How to deal with Lack of Time during a Crisis

How to deal with Lack of Time during a Crisis

(How to make time for ourselves when there isn’t?)

I witnessed what it means to live in a  country that is constantly at war. In the summer of 2014, I wrote about my perceptions and experiences about lacking time during a conflict (thanks to the fact that I moved to Israel).

The following paragraphs are [translated] fragments of such journal entry:

“...Those who have been in New York and Tel Aviv, will know that both cities have similarities in terms of how time and stress are managed. Add war to the equation, several rush hours, and a good dose of insomnia, and you will have as a result the daily life of an Israeli. This may sound very dramatic, but the truth is that sometimes 'it is the way it is'. However, the atmosphere will not allow you to stop in order to have a meltdown, start crying or wallowing in self-pity. 
... the world may be falling apart and a thousand rockets may be falling from the sky, but there is no time to pay attention to them. There is no time to think too much about the circumstances that are trying to bring us down. There is no time to mourn and give to the enemy the pleasure of our pain. There's no time to do all kinds of things during the day and that's why Tel Aviv never sleeps. Life goes on and the little amount of time we have left for breathing is precisely enough, so we won't faint due to the absence of oxygen.” 

What I learned about people with no time

(and those that save it) 

#1 Get to the Point

While Israelis have no time, the Dutch understand the value of time. Therefore Dutch people count every minute and barely share it. If there is something I have learned from both cultures (which are incredibly different), it is that sometimes being polite or quiet is foolish and it's reserved for those who can't be upfront with what they want. While it is true that on occasions "you can catch more flies with honey", most of the time you need to go straight to the point. Now and then, it turns out that things move faster when you speak up. 

#2 Making Time is an Obligation and not a Luxury

It doesn’t matter where you come from. You’re a human being and just like eating, breathing, or sleeping, taking time for yourself is a basic need.  The Dutch have time because they know how to spend it. They are so unspontaneous that they have a ritual of scheduling every minute (formal and informal) of their time. On the other hand, Israelis lack so much time, that they don’t even have the time to schedule it. Therefore, they take it out wherever and postpone everything else. 

Once a good friend told me, "Stop ... The stronger the war, tension and mindless rush are, stop to look around you, and your life will change". Since in Israel time couldn’t be planned, I stopped myself at the least expected moment to observe. While I was looking at the people around me, I noticed many significant details. 

"... I watched an oblivious sunset and for a second I forgot that we were at war. I forgot for a second about the sirens that were telling us to run towards a shelter ... And then I thought that while war isn't appealing if you stop you might see beauty when it unites an entire nation to protect each other as if they were no strangers... "

#3 Focus on What Matters

Kevin Kruse writes in his article "How To Make Time For Yourself" that we stress and spend too much time on meaningless things, while we forget what really matters.

You should never be too busy to do what you love. It's a matter of organizing your priorities and evaluating where you are investing your time. If there is something really important for you, you're going to find a way to fit into your agenda. And if you do not have time, you should STOP for a minute anyway!

#4 Give a Space to your Needs in Order to GROW 

Our perspective of life is relative to the meaning we decide to give to our actions. Sometimes there is no time to cry, but we need to do it in order to heal. Life goes on, but there must be time to stop and appreciate those details that can make a huge difference.

Want to strategize your time according to your fitness goals? 

Feel free to contact me

Post a Comment