Making Plans and Achieving Goals

Stop Saying “I Don’t Have Time”

Stop Saying “I Don’t Have Time”

Time is a beautiful thing.  No matter your income, race, or gender we all get the same 24 hours per day.  We may never have income equality but we will always have time equality.  (Unless that cheesy Justin Timberlake movie, In Time, becomes true.)  Which means that you need to stop saying “I Don’t Have Time”.  You do have time you are just making different choices.

Choices

Theresa and I will catch each other if we hear the other person say “I don’t have time”.  Then we will usually rephrase whatever we just said to something along the lines of “I’m not going to because I’m choosing to do xyz instead”.  This is what most people mean (even if they don’t know it) when they say “I don’t have time” or “I can’t”.  It may seem like a small difference but acknowledging that you have a choice is empowering.

The number one excuse for why people don’t work out is not enough time.  99.99% of the time this is a laughable excuse.  If CEO’s and Presidents of Country’s can find time to work out I’m thinking you can too.  Recognize that instead of spending your lunch at Salsa Fresh you could knock down a shake and workout for 45 minutes.  Instead of staying up till 11:00 watching your shows you could go to bed at 9:00 and workout at 5:00 in the morning.

Even if it is something ridiculous don’t say you can’t or don’t have time.  Say it is impossible but only if it really is impossible.  Like working out 25 hours per day.

My Balancing Act

I recently started getting that feeling of there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  This is an illusion as more is almost never the answer.  It is usually a focus problem or a balance problem.  I took some time to look at how I was spending my days.  I realized I was spending most all of my free time working on the website.

When you are first starting a blog it is very easy to start chasing views.  You end up putting in more and more hours.  Trying to write more, comment more, post more, tweet more, like more, etc…  I use to roll my eyes at people when they said blogging was a full-time job but I get it now.  There is always more work that could be done when trying to grow your website.

I decided to take a short break from the blog and twitter and spend some time reevaluating how I want my life to fit together.  I spent some time with one of my favorite planning books First Things First by Stephen Covey.  It always feels good to get your mission statement refreshed and review all of your roles and goals in life.

Your Personal Mission Statement

The most important thing is getting ultra clear on what you want out of life.  I wrote about 6 mission statements over the last month but ended up with a rather short simple one.

To live an exciting life. To be present in the here and the now. To appreciate every moment as an opportunity to love, learn and laugh. To have the courage to act on my dreams.

It is very easy to get focused on the past or the future and forget about what is going on NOW.  When you are always thinking about what’s next or what you wish you would have said you aren’t living in reality.  This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t set and achieve goals it just means to enjoy the process along the way.

Weekly Planning

The best investment of time that I can make for myself is spending 30-60 minutes planning the coming week.  Personally, I don’t plan every minute out I simply plan for the important stuff.  The big rocks as Stephen Covey calls them.  These are usually the important but not urgent things.  These are the activities that can change your life but aren’t urgent.  For example this week I made a date with Theresa to meet at a park for lunch.  Without planning that doesn’t get done.  You just end up saying “we should do that someday”.

The weekly planning also offers some perspective for the week.  It gives me the opportunity to make sure I’m not out of balance only working on the website and not my family.

Once my planning is done I’m able to enjoy myself and live in the present moment free of stress.  Okay not free of stress and not totally in the present but it makes a huge difference.  It is kind of like how spending an hour reviewing your financing and your budget gives you a sense of freedom.  You don’t have to spend energy constantly thinking or worrying about money because you know it is on track.

Going Forward

I plan on taking a little different approach to blogging going forward.  Instead of committing to doing a certain number of tasks each week I’m going to set aside a certain number of hours each week.  The plan is to start at only 5 hours.  5 hours is not much time but I’m always amazed at how much I can do when pushed by a deadline.

I applaud all the other writers out there who can pump out so much great content every week especially while raising kids and working full time.  My hats off to you.

Key Points

  1. Don’t Say “I don’t have time” – say it is impossible (if it truly is) or say you choose to do other things
  2. Write a Personal Mission Statement – what kind of life do you want to live
  3. Plan Your Week – Schedule the “big rocks” to make sure your life is in balance
  4. Wake up and enjoy your life right now

 

-Grant

Do you have a method for managing your time?  Do you plan your weeks?  Any apps or tools you have found especially useful?



8 thoughts on “Stop Saying “I Don’t Have Time””

  • “When you are first starting a blog it is very easy to start chasing views. You end up putting in more and more hours. Trying to write more, comment more, post more, tweet more, like more, etc… I use to roll my eyes at people when they said blogging was a full-time job but I get it now. There is always more work that could be done when trying to grow your website.”

    You’re telling me! I only post 2x per month, do a little blog technical maintenance, respond to my reader comments, and leave comments on other interesting blogs posts like this one. And I’m barely keeping up even though I’m FIREd and have plenty of spare time! 😯

    I have no idea how other bloggers post 12x per month and work a full-time job.

    Sounds like you have an excellent plan by time-boxing the hours you spend on your blog! Stay after it!
    Mr. Freaky Frugal recently posted…Books for free!My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and the compliment 🙂

      I’m not really sure how others do it. I suspect some combination of not sleeping, blogging at work and just in general, being a faster writer than me.

      It is a fun project though and writing has always been part of my morning routine long before I had a blog.

  • Hey Grant,

    This is very well said. I spend so much of my time saying “I don’t have time” or focusing on the future and what I want. I’m a chronic complainer.

    So, I appreciate your words here because they resonate deeply with me. It’s all things I know I “should be doing” but I’m not actually doing them.

    I love Covey’s stuff, so I’ll figure out that personal mission statement. My wife has also suggested that I begin journaling. I know John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire suggests that often.

    I can also appreciate working on finding time to blog and work on the business. You can really get sucked in by wanting to pump out more content and obsessing over pageviews and followers. It’s addicting almost.

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

    Dave
    Dave @ Run The Money recently posted…6 Incredibly Useful Productivity Hacks to Start TodayMy Profile

    • Hey Dave,

      I’m not sure why it is so ingrained in almost all humans to always being wanting and thinking about the future. We suck at just living in the moment.

      The mission statement for me is kind of living document but it does help give some big picture perspective. I have always had one but I do have periods where I don’t read it regularly and I will always kind of fall into a funk when that happens for too long.

      Thanks for stopping by Dave!

    • Thanks for sharing. These blogs are a bit addictive in that there is just always more that can be done. It is a fun process but without balance it is unsustainable and unscalable. Good luck growing this over at Millennial Boss it looks like a great blog.

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