree more. There is a saying in German that goes "Gut Ding will Weile haben.". A postmodern translation of this would be "Good things require time" - understanding "time" as an indicator of duration. But I prefer to think the real meaning is "Good things require their time" as in dedication, presence, attention and focus. The verb "weilen" implies staying or pausing at a place, as opposed to be rushing through. Each task takes up its own while, and the magic is that the more thoroughly you handle it, the more worthwhile is the result. We aren't more efficient by trying to do everything at the same time, but really committing to nothing - it just makes us more frustrated and stressed out. We learn, achieve and enjoy more when we wholeheartedly embrace whatever activity we're up to. Society presses us to think in terms of productivity over time and make projections into the future. Yet, reality only happens in the present moment. If we keep our present empty, we miss out on creating memories and walking towards a fulfilled future. The present moment was your future at one time and will be your past very soon. Love it and respect it.      

Hide full comment.

On Aug 8, 2012 Suchitra wrote:
 I do agree that it is necessary to take time to reflect on the actions done and to modulate further actions. But the trend now is only to act and act, as they say that to sit quitely even for a moment will be like slowing down in the rat race or losing the race.

On Aug 6, 2012 Sai Sambat wrote:
 Good insight. Thanks a lot.

On Aug 6, 2012 Lois wrote:
 " The practice of timeshifting recognizes that every single moment has a particular rhythm to it, and that we have the capacity to expand or contract an individual moment as appropriate."
I love the feeling this brings, the importance and depth of a single moment, and the openness of choice we have about it.    Thank you.

On Oct 31, 2011 beena hora wrote:

i wholeheartedly agree with the fact happiness is the consequence of my own actions. I have to create it myself.I am a teacher by profession and on the days I feel totally exhausted, I create a change which is turning on music of my choice in the car and turning on the volume. Believe me upon reaching home I am  fully refreshed and a different person. Depending fully on others for my happiness isn't a great idea. Also sometimes in adverse times, accepting and coping up well with the circumstances is also a good step towards your happiness. This is our ability to shift gears.If I ruin my present by sulking, moaning and groaning about the unpleasant things that are likey to happen isruining my own precious moments of life.



1 reply: Aruna | Post Your Reply
On Jul 5, 2011 Manoj wrote:

Very Nice.

Thanks



On Aug 20, 2008 Folarin Adekoya wrote:
Hi,

Thanks a lot for the write-up. It's been of tremendous assistance.

Cheers

Folarin

On Aug 16, 2008 Conrad wrote:
Thanks much Nipun. Just what I needed today. You have my gratitude.

On Aug 16, 2008 V,SRINIVASA RAO wrote:
Dear ALL,

TIME MANAGEMENT IS REQUIRED IN ALL SPHERES OF LIVE.TIME MANAGEMENT DOES NOT MEAN ONLY FOR EARNING MONEY.IT ALSO TO REACH FAMILY,ORGANIZATION AND SOCIETAL WELL BEING.

PLEASE SPARE SOME TIME FOR OUR SOCIETY ALSO.
REGARDS
V.SRINIVASA RAO

On Aug 5, 2008 Mariam Mata wrote:
"Hay un tiempo para todo, un tiempo para sembrar, y otro para cosechar..." es un pasaje de la Santa Biblia que encuentro mas profundo cada vez.
Thanks Stephan Rechtschaffen, Ketih Allen Lipsey for your comments, I am reading it from Costa Rica.

On Jul 18, 2008 ruth antioquia wrote:
very nice

On Jul 17, 2008 Ella wrote:
Yeah we need a time management so that it become easy our work. If you are a workaholic you don't have time for your family. You become stressful and You don't know how to enjoy your life. So Thanks you so much for idea. It's so great.I got some idea how to handle my life.
I have a tool the impactful actions its a good tool. Because it contains a goal setting and also a time management.Try this also..http://www.impactfulactions.com/

On Jul 15, 2008 Ketih Allen Lipsey wrote:
Did you ever enjoy a moment at an event that felt so deep, like at your daughter's wedding, or a funeral of a loved one. To template with dichotomy, this feeling comes with the time of momentum, as your fondest memories have a retroactive marination to the moment of time enjoyed. On the flip side to the dichotomy, a new experience savored with the same level or hightened euphoria, comes from more of a voluntary frame of mind, as you set yourself for a purposeful time to remember. Since you choose to enjoy this, the rememberance becomes a catalyst to the expected time of mementum and instantly has the same value. A little twist of words, but on target. Loving life is a learned behavior. Don't be seduced by others values. No one can tell you what your faborite color or taste should be, so refuse to allow others to infiltrate in all your areas of life's enjoyment. Peace be with you all.

On Jul 15, 2008 JK wrote:
I'm here in Vientiane, Laos sitting in an airconditioned modern, westernized cafe named, Joma located in a tourist's heaven called, 'Namphu - meaning fountain', drinking coffee, reading Nipun's article through wireless internet. Everytime I come here, I feel different from when I was sitting at a Starbucks in Seoul. People here in Laos know how to live their life happy. Time management? Why would they care for that? But I do care, and I sometimes realize that the time management itself is stressful.
Nipun's insight inspires me how to enjoy the moment. However, it seems difficult as if it seems difficult to me to live like people in Laos. What's the better life? I don't know.

On Jul 14, 2008 PRS wrote:
Why we need time management? To achieve our GOAL? Do we really know our GOAL? Once we realise that Happiness is "THE" Goal, then all these modern jargons of management loose their importance. Because all these modern management principles propagate and believe in having more to be Happy, whereas real Happiness lies in being Happy unconditionally, which does not require any thing. Actually it is not having but it is GIVING that enhances Happiness. This, the TEAM Nipun have experienced during their pilgrimage trip. Nipun I envy you dear. May GOD Bless YOU, Guri and your Co travellers in the spiritual journey.