Time and Mastery

Engaging With Intention

In partnership with

Distraction & Purpose

There is a lot to distract us these days. It is no surprise that time has become more sacred to preserve than ever before. I have developed a few rules to protect my own time, and in this article, I will share my framework with you.

If you want to do anything difficult in life, you will have to make a sacrifice of some sort. Really, the question is, what can you live without to achieve a higher purpose?

Have you ever felt that your day slipped away before you achieved your intended goals? Or did the endless series of meetings and phone calls eat away all of your good energy before the block of time you had sanctioned for creative work even rolled around?

This is not a time management problem but a time ownership problem.

Time Ownership & Boundaries

If you own your time, you can be ruthless about how you spend it. Ruthless in that you can decline meetings without agendas, LinkedIn invitations to pointless introductory calls, outings and events that do not align with your goals. Prioritize your time and what matters to you most will become clearer. You do not need to be a business owner or self-employed to own your time. Outside of your employer-owned hours, you always own your time, right?

If you are a parent, your children, of course, own a large share of your time, but being a parent does not mean you should not or cannot create boundaries. In fact, it is healthy for you and your family if you do. If you have a parenting partner, ensure they have time for themselves, too. You will be happier adults and, thus, better equipped to raise healthy young humans when balancing your energy instead of letting it be siphoned off everywhere except where you want.

Start with a small activity that challenges you in a fun and creative way or a relaxing activity that does not require a large block of time away from your myriad commitments. An example might be meeting a friend for a game of tennis or enjoying a crafting activity with a friend. If you have commitments in the home that will distract you from your designated "you" time, change locations so you can be fully present and reap the intended benefit. I was mainly unable to create personal time blocks when my kiddos were small, but that was primarily due to a need for more awareness of the importance of self-care.

There are different sorts of rest and play for different personalities. I wrote about the 4 Pillars of Vitality taught to me by my friend and mentor Rúna in this article, should you wish to dive deeper into this subject.

Control What You Can

I am speaking about personal, not professional, time, so there are no excuses for the gainfully employed if you feel owning your time is impossible. If we are honest with ourselves, we likely have large holes in our days when time is unaccounted for. This means we need to be more deliberate with our time. The so-called idle time is when we lose most of our spare moments to trivial distractions. 

It is all about intention. When we intend to allow our minds free time to roam social media, that is not a problem so long as we stick to our allocated time. The issue is when we allow time to drift like a current pulled by an outside force, and our psyche suffers as a result.

If all of this seems impossible, start by noting how you feel and what you do when you have a time window with nothing allocated.

Use Tech Mindfully

I have not mentioned phones, but it should not come as a surprise that monitoring how your phone is used is part of my time ownership framework. Use the tools provided by your phone operating system to monitor your usage. Do not allow your cellphone to distract from the allocated time for you. Indeed, allocate time to use the fun and useful apps on your phone and stick to that allocated time. For example, I know of a founder who only allows herself to go on social media while having her afternoon coffee. That is a framework. You just have to create a system that works for you while allowing for the intended benefits.

Whether or not you own your time during working hours, AI can help tremendously with many routine tasks.

Time Ownership

For those of us who are founders, artists, and entrepreneurs (of all sorts), owning our time is the purpose and the game to be played. More on that in another episode. For further illumination on this topic, listen to the podcast episode on seasoned solo founder and content creator Dan Koe.

Here are 3 things to try today:

  1. Quit news and politics.

    1. If you are not doing anything to change it, don't listen to it or watch it.

  2. Use technology to protect yourself from technology:

    1. Turn on focus mode; only allow texts and calls from your immediate circle of friends and family.

    2. Turn on app usage limits.

    3. No phone in the bedroom (except if you need to for family/work, in which case see point #1 about focus mode).

  3. Don't watch TV on weeknights (including online shows, binging YouTube, etc).

    1. You will have time to do something. What? That is up to you… Try going to bed an hour earlier and waking up an hour earlier to journal. This may change everything (for the better).

Let me know if this framework inspires beneficial change by leaving a comment.

Thank you for reading and if you want to support my work, consider a purchase from TheTechMargin Shop.

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Ways Of Seeing — Preview

This is just a preview of the project I am working on. The final version will go live in a few days and will incorporate facets of creativity and technology, demonstrating the message of TheTechMargin.

Leave a comment or drop me an email [email protected].

Until next time, let's keep pushing the boundaries of what it means to be balanced, creative, and fully human.

Be kind to yourself & someone else while you are at it.

— Sonia, a.k.a SuperSonic ☮️

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Mindful Explorers

I have added the Headspace app to my evening routine to decompress from the ever-present uncertainty and pressure of being a startup founder. Yes, I am also an affiliate and love this app. By the way, I will only recommend tools and products I use and love. Signing up for a paid account generates revenue for TheTechMargin while (hopefully) improving your life and work through my recommendation.

Now, back to the Headspace app… Last night, I enjoyed listening to the sounds of Acadia National Park and relaxed to a wind-down exercise called "Noting." The app contains numerous experiences from national parks across the USA as well as 3D soundscapes from points around the globe, my current favorite being the Savanna watering hole.

The variety of mediations and soundscapes in Headspace will keep even a curious explorer of novelty, such as myself, engaged and centered. Definitely check the app out for yourself for anything from trouble sleeping to anxiety and stress reduction.

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