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This subject 'Time Integration' is not just looking at the clock and saying: 'Oh, it's 8 o'clock, I'll have to go'. Time and the way you use it has to do with what you are undertaking at a particular moment but also with a whole range of emotional factors such as happiness, motivation, indifference, boredom, resentment, and anger to name a few. The problem with the proper use of time is that it is very often tightly connected with these emotional contents and this is where we encounter a difficulty: our brain-mind structure handles time organisation in a different place of our brain cortex than our emotions.
Our left hemisphere, the logic, structured, analytic part of our brain is also our time keeper with its keen sense of time. His colleague, the right hemisphere handles intuitive skills, face recognition, artistic matters, spatial awareness, emotional behavior and - less known - has NO time sense! And here is where the confusion sets in.
A married couple has a different way of handling time. She is used to get up earlier and preparing herself at ease for the beginning day. She likes to take a shower, get properly dressed, have a small but decent breakfast and to go off well ahead of the morning traffic jam.
He is rather lazy in the morning, unable to get out of the bed and has a bad temper because he feels pushed by the repeated calls of his wife. He finally gets out of his warm bed 15 minutes too late to be good, jumps in the bathroom for his very minute wash, runs downstairs, swallows a glass of orange juice and already has one foot out the door, right on time for the usual traffic difficulties next to come.
The only difference between those two people is about 15-20 minutes on a total sleep of say 8 hours or just 4% of total time to sleep. She is comfortable, upbeat, at ease and relaxed, and ON TIME (or even a bit early). He is just rubbish, always 10 minutes too late ...'oh that damn traffic'... stressed, uncomfortable, agitated and a pain in the neck.
Now what happens with both here? The wife has a positive, fruitful time integration. She deduces what she needs to get it the way she likes it most. In this manner she is well structured and gains a lot of comfort, pleasure and even luxury and she doesn't have to rush. Her left and right hemisphere are constantly communicating in a positive, fruitful, co-operative way where each does his best job. The left organises and handles time nicely, the right is eager to help creating and enjoying a positive emotional result. Her self-image is positive and she considers herself a person with a certain impact on her environment. She has good intercommunication between her 'ego' and 'soul' with upbeat results.
The husband starts with resentment, laziness, even anger in resisting a very obvious task - to get out of the bed. He is not aware that staying in bed 15 minutes longer - a very minute advantage - is WAY in discordance with all the stressed results he is creating. He pays a big price for his meagre 15 minutes 'extra comfort'. The total balance of the first hours of his day is badly negative and on the long run even unhealthy.
He blocks, resists, behaves erratically, refuses to reason logically but stays in his bad emotional behaviour. His results are just rubbish and it starts all with this manic, tiny 15 minutes. His right brain is in a negative mood, actively disrupting his logical, analytical colleague. The 2 hemispheres don't co-operate well and each does just the thing he isn't good at. By overusing 4% of the time to sleep, the guy ruins the first 3 hours of his day, or more!
It you treat time without looking at the emotional connection, you are handling only half of the matter.
What is the advantage of accurately measuring to the minute how long people are on their job if you don't consider motivation, eagerness and return in what and how they are doing their job. When you motivate them well, you can easily give an extra coffee break with free cake and get even better output at the same time.
The most important part is to stay free of emotionally biased NEGATIVE thoughts such as: 'I have to, hurry-hurry, or I'll do it tomorrow....' and change them to: 'I can and I will... or I won't...' in getting the right feel for time management.
The "Drivers" and the "Stoppers" in Therapy.
When we where 'raised' as children by our elders, we where obligated to learn to do a lot of different things to be a 'good' child. This 'raising' resulted in some imprinted behaviours in our left and right brain. We became 'trained' and conditioned to behave in a particular way, sometimes causing a deviation from our own emotional and personal needs 20 years later as a grown up. A child that learned to be silent and obedient will be less effective in leading a meeting or making her point.
Every time you feel the urge or the pressure to do something in a particularly 'fixed' way, this urge is called a 'driver' in therapy. Example: cleaning the sink in a perfect, 100% way. Every time you feel inhibited or refrained in doing something, this is called a 'stopper'. Example: you would like to speak up on a meeting but you keep a low profile, afraid of saying something wrong.
These drivers and stoppers have an influence on your behaviour, pushing or blocking you in an inflexible way, difficult to change. This causes a stereotype behaviour with less flexible or adaptable procedures, resulting in over- or under-reacting to life situations where you do too much or too little to be good for yourself. And this is very often expressed in the amount of time you devote to certain activities, because time is on first view more flexible than space. It's obvious that you can't put a grand piano in a 10 square yard bedroom, but people are constantly trying to do 10 things in too little time spans and then they are surprised that they get stressed...
When communication between your two hemispheres promotes a results which contains a strong 'obligation' in a certain direction, most probably you have an internal 'driver' at work. Every time the left-right communication is deteriorating, a 'stopper' inhibits you from doing something well or constructive for yourself. The right hemisphere intermingles with negative feelings or with the fear of doing something 'bad', the left rules with ideas as 'I have to do it in this or that way, otherwise it's not good enough' attitudes. The result will be a manner of working or behaviour which is NOT very appropriate in getting a fruitful outcome for yourself.
Rigid mental attitudes (left hemisphere), fixed mind sets (both), unresolved emotional trauma (right hemisphere), a negative self image (very deep layer) and lack of money (=energy level) will result in bad time integration.
When the right hemisphere is in a bad mood AND at the same time allowed to be dominant as in the above example of the man in his bed, it will produce very poor time integration at all as handling time is just not the virtue of the right brain.
An over-stressed perfectionist - 'can't say no' - serving a boss with bad time integration!
This confusing and inhibiting interior communication between hemispheres results in an overly use of time to accomplish a certain task (example: a perfectionist cleaning the kitchen) or things that even don't happen at all (example: speaking up at the meeting) and every time the use of time becomes badly integrated. In the 1st example too long, the 2nd example too 'short' = not happening at all.
A perfectionist usually uses too much time to accomplish a task, a lazy person too little or even nothing. The first one has fine results but a very busy and tight schedule, the second has lots of time (he then wastes it in hanging around) with inferior results.
Now, how do I improve the communication between my two brain hemispheres?
All sorts of meditation, yoga, leisure, a creative hobby, music, artistic activities, some not too demanding or competitive sports, a nap after a meal, being good to yourself and others as well... An upbeat, inspiring, demanding, positive life goal does miracles as your mind gears up almost in a natural way in establishing just the right time management to accomplish your intended projects. Abraham Maslow called these types the "self realisators"....
More about time integration on the
following page with a very unusual point of view:
the 30-60% rule
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© June 2002 - Rik Wellens