Stop BSing Yourself – Make Time!

March 31, 2019  |   Values   |     |   0 Comment


One of the most common explanations I hear from friends, family and those I work with is that they are not accomplishing what they say they want to accomplish because there simply isn’t enough time to do it. At the risk of annoying you, I say nonsense!! This is the lie we tell ourselves to justify why we are not doing what we say we really want to do.

From the moment we arrive on earth, a day is 24 hours. We all have the same amount of time in a day to choose what we do with that time. Those that really want something to happen make it happen. They make time for what they want to accomplish, they don’t try to find time!

Trying to find time is a recipe for failure. Making time requires a trade-off; what are you willing to give up today to accomplish what you want in your future? Want to achieve a post-secondary degree while you work full time to pay the mortgage and feed the kids? Making time for this means seriously assessing what you can give up in the short term to gain the time necessary for studying, attending classes, etc. Want to run a marathon? Making time for this means assessing what you need to give up to make time to train for running a marathon. Want to eat healthier? This will require time for planning healthy meals as opposed to stopping at the fast food joint on the way out in the morning or on the way home at dinner time.

The question is not can I do it; the question is what am I willing to trade off in order to accomplish what I say I want?
Telling ourselves there is not enough time is a cop out. Do you make time to watch TV, watch videos, talk or text on your phone for hours with friends, go out for dinner three times a week, etc.? There is nothing right or wrong with any of these choices, but, if you want to take on something new you have to make time for it and that means some form of a trade-off. I recall writing graduate papers at midnight because I worked full time, lived in a one bedroom apartment (I had no office of my own) and that was when I could make time to get the work done with the least amount of interruptions. I would catch a few hours of sleep between 8:00pm and midnight and trade off social activities (time) during this period of my life because I wanted that degree and was willing to give up the social time to get it. Was it hard? Sometimes – but I have to say it wasn’t always hard because I wanted the degree more than I wanted what I gave up. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

For me it is always a case of wanting something more than that which I must give up. The option is status quo.

If you want different results, change what is not working for you. You are getting the exact outcomes you should get given the practices you currently have in place.

Here are some tips for ‘making’ the time you need to achieve your goal…

Document – For one week write down everything you do and how long it takes. Even if it is lying on the couch playing video games, note how long you did this for and write it down. Went for a mile run twice that week, document how long were you out there? How long did it take you to get ready, etc.? Write it all down.

Assess –What is the minimum time you think you need to commit to the project you are going to take on (your new goal)? For example, I am writing a book and I have committed a minimum of 5 hours a week to accomplish this work. After assessing my week’s documented time, I know I can find at least five hours a week to move this project forward. I have decided I will do 2 hours committed time on Mondays and Fridays and one hour on Wednesdays. I can make more time if I want to, but at a minimum I am committed to these five hours.

Know what time of day is best – When is your best time to accomplish what it is you are making time to do? For me it is in the morning. I write best in the morning; I am not tired, my brain is at its best, and I can get more done than if I were to write in the afternoon (I am less energized and creative in the afternoon hours). Be sure you know when you are at your best to do the thing that you are making time to do and commit your minimum hours to that period in a day.

Life happens – No matter how well we plan, shit happens and sometimes things come up that interfere with my committed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday writing schedule. Knowing this requires that I be flexible in those rare occasions, but no matter what I never do less than my five committed hours a week….I am committed to that…but, if I need to shift due to the odd interruption in this planned schedule, I am prepared to do that.

Don’t wait –
There will never be more time. We must make the time we need to create the life we want. If not now, when?

All we really know we have for sure is right now! We cannot guarantee what tomorrow will bring so I urge you – no matter what your dream is don’t wait – DO IT NOW!

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