One of the things that clients often present to me is this illusion that “there isn’t any time to do anything else!” Remember someone far cleverer than me said that “time is an illusion”? Actually it was Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers guide and he added to that quote “Lunchtime doubly so” but is that really what the successful person has to look forward to? No time and no lunch?
Here I share 6 top tips to spending time where and how you want, so that you aren’t too busy to find time for the things that could change your life and bring you want you really want;
You choose where to spend your time
As scary as this is we have control over where we spend time. When someone says to me “But that has to be done!” I ask “says who?” and then when the client is able to work though well actually this is not on my agenda, this is what someone else has deemed important or I’m so used to doing this stuff first I just got into the habit of assuming this was the best use of my time. People are able to see how they choose to spend time. If every minute was a £1 or a $1 would you choose to use your time more wisely or differently?
In my book I look at our choice of using time. Remember that thing called Christmas Day? No matter what is going on, no matter how busy you are, you make time for it right? Why is that? Because in your head its important. It’s worth investing your time in. It’s something that is done. The whole world seems to stop for it right? Is that all coming from you or from your environment and society too? All these things should help you to see that if your goal was as important and all consuming in feelings and emotions as Christmas Day can be, you’d find a way to get it done!
Learn to say no
In my book I talk about Can you justers, the people that never respect your time and seem to get to success quicker than you. It’s because they know to ask for help (another fear that plagues many of us and features in my book that can be killing your success!) and Can you justers know that by getting other people in on what they consider is important they make time. Now I’m not suggesting you become a Can you justers, (I would suggest you learn to outsource, employ or automate though) although I am suggesting you appreciate that they prioritise themselves. And you need to do the same.This is not you showing a lack of respect for others, this is you showing a growth in respect for yourself.
Working from home can be fraught with can you justs that you create for yourself. “It won’t take 5 minutes to put the washing out, load the dishwasher, etc, etc” The point is every time you leave the task that will get you the results you want in your personal and professional life it takes between 15 and 25 minutes to get back into the flow of working. Just do 3 to 5 little jobs a day. (Or just check Facebook or your emails that many times) and bam you’ve lost over an hour!
Fear of your uses of time
Another reason we don’t use time wisely is because we fear the actions we need to take. Look at your attitude and beliefs about your ability to get the job done, to raise your game and get what you want. Do you believe you can do it? Do you believe it is going to be hard work and tough? If you do believe its going to be tough and beyond your capabilities what is the likely hood of success? Of believing you can achieve it? Of creating anything to do but that because you fear the outcome?
Get clear on what you really want
If you know what you are aiming for, what your long term goals look like and they are so clear you can already feel as if they have been achieved, there’s little that gets in the way. Create a powerful reason why that makes nothing more important than your goals, tasks and actions. Time is yours to command. learn that. Also check out the blog article on my website called The Catherine Wheel Effect. This looks at the impact of being thrown in any direction. You want to get back your lasered focus to get what you want. Be aware of what you want and time becomes a powerful commodity not a guilt ridden procrastination.
Do you forget to sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom?
Well even if you do eventually your body catches up on you! You are made of nature, you are not a robot. Instead of steam rolling through life working stupid hours thinking that is the smart way to success. What about a new approach, where you listen to your body? The day you feel tired, slow down a bit, “I can’t!” I hear you cry. “Really?” I say. Because a body not listened to or respected will prevent you from doing things at the most inopportune moment. Ever noticed how you get ill on holiday? Ever noticed how you have a big day and you feel awful? That’s your body saying “I really wished you listened about a week ago!” By learning to listen to your body more you can also start to tap into your mind more. And by doing this instead of your goals, ambitions and actions been in adversity to your human needs and the natural cycle of you, it will learn to be in-tune with it.
This may seem way out there wacky stuff, but the fact is the person that accepts that it doesn’t matter how powerful a golden hour at 5am is if you are a night owl and your circadian rhythm says “don’t function until after 9 and that still needs caffiene!”, it still won’t be the most powerful way for you to achieve. So start listening!
Ever have your Nan say this to you? I did, and my Mum “But I don’t have time to tidy my room!” “Make time!” was the reply. And its true, time is an illusion, we get to choose every day where we spend time. But be careful of the words you use. Notice the words connected to time? The words make it sound like a commodity that is leaking away all of the time. That is not necessarily so. In some cultures this is not even the real deal remember?
I read a great article in Psychologies by Eleanor Tucker (December 2016 issue) that talked about how in some cultures time is actually cyclical. Think of Spring, to Summer to Autumn to Winter, repeating year on year. (In actual fact I often see clients repeating the same patterns, the same stories, and the same mistakes – cyclical!) By becoming aware of this they are able to change their patterns and adapt a new more productive way of thinking and living. Thus seeing that “I’m not stuck with this, I can change it.” And I would say the same is true with time.
As someone who learnt to be successful in the car industry many years ago. Time was finitely measured. Every bolt that was removed from a bumper added up, mud caked over the wheel arches and rust obstructing the Panel Beaters task? Add .1 of an hour. Because of this I have been able to break down time into tiny bite size pieces every day. It means that I can make time for lunch, to stroke the dog, to hear the birds and still get my important money making, change my life for the better things done first. I can look at my daughter as she whizzes through the door with her mad speed and put my phone down because I know she won’t want a lot of my time, and since there are 1440 minutes in a day why would I begrudge time to the things that really matter? It really is time to know what those things you want are and make time for them isn’t it?
If you liked this my book looks at our choice of words associated with time, Can you Justers and the techniques, even the phrases to use with them, how to say No and how to ask for help, as well as how to understand your true values (Chapter 1 often throws a reader a curve ball!) Mandie Holgate Fight the fear book