Time Management: The Compass vs The Clock

Woman relaxing on a chair with feet resting on a clock

I haven’t written for my own blog in almost a year, although I’ve thought about it daily. It just was never the right time (tick-tock). Blogging just became one of the many tasks that got pushed by the wayside while I crammed all of “the important stuff” in my day. The meetings, phone calls, family, short-term goals, long-term goals.  Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Everyone knows what I’m talking about: The everyday life drama — all the things that we must handle that create the constant ticking clock that says, “there is never enough time,” or “where did the time go?”

With that constant ticking, I began to feel like I was running on a tread mill to nowhere. It felt empty, since I thought my life would have a different purpose and more important direction. At times I felt no spiritual connection to my life. Yes, I have many awards and titles (Emmy-nominated makeup artist, mother, friend, and wife are a few), but the spirit doesn’t recognize titles.

How was I feeding my spirit? In what direction was my compass guiding me? What direction was my life taking me?  I couldn’t tell if I was spending my life moving in the right direction, or if my actions were just time fillers dictated by the ticking of the clock. Call it luck or divine intervention, but I stumbled upon a book called First Things First by Stephen R. Covey where Covey discusses this very issue. I began to recognize that paying attention to my direction is more important than how fast I’m moving (the compass vs the clock).

Sometimes we fear the clock so much that we ignore the compass. I recently lost a huge business client that, when I am honest with myself, had taken a lot of my time and came close to compromising my values. The one and only upside to this particular relationship was the money. I bargained with my compass to surrender to the clock. I told myself that this situation provided the immediate money solutions that allowed my life to function smoothly. This was on my mind, of course, due to the very loud and annoying ticking of the clock. This situation did not allow me time to move in the real direction of where I wanted my life to be (my compass). My bills were paid, but I broke a lot of promises to my own spiritual life for this convenience.

I stayed in this situation because of fear, or having to do without. Fear should not be present while you create the reality you deserve.

We have to courageously build the reality we want, and have faith that the abundance will come (and I don’t just mean money).

Looking back, and forward at the same time, the compass of my life would still be stuck in the same place had this situation remained in my life. Truth be told there will always be a clock ticking, reminding me of the constant things that I have to do and sometimes never get done. But upon examining the direction of my life, and making daily steps to travel in the right direction, the ticking becomes much softer.

As the philosopher Plato says, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In wholehearted agreement, I now give action and thought to my compass daily so it will begin to lead me in the right direction, regardless of speed. My direction includes the following life additions: understanding I have a voice that I wish to share with others (through time spent writing); understanding that I inspire beauty in others that I need to inspire in myself (through prayer, long walks in parks and beaches); maintaining my own sound health (by paying attention to diet and exercise); understanding idle time management (using an hour or two to volunteer for those less fortunate rather than watching TV); remembering to inspire laughter and love (through dancing, spending quality time with family and friends); never failing to learn (by taking that class that I’ve been putting off). And most of all understanding that when the spirit is pleased there is more than enough time for everything else.


Karim Orange

Karim Orange is a two-time Emmy-nominated makeup artist and green beauty expert, specializing in clean beauty, makeup, and skincare. She is an active urban farmer who advocates for quality food, regardless of social economics. She enjoys traveling cross-country by train and sharing stories with others along the way. Follow her blog at thatgirlorange.com.