Make sure you only die once

When I take care of the laundry I always check that there is no cat in the machine. I check not only once or twice, often I check three times.


Because I read about one person who accidentally killed his beloved cat by turning on the laundry machine without  noticing the cat had crawled into it. That is a terrible and tragic story, I am sorry that I am putting it into your head, but I do it to make a point.

Before I heard about this I never double checked. I just closed the machine and started it. Has the probability of one our cats crawling into the laundry machine increased since I heard the story? Of course not. My worry has.

What do you do in your life because you worry about something, because you want to prevent something terrible to happen? Does it make you waste time? Waste energy?

Feelings, Pixabay

In my survey about time, one of the challenges you brought up was:

"I spend more time thinking/planning/worrying for something I need to do instead of actually doing it."

I have personally spent a lot of time and energy on what my husband calls "catastrophy thinking". I called it being prepared, I called it being pro-active. Until I listened to a speech by Sandra Bullock.
"I used to worry about a lot of things that never happened. Other things, things I did not worry about, happened instead."
To me this was an eye opener. No matter how much I worry or prepare, I cannot protect myself or my family from everything that might happen. So I can just as well stop worrying.

Or as only Shakespeare can put it:
"Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once."
Don't imagine all the things that can go wrong, all the things that might kill or hurt you and others. Make sure you only die once.


We've managed scarcity. Now let's manage abundance

Yesterday and today, we created 90% of the data that is available today.

Let me say that again, since it is easy to just let figures fly by without reflecting about what they mean.

The last two days we have created almost all the data that exists in the world, meaning that all data we have produced for thousands of years before, is less than we produce daily today.

Data Never Sleeps 5.0 by Domo

A lot of this data may seem useless, like tweets and instagram photos, but the trend is similar for books. Before Gutenberg invented the printing press and before e-books, we had a lot fewer books available than we do today. As you can see in this graph, Europeans read less than half a book a year per person 1775.

Visualization  by Max Roser

There is an abundance of information available to us, every day, every minute. This is great! Or is it stressing? Or both?
In the survey I conducted about time, some of you mentioned information overload as a stress factor.
"I should read more..."
"I should be more up to date..."
"I should be more knowledgeable... "
As if it is an obligation to stay up to date, now that information is so easily available. 

But just because something is available, doesn't mean we have to use it. It's the same with food.

There is an abundance of food available for most of us. But you don't have to buy a lot of food just because there is plenty in the shop. You don't have to continue eating when you are full, just because there is food on your plate.

It is up to you.

Just because there is news available 24/7 you don't have to stay up to date every second. Remember, you are already more well read than the most well read person in the world 1775!

We humans have overcome scarcity in many areas. Our challenge now is to learn how to live well with the abundance we have created.

Don't let abundance get the better of you. Make yourself better by using it to your advantage. Remember, you don't have to do anything. You can choose to do whatever you want.

My book about managing time and expectations will be released June 16. My book release will include a lecture and an art exhibition. I hope many will join and talk to me about time, scarcity and abundance. Maybe I will have a chance to meet you?

Get your ticket here
The event takes place in Kungälv and will be in Swedish. 


Take control of your time

I was just about to ring the doorbell to the dagmamma (childminder) of my youngest son when my work phone rang. I could not see who was calling. I did not want to answer it - after all I had left work early to pick up the kids. Now my youngest was waiting for mummy on the other side of the door and the other two were waiting in their day care.

And still I did it. I answered the phone. As soon as I did, I regretted it. It was one of my colleagues from the US. One of the demanding ones, one of those working directly with the customer and therefore always eager to give the customer not only what they want, but as soon as they ask for it.

It became a short and rushed phone call which ended with me promising to look into his request later in the evening. When I finally rang the door bell I didn't feel at all as present as I want to be when I meet my kids after a work day.

Photo from Pexels

Other times colleagues called me in the evening. It could still be office hours for them, but for me it could be "putting my children to bed and reading them a story" time.

When I talked to my mentor about how to handle this, she gave the obvious answer:

"Don't answer when it is not suitable for you."

Now I can look back at this and wonder why I didn´t figure that out sooner. That I cannot rely on others taking my needs into consideration.

Looking after me is my job. It cannot be delegated.

This is many years ago by now, but I came to think about it when I read your answers to my survey about time. These are some of your answers to the question:

When it comes to managing your time, what is the single biggest challenge that you've been struggling with?
  • When my time gets booked by others
  • Not planned tasks and expectations coming from others to my life
  • Say no to others
  • To not say "no" sometimes
  • Say no
  • My own ambition
  • Some times my professional work makes it difficult to do other activities, either from not having the hours, not being in the right place or just being so demanding that there isn't enough energy for other things.
  • Prioritizing my own needs like I prioritize responsibilities towards others

Today I have a lot of ways to deal with expectations and demands, both from others and from myself. And so do you! Here are some of your answers to the question: 

When it comes to managing your time, what is your best tip?
  • Set your own expectations and targets. Do not let pride or principles or others do that for you. Make sure you yourself can answer the question Why.
  • Proritize the things that you want to do. Wait with the have-to's, they will still be there anyway.
  • Fråga mig själv: Vad är det värsta som kan hända om jag inte gör detta? = Ask myself: What is the worst that can happen if I do not do this?
  • Go offline from work
  • Remember at the end, nothing matters.
  • Say no
  • Don't care what everyone else thinks, it's your life we are talking about.
If you want to hear more about "Holistic Time Management" I am happy to inform you that I will give a seminar on June 16 in Kungälv. Mark the date in your calendar - I hope to see you there!

The seminar - and my coming book - will be in Swedish. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Time Management in English, please let me know.


Is there enough time in your life? Outcome of the survey

Thank you all who participated in my survey about time management :).

In this post I share the outcome of the survey and information about what comes next.

Diagram över formulärsvar. Namn på fråga: Do you have enough time in your life to do what you want?. Antal svar: 35 svar.

About half of those who responded feel that they have enough time for the bare minimun, while one fifth find that they do not have even close to enough time. 

Diagram över formulärsvar. Namn på fråga: Do you feel guilty and stressed about not doing more than you do?. Antal svar: 35 svar.
About a qyarter feel guilty and stressed almost all the time and more than half feel that way now and then. Only less than a quarter are without guilt and stress.

With so many feeling guilty and stressed, what is their outlook? Do they think there is a way out? The answers to the following question shows that two thirds are interested in finding out if there can be enough time.

Diagram över formulärsvar. Namn på fråga: If someone would tell you that there is enough time in your life for everything that is important to you, how would you respond?. Antal svar: 35 svar.

All participants in the survey were generous enough to share their biggest challenges and their tips for managing their time. I will share these challenges and tips in coming blog posts.

You also let me know how you would like to learn more about what I call holistic time management;  time management for your whole life, not just for increased efficiency at work.

Diagram över formulärsvar. Namn på fråga: If you could learn more about how to manage your time in a holistic way, how would you like to do that?. Antal svar: 35 svar.

I am happy to inform you that my book about this topic will be released June 16 - and I will combine the book release with a seminar, providing guidance in a way that 50% of you are looking for. 

I hope to see as many as possible of you then. Stay tuned for more information by following this blog, my Facebook page and/or signing up for my newsletter.

There is enough time in life for everything that is important for you. Let me help you find that time in your life.