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.
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.
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.
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.
- Don’t Say “I don’t have time” – say it is impossible (if it truly is) or say you choose to do other things
- Write a Personal Mission Statement – what kind of life do you want to live
- Plan Your Week – Schedule the “big rocks” to make sure your life is in balance
- Wake up and enjoy your life right now
Do you have a method for managing your time? Do you plan your weeks? Any apps or tools you have found especially useful?