The secret time | storytelling and time management

By Limor Shiponi

You can’t manage time, you can manage in time.

“The secret time” is a workshop I lead concerning time management and what can be learned about it through storytelling. I created it after… well, there is a story attached to it and it’s mainly about people nagging to know how I manage all that I manage. They were always sure I’m hiding some secret and as you see this word appears in the workshop’s title eliciting exactly the same kind of expectation.

The real inspiration for the word ‘secret’ is not connected to ‘The Secret’ turmoil that covered the world through the past years either, no. I don’t really like using this word in a way that makes people believe I’m hiding something from them and would give it away if …

storytelling and time management
The Secret Garden, image source - Wikimedia commons

The inspiration is The Secret Garden by Burnett. Trough the years I’ve witnessed the burden of trying to manage – time, relationships, work, family, self, dreams, orders, health, appearance, production, energy… I’ve seen my self and others do our best and fail, try all sorts of personal management systems until I realized something is basically wrong and I realized it through storytelling. It is important to emphasize – not through story, through storytelling – the dynamic act, face to face, good old storytelling.

The main principle is not about the management system although the workshop does suggest a fine rout to follow. The main problem answered presents itself often in the question “where does my time run away to?”

Time has a place

Listen to that question. I’ve heard it many times before I realized it means we believe that somehow time is going somewhere – a place. That place is locked away from us; most people don’t know where it is or so they believe if they can at all believe this idea.

Storytellers can feel time’s place, they know how to get there, how to work in it, how to manage in time. Our incentive is very strong – if we can’t manage time’s place it will not be long before we loose our audience just in front of our nose. While telling you are in time’s place and you learn what to do there. Yes, it does require some suspension of disbelieve but hey, we are good at that and not only when we tell stories.

The workshop leads participants to realize where their time goes as they realize that time goes places that have names. The problem is we usually use time in the wrong place in an unaware way. Just to give you a tiny example from storytelling – if a thousand years have passed, it does not really have to take a thousand years; at the same time if he can see his enemy wink for a split-second it can take at least a minute of two…

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