Our relationship to time is a theme for me, which is why I’m fascinated by everything from Burkeman’s spiritual meditations on time all the way down to the daily management practices of wisely structuring time during a workweek (preferably a 4-day workweek!).
I’ve been a poor manager of my time for years, believing that working long hours was the only path to success, stuck in the debtors’ prison of being perpetually overscheduled with back-to-back meetings. Every time we reinforce the belief that working hard is a badge of honor in our work culture, we reinforce our inability to ever break free from working hard. But by doing the difficult work of clarifying priorities and setting boundaries, we can break this cycle: the less we’re available to everyone, the more we can be focused, and the more we’re focused, the better work we will do, and the better work we do, the less we have to work, and the less we have to work, the more available we can be.