We all have a large list of things we need to do and we always seem to always be short on time.
There are business matters like client calls, marketing and social media. Then there are (hopefully) friends, family time and social life that need to be attended to. Not to mention errands like groceries, bills and cleaning. Plus, we need time for personal growth and development. With such a large number of things to do there never seems to be enough time for all of them.
But how would it feel to accomplish all the work for the day and still have time for friends, personal development and sleep? How would your life be different? Would it be more enjoyable and productive?
What you can try
There are a few things you can do to get there. Surprisingly, it is not that hard to do. It just needs a bit of attention.
First thing to do is to figure out what truly matters to you. Is it your business? Is it learning to sing? Is it your friends and family? These are the things that will take priority among everything else.
Being specific will add more clarity. “Having a profitable business” is not specific enough. Is it $10k per month that you want to make? Is it $50k? What are you going to do with all that money? Is it that you want to travel 5 times a year? Is there a cause you want to support?
Don’t limit yourself to just one or two areas. Think of several spheres of life: relationships, personal development, physical health, etc. Are some areas more important to you than others? You can even try ranking them. Since we rarely think about these things, figuring them out is the first step in finding time for things that matter.
Take a step back and think about your work, goals and priorities. Think of what you want to accomplish in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. Is it a large bank account? Is it learning a new language? Is it traveling to 10 new countries? It may be hard to think of all such things in one sitting. So take your time. Take a few days or weeks. Don’t force it and sleep on it if you can’t decide between the two. If it is on your mind you will definitely come up with something.
Why we never reflect
With our hectic schedules we don’t take enough time to think and reflect. We are always busy. Then there is short attention span, constant online connectivity and the desire for immediate gratification. Without much thinking and reflecting we continue to do things that we always used to do. Occasionally we learn something new and jump straight into it without thinking whether it will change anything. We never take time to think why we continue doing certain things.
Once you are clear about your priorities and goals you can then figure out how to get achieve them in the most effective way.
Some activities just do not move you forward even though they feel productive. It is things like too much time spent researching or perfecting a blog post. Answering endless emails also does not always contribute to getting things done. This is why it is important to find activities that get you the most result in the shortest period of time. For example, writing an extended skyscraper post with expert opinions will get you more audience than writing 5 blog posts. Such activities save you time and effort.
Don’t forget personal development
It is important to get business priorities figured out. However, personal development is equally important. We don’t do much about personal development. We tend to blame such things as busyness or lack of energy. Personal growth is pushed back behind all the business matters. But the time goes by and nothing changes. We continue to be busy, this time pursuing bigger goals. Personal development is still not a priority. What ends up happening is while we accomplish our business goals very few personal goals are achieved. 3 years later the only major accomplishment is a large bank account.
Who says that work and professional achievements should take priority in life? Aren’t we building a business partially because we want more time for ourselves? Why does achieving those goals have to come at the cost of other parts of life? With the society that values hard work and achievements we don’t attribute enough importance to personal goals. That should be changed.
We also think that we will do all the fun things once we “get there”. We will travel when we make X thousands of dollars per month. We will sleep when we retire. For some reason we think that there is plenty of time to do all the things we wanted. But we are not getting younger. We also waste a lot of time on things like Facebook or TV. Toxic relationships that we tend to get into take a lot of time. We are okay with spending time on Facebook or Pokemon Go but we are busy for things that really matter.
Look back at your life and think how many times you have dropped the ball. That time when you got excited about something but never followed through. Do you think that if you continued, even once a week, you would’ve been much better at it right now? So by now you would have had several years experience doing that something.
You don’t need to be absolutely committed in order to see progress. In fact, such a commitment is what often causes people to drop the ball. We often think that we need to spend an hour at the gym or not do it at all. And it has to be on a regular schedule. But that’s so hard to do, especially if you’re just starting out. We don’t allow ourselves any leeway and that ruins all the motivation. Working out once or twice a week over 2 years will get you much further than spending 2 hours every other day but then stopping after 3 months.
I don’t believe that we don’t have time. Of course we have 40 minutes twice a week to do that something we like, be it board games, socializing or taking pottery classes. We just don’t make time for it since other things take priority. But should they have such a priority? Think about it.
Once you figure out what truly matters for you, many other things will immediately become less important. Being straight with your priorities saves you a lot of time and effort. You can finally start doing things that get you forward. And because of this significance you will now start making time for them.
Now over to you!