How to Make Time


Productivity is a dead-end pursuit. Our to-dos will always fill whatever space we give it. How can we let go of the habits driving us to do more, better, faster? How can we make time for what matters most?

In this episode of Design Yourself we explore:

  • Our relationship with time;
  • Examples of how time influenced the daily routines of artists Sylvia Plath and Erik Satie;
  •  Sharon’s musings on how urgency and scarcity impact our relationship to how much time we have and how much time we need;
  • Reflection questions to create awareness and alignment on how we each move with and in time.

“Productivity is a trap. Becoming more efficient just makes you more rushed, and trying to clear the decks simply makes them fill up again faster. Nobody in the history of humanity has ever achieved “work-life balance,” whatever that might be, and you certainly won’t get there by copying the “six things successful people do before 7:00 a.m.” The day will never arrive when you finally have everything under control—when the flood of emails has been contained; when your to-do lists have stopped getting longer; when you’re meeting all your obligations at work and in your home life; when nobody’s angry with you for missing a deadline or dropping the ball; and when the fully optimized person you’ve become can turn, at long last, to the things life is really supposed to be about. Let’s start by admitting defeat: none of this is ever going to happen. But you know what? That’s excellent news.”

-Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks

Ideas Shared

Reflection Prompts

  • What is your flavor of distraction?
  • What if it’s not time that’s hold you back? What else could it be?
  • What are you wishing for? How might you make that happen in the next month?
  • What else might work to try?
  • What if you let time be?

Links and Resources