I had 6 hours to get through my day and a list that was just a little too ambitious (as usual). I can coach people all day long to level-set their expectations and not pack too much in, but I’m really bad at taking my own advice…
So I fully expected to fall behind and have to push things off until the next day. Except, on this one, magical day - that didn’t happen.
Time seemed to freeze. Or at least slow down so there was enough time to do everything, and do it well.
You know I’m a fan of Kate Northrup and her book, Do Less. And she talks about this concept of Chronos time and Kairos time. Chronos is the linear clock of time simply marching on minute by minute. Kairos is suspended time, time in flow, time when hours slip by while you’re playing in the backyard with your kids and you don’t realize it’s past dinnertime until it gets a little darker and the neighborhood gets quiet (true story).
On this one, magical day I experienced Kairos ALL. DAY. LONG.
It was like finding the holy grail, and I wanted to do it again!
I replayed the day in my head to figure out what I did differently.
And do you know what came up??
LAUNDRY! And kitchen cleaning! And grocery shopping!
Here’s a quick break-down of my day:
- 6:15am: Wake up to Bennet talking to himself and eventually calling for, “Mommy Right Now!”
- 6:30am: Go get Bennet and head downstairs for cinnamon toast
- 7:30am: Shower
- 8:30am: Say goodbye to Zach and Bennet and started cleaning up the kitchen + general house clean
- 9:30am: Work at computer, emails + Quarterly Business Review
- 11:00am: Put in load of laundry
- 11:05am: Listen to a training module I want to rerecord on the way to pick up lunch
- 11:30am: Eat lunch and switch laundry
- 11:45am: Record training module and upload
- 12:30pm: Switch laundry
- 12:35pm: Draft broadcast email
- 1:00pm: Client coaching call
- 1:30pm: Finish broadcast email
- 2:30pm: Monthly Costco trip + fill up on gas
- 3:30pm: Pickup Bennet from daycare
- 4pm - 7pm: Play, make dinner, do bedtime routine
The trick for me to find flow, to find Kairos, was to break up my day with lots of task-switching. I jumped from cleaning, to work, to lunch, to work, to errands, to childcare. Many productivity experts will tell you task-switching is the dearth of productivity and batching is the way to go. I found the opposite to be true for me. I’ve reproduced the jumping up and switching tasks on future days and it’s a good strategy for me.
I share all this because I want you to find your own form of kairos. When you’re in it, notice it. Be aware. Be curious. And you may find the keys to dropping yourself into this zone when you need it.
Have you noticed this before? What gets you into Kairos?