“I don’t have the time! I’d do it if I had enough time!” That is the internal lament, the theme song of those with full days who wish they could somehow get more done or fit in one more thing.
Well, time isn’t the issue… pause and reflect, keep a time log if you have to but add up all those idle moments, the in-between moments, the wasted moments (either non-productive or un-enjoyed) and let’s not forget the time you spend parked on your couch in front of the “one eyed god” all too many of us worship. And add in the other “screen time” spent surfing the web or on social media on laptop, smart phone, or tablet.
Tremendous hours, right? Well, if you are happy with it, terrific. If not, if you want more, read on!
Priorities: Every yes is a no. Given any limited resource, every time you acquiesce to one thing, you are implicitly saying no to another. If you wish to gain control over your time (i.e. your life) you must be crystal clear about what is most important to YOU and make sure that when you say yes (often out of habit or without really being aware) you are saying yes to what is most important to you. I’ve written many blogs on goal setting/life planning, many resources exist free online.
Organization: Plan your days, think through your week, know your month, have a strategy for your year. Most folks overestimate what they can do in a day and vastly underestimate what focused effort can accomplish in a year. Know your personal rhythms: my best time for journal writing/reflection/introspection are the early morning hours. My car now tells me I spend over an hour a day driving; I fill that time w CD’s (Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and Stephen Covey are all favorites as is Eckhart Tolle).
Energy/Motivation: So easy when you want to, so hard when you don’t. By the end of the normal work day, I’m often tired but by setting goals and planning, I usually find the energy to continue onward with activities that are enjoyable AND enriching versus succumbing to passive entertainment or ending up at happy hour. I plan exercise after work (Racquetball! I don’t always “feel” like it after a hard or long day but because I’ve made a social engagement, I soldier on and when that ball comes at me, my competitive juices kick in) and surprise, surprise I end up refreshed, rejuvenated, and re-energized afterwards, no longer tired! If you wait until you “feel” like it, you will accomplish little. Start and you will be delighted how often within a few minutes you’ve gotten “in” to whatever activity or task you’ve set for yourself.
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg, 1878-196, won three Pulitzer Prizes
“If you want work well done, select a busy man — the other kind has no time.” – Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, (Died aboard Lusitania, torpedoed by Germany during WWI)
“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.” – William Penn, 1644- 1718, founder of Pennsylvania
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier