The Laws of Nature
Four years ago, my grandpa advised me to look to the laws of nature for guidance in how to live.
In nature, the relevant skill to master is not the skill of “time management” but rather the art of timing.
Here in Panama, my tide chart app has become my new clock.
If I try to take a kayak out at low tide this week, I will have to carry it almost the length of a football field over slippery rocks before I reach the water. That’s a lot of heavy lifting.
Alternatively, I can wait for high tide, when the water will rise up to meet me.
What would you choose?
Timing vs Time Management
When we are in nature, the idea of leveraging timing is so obvious we hardly think about it.
But when it comes to other work, we forget all about this concept.
Caught up in the illusion that we need to work hard to achieve our outcome, we take on more work. We push harder.
We go off in search of the strategies and systems to be more productive, to get more done with less work.
There is no shortage of people who want to convince you that you are lacking the right strategy, that there is a way to do it better.
Maybe you need to improve your time management skills. Or get better organized. Or spend more time developing your skills.
Or, maybe it makes sense to remember the laws of nature, where accomplishment is not a function of time management, but of timing.
When it comes to getting things done with more ease and less effort, learning to leverage timing can take you much farther than the skill of time management.
The next time you find yourself in the struggle, before you push harder or do more, consider that perhaps you just need to wait for the tide to rise to meet you.