Here’s my confession for the week: a couple weeks ago, I stayed up until after 11:00 pm ‘redeeming my day.’
My daughter had a really rough day. By 9 pm, I’d accomplished nothing (according to my own expectations).
My to-do list had been realistic for the day I had expected, but I didn’t get the day I expected. The house was a wreck, and so was my mind.
It felt great to catch up. The next day, I was on track. But I was also exhausted.
In the end, it wasn’t worth it.
When I teach about time leadership, I recommend spreading out missed tasks that come from unexpected days so we don’t have to run to catch up or dig out of the hole.
I really believe in that advice, but sometimes my emotions win and I want to “make up for lost time.”
The phrase ‘make up for lost time’ is a misnomer. When time is lost, it’s lost. “Making up for lost time” is just using more time. In my case, I lost the sleep that I needed. My body spent the next day begging me to, you guessed it, make up that lost time. Around and around the cycle goes.
I don’t follow my own systems perfectly, but I want to always come back to home base. Once time is gone, it’s gone. I can accept it, breathe, and then make a new plan for the next day. That might mean delaying some things, or dropping some things. But it’s always better than trying to compensate for what’s behind me.
If you ever find yourself in this spot, here’s your permission to do things the wrong way and then try again. It’s also your permission to let time go and release the lost cause of making up for lost time.
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