I Have Time

‘I have time’ should be the guiding word especially of dressage riders during the entire course of training and remind him of the fact that the goal of the classical art of riding is to be attained only by the gradual increase of demands.” – Col. Alois Podhajsky

Col. Podhasky’s advice was written with a specific application in mind, but I’ve found that it applies quite neatly in many other areas of living, including, but not limited to: raising children, training employees, personal development, growing a business and learning a musical instrument (or any new art for that matter!).

The procrastinator misapplies this notion, feeling he can put everything off until later. Used correctly, “I have time” is a state of active tranquility – active in the sense that work that can be done is done and tranquil from the dual recognition that: (1) all matters in life are a process of varying duration and (2) there is no sense worrying about what cannot yet be done.

The correct application of “I have time” also requires wise management of the process. To be useful and progressive, the gradual increase of demands must be well-timed and clearly articulated. Mixed signals will confuse and retard the process, while the right application of pressure, that is, the intervention requiring the least amount of energy for the desired effect goes a long way to ensuring steady forward movement.

Remember: you have time! Don’t rush, but don’t dawdle either. Rushing to get things done or “cramming it up your fanny” as my wife’s grandmother was known to say is just as destructive as “cramming” in the traditional sense (because you put off action to the last moment). When you cram, you condense factors that cannot and should not be consolidated and you make compromises that you would not otherwise make.

Col. Podhajsky made the following observation with respect to training horses, though it is not much of a stretch to see how the same would apply to any endeavor: “A ruthlessly condensed training only leads to a general superficiality, to travesties of the movements, and to a premature unsoundness of the horse. Nature cannot be violated.” (1965; translation: T. Ritter)

8 thoughts on “I Have Time

  1. Zachary

    It is really unfortunate when procrastination causes corner-cutting. It isn’t that you don’t want to do the right thing, you just didn’t take advantage of what was originally sufficient time. Plus there are the things that are missed because the thing was not done in the proper time, not skipped because of expediency but because the attention to detail was not there. Proper management of time should be cyclical, with times of hard work and times of rest. However the determination of those cycles should be the work itself and not how the person working feels.

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  2. Pingback: I have time. | Off the Mark and Roaming

  3. Joy

    Such a “timely” topic, thank you Gregg for your constant encoragement for us to move ever onward and upward. Your words are taken to heart.

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  4. Chuck Reddick

    One of the fundamentals for success that we have discovered over the years is “Time Management”. The major part of this is learning to prioritize so that you are always, identifying, doing and honoring the most important things first. Personally, and I teach this principle to others, I like to list my priorities for any given day the evening or night before so that when I wake up I am not dawdling but instead getting right to it. It is amazing how much can get done doing this seemingly simple step every day.

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  5. Ricardo B.

    I’ve found it useful to consistently re-evaluate what ‘time’ means to me – it’s nature, the way it makes itself known to one given one’s consciousness. A million people can all give you a different sense of time, yet time yields to no one arbitrarily. I figure one must yield to time, through maturity and purposeful action – the ways you well mention – and in this way, time can become an incredibly powerful ally to the force of spirit – a freeing vehicle that releases whatever it is that is a blessing to the world around you, through you. Yes, as we get busy, we have to keep a schedule, but that’s different from the schedule keeping us – meaning, feeling constrained and/or limited by time. I guess that’s part of the heart of the matter, the way we feel about the ticks on the clock.

    One practical way to shake things up is to simply look at your routines and be willing and alert to change them in an effort to open space and declare the fact the you do indeed, ‘have time’.

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  6. Lady Leo

    Doing a task in a timely manner makes the task more enjoyable to me. If it’s an unpleasant one getting it accomplished sooner rather than later is more appealing to me. I also have experienced that procrastinating becomes a bottleneck to accomplishment. New endeavors must be put on hold as you finish what was procrastinated. Today looks like you have all the time in the world and tomorrow you realize you didn’t.

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  7. Kolya

    Once we understand that we “have time,” even in the midst of what may seem like “no time,” time begins to change. I’ve found that it is more fluid than we realize and stretches or shrinks based on how we manage it.

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