Lately, I’ve become interested in ideas about time and how we structure it.
My new teaching role means I am spending three days a week on that, with two days a week on my creative practice and two days for a weekend.
But as I’ve been transitioning into this new structure (from two days on teaching and three on creative practice) I’ve started to question how I’ve been structuring my time.
Working for yourself, even part-time, or having an independent project or practice of some kind thrusts you into learning about time management (whether you like it or not). If you go from school to college to uni to work, there are rare moments when you have the opportunity to find out how you like to structure your time; mostly, it’s done for you.
The personal way we structure our time isn’t really personal, for the most part; it’s based on social, professional or educational norms … which may or may not be the best fit for us.
One aspect I’m currently experimenting with is starting my week on a Sunday, not a Monday.
In conversation with a friend on social media, she noted she’d always perceived this as an American, rather than British, tradition. Personally, I’d always known it as a religious tradition; starting the week with a holy day or day of rest.
From this perspective, starting your week on a Sunday feels great: you start your week with a day off! Although, interestingly, there is still some debate over whether Sunday or Saturday is the Sabbath in Judeo-Christian religions, and whether that’s the same as a day of rest.
But the point is that shifting your week so that it runs Sunday to Saturday means that, for those who work the regular Monday to Friday, you’re not starting your week with work. You’re starting it with whatever you want to fill that day with.
This perspective for me was highlighted in my recent reading of Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success [buy pre-owned at World of Books | Wordery | Hive]. Chopra outlines seven laws, or principles, which one can embody to better enjoy life and be successful. He also recommends assigning one law to each day of the week to help focus the mind on that law’s embodiment.
His week begins on a Sunday with Law #1: The Law of Pure Potentiality. Describing the embodiment of this Law, Chopra writes:
“You must learn to get in touch with the innermost essence of your being. This true essence is beyond the ego. It is fearless; it is free; it is immune to criticism; it does not fear any challenge. It is beneath no one, superior to no one, and full of magic, mystery and enchantment.
As I experiment with changing how I structure my time, moving the beginning of my week to a Sunday rather than a Monday, this feeling of potential, essence, “magic, mystery and enchantment” has become more tangible.
Shifting your week structure so that you start a day focused on the stuff you enjoy, rather than the stuff you have been tasked to do, has a positive psychological impact as you choose to prioritise yourself and interests. Layer into that Chopra’s suggestion of “pure potentiality”, and you have a week which starts with both caring for oneself and considering future possibilities in a more expansive, imaginative way.
As I seek to find structures in my life (and in society) which give stability with maximum possible spontaneity, changing when my week starts feels like a small but influential shift. I invite you to experiment.
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