Time…Own it Before it Owns You

The Entrepreneurial Dilemma ~

Yesterday, freshly back from our Sedona trip, my husband and I each awoke with quite the “to-do list.” After our morning tea and chocolate I said to him, “I’m getting in the bath.” His eyes widened with surprise and then smiled with satisfaction. He was appreciating the fact that I have changed. When we first got together 2.5 years ago I was scattered, busy and overwhelmed. My bath was proof that I’ve made progress in my long journey of how the hell to manage my time and priorities. I slowly slipped into my bubble bath and pressed play on Fire Starters Sessions, Session 12, by Danielle Laporte. One reason she is my “shero” is that it always seems like she is speaking directly to my soul, with divine timing. Session 12 is titled “Calling all sovereigns of time!” Here are some excerpts from this Session along with my musings. Danielle’s potent wisdom is just too good not to share with you and I will likely return to my Evolution Chronology next week.

 The Invisible Boss 

I imagine that most entrepreneurs, and humans in general, struggle with the feeling that there is never enough time. As my business was being born, I lost the line between work and play. As it grew, I was simply always working. Tasks were more defined, deadlines were involved, the play vibe was slowly giving in to my inner taskmaster. A few years ago, in search of balance, I decided to give myself “office hours.” This led to some very unhappy times. I felt guilty if I didn’t live up to some self-imposed idea about how much a business owner should be “working” each week. My whole definition of what “work” is was screwed.  I didn’t take into account all those sleepless nights spent racking my brain for needed solutions. Or the endless conversations with loved ones that pretty much consisted of bouncing my ideas off  them until I arrived at clarity.   In other words, I still worked all the time, I just rode my own ass about what tasks were getting done during office hours.  I longed for the weekend, much like factory workers do, even though I was supposedly living my dream.  Not that I didn’t “work” on the weekend, just that the guilt wasn’t there if I actually relaxed.  Danielle says…”How do you know a time management system isn’t working for you? Well, there’s the obvious sign that you’re not getting done what you want to get done, or it’s too complicated to maintain so you quit it. But there is a subtler, more critical indicator: a hovering feeling that you answer to someone else. You feel like time is a boss that you need to please, and that you labor for time – the better you perform, the more time you get given.” Combine this invisible boss with the work (overwork, actually) ethic in my DNA due to my Mom being the first of 15 kids raised on a tobacco/dairy farm, and I was N.E.V.E.R. going to live up to my own ridiculous standards. Danielle goes on to say…”Some people diet obsessively. Some people manage their time obsessively. Both obsessions can be driven by a lack of self-worth – a constant striving to be more acceptable, more productive…better. Time management systems can suppress our own innate wisdom and cravings for vitality.” ”Time regimes can certainly do wonders for getting the most out of life. We need them, like we need good eating habits.” “But it’s my relationship to those time management methodologies that makes all the difference in my psyche and therefore the quality of what I do.”

In Search of Balance 

My office hour phase didn’t work for me any better than constantly working with no boundaries had. I grew so sick of hearing myself whine about how busy I am all the time. I flew through my to-do list with tyrant mind only to later notice that I left an ingredient off our new packaging (that was a $1,500 mistake). I regret ignoring my ringing phone when I saw my bestie’s name come up (in my heart I wanted to answer, but have you seen my to-do list?) only to find out I missed comforting her in a moment of great need. It’s sad to reflect on all the times someone popped in for a visit at my office only to be greeted by a cold, stern “can’t you see how busy I am” look. Yes, I still need to get it all done, and yes, there is more to life than running my business. So, my answer to balance? Still in the development phase…I’d say I am now exploring the in between of my two former ways of being.  But with a much greater perspective on the divine flow of it all.  I’m truly enjoying my work, once again losing the line between work and play, but with more wisdom this time.  I can now tune in to parts of myself that feel neglected and take action before it builds up to breakdown.  I shall keep referencing Danielle’s list of Power Time traits. Here they are…”Quality focused. Uses time systems to create space and freedom – which then allows you to make more meaningful, substantive things. Self-referencing. What matters is what you’re doing that is of value. I’m in charge. Things need to earn your time and attention. You are the dispenser of time. Relational. If you relate with the moment – if you’re present – there is a giving and a receiving that happens simultaneously. Magical. Time can be expanded and contracted by energy. With pure intention, you can accomplish a day’s work in an hour, you can get an hour’s worth of rest in a moment of contemplation, and you can make big things happen very quickly.” I’ve given up the guilt ghost of how many hours I “work” per day. I’ve learned that long walks in the morning to hash out what really needs to be done can make me more productive. I stopped doing emails during yoga and instead dwell on my Core Desired Feelings with each breath. I value “no business talk” dates with my husband. And hell yes to morning baths on a weekday. After all, why become an entrepreneur if not to master your own reality? We who choose to forge our own way work hard because our path is a labor of love. We work insane hours because the saying “don’t bring your work home” doesn’t apply to us. That’s impossible. We get through the nasty bits (bookkeeping, etc) of our task list until we find the wisdom and/or budget to delegate. There is no time clock to punch, no set vacation days per year, nobody to tell us to STOP working (well maybe they try, but we rarely obey). Our job is not simply something we do, it’s a large part of who we are. And if we are not taking the time to truly take care of ourselves, then our work will also suffer. Believe me, I’ve so been there.

Divine Priorities 

I am a believer in visualization and over the years, I have watched my visions come to fruition. When we had outgrown our shared kitchen and couldn’t afford to move yet, I sat at my altar and pictured us in our new space. I saw the detail of how the equipment was laid out, felt the vibes of the happy Oompa Loompas, who finally had breathing room. I visited my future self and drank her joy in deeply. This is a powerful tool, anywhere you are in your journey. You can visualize what it feels like to know what the hell you want to do with your life…or imagine finally being peaceful and abundant while writing payroll…or picture your product labeled in words you can’t even read because you took the leap to make it international. I once read that stopping your day to spend ten minutes visualizing being where you want to be equals hours of work towards those goals. Stopping during my day has proven harder than it sounds…I get in a flow and it’s hard to break. It’s time for me to claim those ten minutes. Danielle also led me to an exercise by Abraham Hicks whereby you envision your ideal twelve hours. I did it yesterday, and again today, and was amazed by what I got out of it. Definitely going to stick with this one. Thanks for taking the time to tune in here and if you know someone who is always “sooooo busy,” please do them a favor and forward this on. I’d love to hear from you…please leave a comment about your experience dealing with Father Time. Have you found something that makes your life smoother and more delicious that you are willing to share? Are you struggling with this and have a question for me? Let’s talk! I leave you with a quote from Danielle Laporte…”Attend first to the divine and the work at hand becomes art.” xo

by Louise Bonner

Founder & CEO

Lulu's Chocolate & Lulu's Botanicals