The Reflection Series #7: Thinking about Time Differently

Using Our Energy Level As A Measure Of Time

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

This past week I’ve been reflecting upon time management. Well, to be more specific, time management in relation to projects, tasks, and, then, after a conversation with a colleague of mine, energy.

Have you ever thought about scheduling your day by the energy you exert in relation to the projects or tasks you work on? Well, I had never really thought about my time this way either.

Or rather, I think a lot about how much energy a project or task takes, yet I have never created a system for analyzing my energy output.

Well, it’s about time, I think. Pun intended.

Before we go on further in the discussion, however, let’s first take a look at my projects and tasks in a linear format, which is the picture below.

Albany, OR 2021

I find it helpful to write out the projects and tasks I am responsible for.

Yet, in the linear version to the left, I am missing several pieces needed to get a grasp on the whole picture.

Meaning, how do the projects and tasks relate to the department priorities? Good question.

Let’s take a look.

Below is a mind map to assist in answering this question.

Albany, OR 2021

Completing the whiteboard mind map helped me see a couple of things that are not apparent when data or information is presented linearly.

Here are some of the things I learned from mapping the projects and tasks nonlinearly.

  • Most of my time is currently spent in meeting the department’s sustainability priority.
  • There are at least three commitments that aren’t connected to a department priority. They are the bubbles, or circles, that are off to the side, disconnected from the rest of the mind map.
  • We are working on systems in each program, yet they are different systems.

And here is a question that arose after reflecting upon this mind map overnight.

How does my time on these various projects and tasks vary as a function of energy output?

It is very common to measure out time in, well, units of time. For instance, project A takes X amount of time, whereas project B takes Y amount of time. Helpful.

Yet, what we also know about time is that, for instance, you can work on a project or task for an hour, let’s say, without exerting that much energy. While, conversely, you can spend 30-minutes on a project or task that requires much more mental, or physical, output. How do you then manage your time?

If you simply gauge or measure all projects the same way, you may, for instance, have a work day that is full of high energy outputs, and a day that has very little, which may cause a balance issue.

My suggestion? Good question.

Well, I plan to remap my projects and tasks by energy output. It might look something like this.

Corvallis, OR 2021

A rough sketch this is, however, even in this rough sketch, you can get the idea.

What this sketch does not take into account, or, rather, does not, at this time, have space for, are those projects that fall outside the department priorities.

More reflection for me.

Alright, that wraps up this entry in the reflection series on thinking about time differently.

Remember, if we simply use time as the only way we measure our output, without considering energy, for instance, we may be missing a big piece of the overall framework of how we schedule ourselves and our work.

#energy, #humandevelopment, #introspection, #leadership, #mindmap, #reflection, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement, #strategicthinking, #timemangagement

Shy

Photo by Fransiskus Filbert Mangundap on Unsplash

They always called me
shy, and
I always wondered
why?

Time spent at home
was such a treat,
I never really
gave it much thought, or
attentions’ discrete.

I simply, waved goodbye
and merely moved on.

Upon reflection,
however,
it’s clear
that
I

Was simply tired
from all their stares,
and
comparative airs.

All the while
I was living
without
a

Measure,
except
the

knowledge of your
pleasurable existence.

And, my love
and devotion
to a time
of promotion,

and single-minded
attention, which
for sure,
did

not come until
much later.

For the platitudes
of life do
easily

carry us away
though we
never

intend to stray;

it happens at times.

And when we
notice?

We can find our
way back
to that
which

was never gone,

only ever
momentarily passed on.

And, yes,
it’s quite intentional
even when
it feels
like

it’s not, and
we’ve been begotten.

Don’t be downtrodden,
for you are
part of the
light,

which always burns bright

even when,
maybe, especially
when,
you lead a shy life.

#poetry, #intention, #introspection, #life, #love, #poem, #shy, #writing

A Blogger’s Diary 1/31/21: On My 2 Favorite Posts This Week and Music

Photo by Calista Tee on Unsplash

The end of January. Wow. It’s been almost a year since the pandemic broke out here locally. What a year. And, within 2.5 months of starting to work at home, my first blog post was published. Since then, I’ve created 295 posts, began following so many amazing blogs and inspiring people, and have now over 450 followers. Awesome, and so much fun.

Alright, let’s get to the writing part.

My 2 Favorite Posts This Week

I want to do something different this week, and for a few weeks. Instead of simply recapping all that I wrote, I’m going to choose my favorite 2 or 3 posts each week and provide some of the inspiration, thinking, and reflecting that went into the post. Ready? Good. Here we go.

Here are the two I’m choosing this week.

  1. Reminiscence
  2. Tanka #2

Reminiscence

The reminiscence poem was created as a multi-reflection on my marriage, my childhood, and having two beautiful boys. All three reflections combined in unique ways to create a poem about pain and joy, and recollections about simpler times.

One of the things I love the most about writing poetry, outside of the sheer exuberance I get when an idea flows through me, is looking back, reflecting, and putting on paper some joyous, and yes, sometimes painful life events.

Tanka #2

Tanka #2 was created as a reflection on my meditation practice, and the chasing we sometimes do as humans, trying to get to the next thing, and then the next. Reflecting on meditation and then the concept of chasing after things is a paradox, just like all of life.

The last two lines are a reflection upon creating the future from the present moment, with the knowing that already living inside of me, all of us, are the past, present, and future. As, they are one.

Alright, that’s my reflection on the reflections that inspired the two poems above. That was fun. Let’s now turn to one of my other favorite topics, music.

Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

Music

I’ve posted about my love for music before, though it’s been a while. I grew up in a household where music was always present. Whether that was through the TV and MTV, my dad playing his guitar, or sisters, mom, or myself playing the radio, cassettes, or an 8-track.

Yes, I did just reference the radio, cassette tapes, and 8-tracks in the same sentence. I did grow up in the late 70’s and 80’s though.

In this entry on music, I want to do two things. Show you the guitar I bought today, and embed a youtube of one of my favorite songs.

Alright, first, here is a pic of the guitar I bought today. As I mentioned, my dad played the guitar. Though I tinkered with the guitar as a child, youth, and young adult, it’s been years, and I am excited to take some lessons and begin to play.

Corvallis, Oregon 2021

Pretty, yes? Yes, I think so too.

Alright, now here is one of my favorite songs. I am present to it, because my oldest son played it on the guitars we looked at on Saturday. Was so beautiful.

Here you go.

YouTube

I just adore this song. Always have, and always will.

Alright, friends, that’s all for this week.

Remember, to keep breathing and take time for yourself. It’s important.

Have a great week.

#poetry, #beatles, #blackbird, #blog, #bloggersdiary, #blogging, #diary, #introspection, #intuition, #music, #poem, #reflection, #tanka, #writing

Focus

Tim Hüfner @ Unsplash

Though we may
Have been told this
Long ago
It’s

Likely we’ve forgotten,
And say it’s
Not so

Inner-child, what
do you mean?

I’ve been taught
To look outside
For all that’s serene

To chase after this,
And that, in hope of
Finding happiness at last

Yet, I continue to fall flat

Frustration building,
When that next thing
Doesn’t bring me closer,

Rather, only more heartache
And, yes, that’s what’s at stake

Yet, there is another way
Filled with love and joy
And all the protection
One’s heart could possibly employ

Where does it start?

Well, just as we were
Told oh so long ago,

The answers

Are already inside you
My friend, a shift in
Perspective is all that’s
Needed

A shift from focusing
On the external, to
A focus on
The

Internal, which is, and,
Always will be
Eternal

In response to WDYS#61 from Keep it Alive, by Sadje.

#poetry, #contemplation, #focus, #introspection, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #wdys61

Silence

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

An
Empty space
Full of grace, and

Solitude

Created
For the multitudes

Of humanity

We each share
In this blessing
Which awaits

A discovery

Upon the recovery
Of our true

Nature

Which is
Quite compelling,
And, yes, often telling

A thing forgotten,
Yet not begotten, no

Rather, a reservoir
Full of light, and
Always delight

So, friend

When it’s time
Look inside
And you will find

A space
Already created
Awaiting your return

So take the turn, and
Reclaim the truth
Of your birth

Silence

Empty while full
Ever so subtle, and
Also quite grand

A paradox, yes
Quiet and also
Powerful
, and

Oh so very flowerful

#contemplation, #introspection, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #slience

From Within and Without – A Friday Poem

Photo by Delaney Van on Unsplash

Within

we go and there is light

yet without we face

in troubled delight

that light

waxes and wanes

as we begin to believe

without

is what is right

though there is a knowing

deep inside

that the light within

is even more right

no waxing, no waning

constant

and ever-friendly

so

before you go

to sleep this night

remember

that the light within

is ever bright

and

is a part of your birthright.

Be well, have a wonderful weekend.

#death, #introspection, #intuition, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #reality

The Blog + Video Series 2: Writing and Life Series #4 – On Pain and Healing Through Writing

How many of you write as a release? Write to get the ideas, thoughts, concerns, dreams, wishes, and hopes out of your head and into a format that you can read and reflect upon. Yes, no? Maybe?

For most of my life, I didn’t. I didn’t regularly write out any of the aforementioned. Not because I wouldn’t have found it beneficial, more because I didn’t really know how. Sounds funny. It is true though.

I would tinker with writing here and there, yet never really developed a system to do so. What I realize now is that having a systematic way you write, or enter into any creative process is, at least for me, very helpful.

It is how I can continue to do so. To write through my pain and heal.

I find that writing of any kind, on a whiteboard, in a journal, in a computer document, anything, is very therapeutic. Why? Because you can then study what you are thinking, instead of simply thinking about it.

There is an important distinction here.

If you only ever think about something, you don’t really do anything with it, with the exception of maybe obsessing over it or worrying about it. Which, in the end, does nothing to move you forward as a human being.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is anh-nguyen-v-nbxj3yv5o-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

What are some of the writing strategies I use to work through my pain and heal?

I have several different ways that I get ideas out of myself and into the world. And, all of them work well. For, it is really less about the strategy, than that you develop the habit of writing through any situation or context that you find yourself in. From pain toward healing.

Here are some strategies I use daily.

  1. Whiteboards – I have three at home, and many at work, which include a complete whiteboard wall in my office. Very helpful. And, yes, there is also pain and healing that happens at work. It’s not just in our personal life that we need a release for our pain, whether that is frustration or some other emotion we are working through. I actually think that it is in the writing, considering, and working through the pain that healing occurs.
  2. Post-its – on the go, these work very well. I will typically then collect them on a piece of paper, or tape them to a larger 2’x3′ post-it, so that I can play with the ideas. See what’s there, and what possibilities I can see for moving forward.
  3. Journaling – I don’t write in a journal as often today, yet it is still a strategy that I recommend. Especially if you are new to writing about your own pain.

Those are the top three I’ve used, and use daily. And, they all work well, and can be used in combination. Example.

I will also tape post-it’s to pieces of paper, and put them on my magnetic whiteboard. Good visual, and easy to move around, and play with.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is paul-hanaoka-4zah0dggomi-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Why write through your pain to heal?

Because we all need the release. When we hold all of our pain inside, we cannot heal. It will reside within us, and actually make us ill. Not helpful.

Moving forward from pain, especially deep pain, requires visiting that pain often. Understanding it, working on it, and eventually releasing it. Carrying it around is unnecessary, though many people live this way.

Writing opens us up, and is a safe way to get out that which resides within. There are many different ways to write about pain. You can simply write about the pain, or you can create poems, or other stories about the pain.

What matters more than the writing medium you use, is that you provide yourself the opportunity to heal. Very important.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jude-beck-j7jocq7lkay-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Know also that it takes time to heal. You may write about something that is causing you pain, and not know healing from that pain for some time. For me, it also takes reflecting upon the pain in my writing.

When I can sit and contemplate that pain, I can see more, and have new insights. It is common for me to go back to something I’ve written several times before I can see a pathway to healing. Very normal.

How can you get started?

Start writing. Write on anything and at any time. Get your pain out of you and into the world so you can actually see it, and work on it. Important.

If you leave your pain inside of you, that is where it will always remain. Literally.

Choose times that work best for you, and create a habit of writing often. For it is in the healthy habit that you create to write about your pain often, that you have the best opportunity to know healing from that pain, and all pain.

Developing a healthy writing habit that is honest and reflective of the pain that lives inside of you creates a connection between your mind and your heart. And, it is inside of the connection between the two that all healing lives.

Write well and heal well.

#healing, #health, #internal-work, #introspection, #mindfulness, #pain, #self-development, #wellbeing, #writing, #writing-habits

Writing and Life Series #4: On Pain and Healing Through Writing

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

How many of you write as a release? Write to get the ideas, thoughts, concerns, dreams, wishes, and hopes out of your head and into a format that you can read and reflect upon. Yes, no? Maybe?

For most of my life, I didn’t. I didn’t regularly write out any of the aforementioned. Not because I wouldn’t have found it beneficial, more because I didn’t really know how. Sounds funny. It is true though.

I would tinker with writing here and there, yet never really developed a system to do so. What I realize now is that having a systematic way you write, or enter into any creative process is, at least for me, very helpful.

It is how I can continue to do so. To write through my pain and heal.

I find that writing of any kind, on a whiteboard, in a journal, in a computer document, anything, is very therapeutic. Why? Because you can then study what you are thinking, instead of simply thinking about it.

There is an important distinction here.

If you only ever think about something, you don’t really do anything with it, with the exception of maybe obsessing over it or worrying about it. Which, in the end, does nothing to move you forward as a human being.

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

What are some of the writing strategies I use to work through my pain and heal?

I have several different ways that I get ideas out of myself and into the world. And, all of them work well. For, it is really less about the strategy, than that you develop the habit of writing through any situation or context that you find yourself in. From pain toward healing.

Here are some strategies I use daily.

  1. Whiteboards – I have three at home, and many at work, which include a complete whiteboard wall in my office. Very helpful. And, yes, there is also pain and healing that happens at work. It’s not just in our personal life that we need a release for our pain, whether that is frustration or some other emotion we are working through. I actually think that it is in the writing, considering, and working through the pain that healing occurs.
  2. Post-its – on the go, these work very well. I will typically then collect them on a piece of paper, or tape them to a larger 2’x3′ post-it, so that I can play with the ideas. See what’s there, and what possibilities I can see for moving forward.
  3. Journaling – I don’t write in a journal as often today, yet it is still a strategy that I recommend. Especially if you are new to writing about your own pain.

Those are the top three I’ve used, and use daily. And, they all work well, and can be used in combination. Example.

I will also tape post-it’s to pieces of paper, and put them on my magnetic whiteboard. Good visual, and easy to move around, and play with.

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Why write through your pain to heal?

Because we all need the release. When we hold all of our pain inside, we cannot heal. It will reside within us, and actually make us ill. Not helpful.

Moving forward from pain, especially deep pain, requires visiting that pain often. Understanding it, working on it, and eventually releasing it. Carrying it around is unnecessary, though many people live this way.

Writing opens us up, and is a safe way to get out that which resides within. There are many different ways to write about pain. You can simply write about the pain, or you can create poems, or other stories about the pain.

What matters more than the writing medium you use, is that you provide yourself the opportunity to heal. Very important.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Know also that it takes time to heal. You may write about something that is causing you pain, and not know healing from that pain for some time. For me, it also takes reflecting upon the pain in my writing.

When I can sit and contemplate that pain, I can see more, and have new insights. It is common for me to go back to something I’ve written several times before I can see a pathway to healing. Very normal.

How can you get started?

Start writing. Write on anything and at any time. Get your pain out of you and into the world so you can actually see it, and work on it. Important.

If you leave your pain inside of you, that is where it will always remain. Literally.

Choose times that work best for you, and create a habit of writing often. For it is in the healthy habit that you create to write about your pain often, that you have the best opportunity to know healing from that pain, and all pain.

Developing a healthy writing habit that is honest and reflective of the pain that lives inside of you creates a connection between your mind and your heart. And, it is inside of the connection between the two that all healing lives.

Write well and heal well.

#healing, #introspection, #journaling, #mind-and-heart, #mindfulness, #self-development, #self-inquiry, #strategies-for-healing-from-pain, #writing, #writing-about-pain, #writing-to-heal