I’m sure you’ve heard it before — you have to make time for the things that matter to you. You have to make more time for your goals, for yourself, for your family, for your home, for your friends…
So just where exactly is all this time coming from and how can we harness it so that it doesn’t slip away?
One of the biggest struggles I have is “finding time” (as if there were more of it out there but it liked playing peekaboo). It seems that once I finish work, look after my daughter, clean the house, cook the meals, wash and fold the clothes and do the grocery shopping, there isn’t a whole lot of it left to work on my personal goals. I mean, who has time to take over the world when they’re up to their armpits in smelly socks and stubborn stains?
But if I can’t find more time (alas, I asked Santa but he says I’m stuck with the 24 hour system), what’s the best way to make the most of the time I’ve got?
After all, if the Richard Bransons of the world are out there starting multiple businesses a month and building their own space shuttles, I should be able to start writing that book I’ve been promising myself for years, right?
You all know I harp on about the importance of baby steps, and how starting small builds momentum. (It always amazes me how many people think that if they’re not able to get somewhere in great big giant leaps, it’s not worth moving at all.) So should we say, for example, “I’ll spend 10 minutes a day working on this”? Because surely we can find just 10 minutes in the 1,440 allotted to us each day. No?
The problem is that most of us don’t make those things a priority. We leave them ’til last. We tell ourselves those 10 minutes will magically appear at the end of the day when everything else is already taken care of. And, not only that, but we imagine we’ll be filled with energy and enthusiasm, not weary and jaded from the long day that’s just passed.
The reality is that the time either never comes or, when it does, we’re so worn out from everything else we’ve been doing that we just don’t have the mental or physical capacity to deal with it.
So instead of waiting for more time to come around, we need to block it out. We need to treat it like an appointment. Tell me, when was the last time you apologised to your doctor for missing a check-up because you were just too busy watching another episode of your favourite TV show? Precisely.
Appointments only work if there’s a time and date attached to them, so do that for yourself. If there’s something you want to do and you just haven’t got around to it, schedule it. Give it a time, date and, if necessary, a location. List all the things you’ll need beforehand and gather them together.
And forget about rain checks. Appointments like these are almost impossible to get, so giving up your space now would mean waiting several more months for the next available slot. No, this appointment is unmissable — you must keep it at all costs. Do what it takes to ensure you don’t forget — write it in your diary, set an alarm on your phone, leave a reminder somewhere you’re bound to see it, hire a babysitter — and be ready for it when the time rolls around.
Treat yourself with the same amount of respect you give your doctor, dentist, clients, hairdresser, your kid’s kindergarten teacher, etc. Hell, we even treat the pizza delivery guy better than ourselves, dropping everything as soon as that doorbell rings! You wouldn’t waste someone else’s time, so don’t waste your own.
Your time is precious. It’s a limited resource and, once it’s gone, it’s never coming back. You won’t find more of it, but you can allot the time you do have to the things that will make it all worthwhile.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a 3 o’clock with myself. 😉
To learn more about how you can increase your productivity to get the most out of your time, check out my e-course, the Productivity Power Up. To see the full curriculum of everything you’ll learn, and to watch a free preview of the introductory module, click that pink link and then, when you’re ready to start achieving things you never thought possible, go ahead and sign up.
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