I recently attended an excellent event that focused on Time Management. How to get the most out of your day. How to balance work and play. And then, how much time to spend on social media, on accounts, on phone calls, etc etc…It seems to be a sticky area for many people. It seems you need to have discipline, structure and motivation to move you along. Perhaps, a to do list, a priority chart and an accountability partner to keep you on your toes. However, I like to approach it from another angle and ask the question; Are you a Hummingbird or a Robot?
-Life is a balance between rest and movement- Osho
In fact, all the best books and web articles on this topic advice a structured approach with a timetable and hours when you should, could and must do the things in your life. Many people need this kind of regime. A process, a program that is drilled into us from day one. Routine is necessary, regularity is a must and we cannot live without clockwork precision.
Yet and even, in the world of the great writers and philosophers there is disagreement, and thankfully, vastly opposing differences.
-Unless all work is done with clockwork regularity, it is impossible to organise it in a thorough manner – M.K. Gandhi
Then, there is another view of managing your time and ultimately your life.
-Regularity chauvinists are people who insist that you have got to do the same thing every time, every day, which drives some of us nuts. Attention Deficit Disorder – we need a more positive term for that. Hummingbird mind, I should think – Ted Nelson
Those who follow Gandhi will need a schedule, a timetable, a set of rules, and probably, an accountability person to push, nudge and at times, whip them to move.
Personally, I like the Ted Nelson style of life. I adapt and take a flexible approach to work. Discipline comes from within and so to make it simple, I divide up my 24 hours into Work, Play and Biological Necessities.
Work is clear, right? Play also…it includes resting, relaxing, learning, socialising, anything that benefits you.
The Biological Necessities include going to the bank, filling up the fridge, thinking about what to do with the ingredients in the fridge. Taking care of your mother, sister, baby or garden. It also includes your responsibilities to yourself and your loved ones. Believe me, these activities take up more time than any weekly work template includes! And more to the point most Time Management books, articles, coaches and experts give very little leeway for the above.
Click on the video below and hear how I define Hummingbirds and Robots. Please let me know if you identify with the Hummingbird or the Robot, leave your comments below.
Then, have a listen to the video from Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sessions with Elizabeth Gilbert and hear what she says about Hummingbirds.
Love this blog post Georgia. I’m definitely a bit of a robot most of my working time, but with the flexibility of a humming bird. Ha, a bit of both 🙂
It’s so important what you say about biological necessities. I have my to do list, but listen to my body. If I need a nap, I take a nap. If I’m hungry, I eat. If a friend is in need, I ditch my to do list. … and rather catch up on work in the evening when I have to. I can sleep in in the morning after all. Thanks for the rebellious approach to time management. Got to live a bit!
Oh yes a robotic hummingbird! works for me! 🙂
Yes, we all know the importance of time management but the how and what is where the devil dwells. To shed light on these details is undoubtedly the core of your message.
Flexibility is a challenge for our intelligence, a kind of readiness to spontaneity. I see two sides of influence on our daily task handling where this has huge importance. On one hand we are frequently exposed to our ever changing external environment, ( as you pointed out) on the other hand our evolving, changing internal subjective states or conditions effect us. These circumstantial matters leave an impact on our precious time management. If we don´t leave space, for these factors we have to fight with life events, social obligations and duties,
which not always controllable by us.
Flexibility is not a weakness but rather a strength of intelligence.
Love that line…Flexibility is a strength of intelligence 🙂
Excellent words from Vibeke and Sahaq which make me an intelligent hummingbird – I love that.
Well of course, I always knew that! 🙂