Time Racket

How To Tame Your “Time Racket”?

What is a “Time Racket”? I noticed this one sneaking up on me lately – and I’m curious whether you can relate to it. Let’s look at what a “Time Racket” is and how to tame it.

Here is the link to the curriculum of Landmark Worldwide’s Forum.

I’m Curious

Does the time racket sneak up on you at times? How do you tame it?


Greetings, Dr. Stephie here. In this nugget, I want to talk to you about how to tame your “time racket.” What the heck is a “time racket?” Isn’t that something you play ball with, like tennis or pickleball? But no, the racket I’m talking about here is different. 

Landmark Worldwide put forth this concept. I’m on their website here. The concept of “rackets” is part of the Landmark Forum’s course syllabus. 

The Concept of “Rackets”

The idea of the racket is “an unproductive way of being or acting that includes a complaint that something shouldn’t be the way it is. Often we don’t notice that while our complaint may seem justified, even legitimate, there is a certain payoff, some advantage, or benefit we are receiving that reinforces the cycle of behavior. At the same time, this behavior has steep costs: 

  • Vitality
  • Affinity
  • Self-expression
  • Sense of fulfillment. 

An Example

An example might be that some people, for example, like to say, “I’m right!” and maybe there are a lot of times, right. Insisting that they are right gives them a benefit. Namely, they feel, “Hey, I’m right, I’m good. Even maybe better than other people,” but at the same time, that can damage their relationships. That’s the cost. 

It says here on the website, “By recognizing this pattern and its cost and how we have been keeping the pattern in place, we have a choice to interrupt the cycle and discover new ways of interacting that lead to new levels of happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment in areas that are most important to us.”

I learned about rackets several years ago, quite a few years by now. It struck me suddenly that there is also such a thing as a “time racket,” which goes like this. “I don’t have time. By you requesting me to do XYZ thing, I’m getting behind on ABC thing.” 

It is an unproductive way of being, especially if you say this in your head, or maybe even out loud, over and over again. The reality is, yes, we have 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are all equal in that. We have some decisions to make about what we put on our plate. 

It is also true that sometimes the things that fall off the cliff don’t just fall off the cliff because some other project demands your attention. It could be that you’re doing something that feels easier than something that feels a little harder. You could be working on a creative project (which you love doing) instead of reaching out to people about creating new opportunities or getting referrals (let’s assume you find it harder to do). 

I’ve noticed lately that the time racket snuck up on me. 

I’m Curious

Did that ever happen to you, and how can we tame that? The first thing is, of course, awareness. Let’s call it what it is. It’s a racket; it’s unproductive. It may have some legitimate background backing you in what you’re saying. Yes, somebody really is demanding your time. But ask yourself: Is that the only thing at work here? Is it helping your relationships, and is it helping the various tasks on your plate? The repeated complaining would then be replaced with strategic planning where you say, okay, “I have this much time for this. I have this much time for that and will do them in this order.

Of course, I have to adapt if things go differently than planned. 

How does this apply to you? I’m curious. Please let me know.