Time management is NOT emotion management
I am currently sitting very uncomfortably in my own bed, typing this in the very middle of the night. It’s 1:47AM on a Friday night. It feels kind of weird because I haven’t been typing like this for a long time. I normally get inspiration over the weekends, when it is super quiet at home. I was able to crystalize my thoughts, gather them, create graphics, and anticipate what’s to come when I publish it. It was full of planning, execution, and excitement.
2 weeks ago, I started to feel drained.
I lost a few friends, not physically but mentally. They were distancing me (and that’s okay these kind of stuff happens) in a very rude way and it disgusted me that I actually have to interact with them in certain occasions, knowing that they have no intention to speak to me. That destroyed a part of me.
Don’t get me wrong, things were going well, but I got busier with work, exercise, and social activities. I wanted to have it all. I was able to juggle between them for a few weeks, but the fact is that I have less and less time for the blog. I tried really hard to squeeze time for it. I hung on and made weeks of newsletters despite what I am more passionate about was to write a proper post. What started as a leisure pastime (writing newsletters for fun) had turned into a chore.
I began to plan for my content. I gave myself guidelines on what I should write next. Very soon, everything emotional and restrictions have come down to a burn-out. That writing has become an outlet for what goes through my mind has made me more of an introvert than I had ever been. But I can’t write anymore. I don’t feel inspired.
I could feel it. And I was desperately trying to stop it.
It didn’t work. It just became worse and worse. I wasn’t talking about the physical aspect of things. Life goes on as usual. I had readership for my newsletter, encouraging comments from friends and strangers, constant traffic for my blog, etc. But what has changed was what’s in my head.
I was judging myself, doubting if all I’ve done was useless. You know? Those kind of irrational feeling you get after a break-up. Those that would motivate you to go to the gym and look hot. Unfortunately, I don't have a gym for my emotions. So all that negativity got stuck in my head, which is why I wanted to write this post:
Time management is not emotion management. We need both.
I don’t think anyone can challenge the fact that we all need time management. We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t change for anyone, and it’s up to us how we use the time. That’s why people can be quite strict in terms of how we allocate our time. I realise one of the reasons why I got so stressed was because I managed my time well, but I didn’t do the same for my emotions.
I come to realise that, emotional management is the prerequisite for time management. I don’t think anyone can function well in a state of constant nervousness and unhappiness, even if they work according to a perfectly managed schedule. When was the last time you finally can spare adequate hours to work on certain tasks, only find out you’re not in the mood to do so?
A lot of the times, we measure tasks in terms of the hours that is required to do it. We very often forget that in order to get to the state of you being ready to do certain tasks also requires time. That ‘time’ is determined by how mentally ready you are.
The learning for me is that taking the time to recharge and keep myself happy is the only way I can continue to fuel my passion. A passion isn’t something that will sustain 100% hardships. If there’s a recipe for passion, it might be 20% of happiness and 80% of challenges. It will be up to how I manage my emotions and keep me sane and happy to continue doing what I do.
So, what now?
I guess the implication of this is that: Here’s to those who had made me upset, or the whatever guidelines that I’ve imposed on myself - I am very happy just kicking them out of my life. I will unfriend/disconnect with those for the negativity they’ve brought me. I am back writing and happily clicking away my laptop.