Two of the all-time biggest reasons or excuses people use when it comes to not living a life of passion and fulfilment are:
Time and money.
We’ve heard this over and over again. Make time for the things that make you happy and for people you love. Time flies and you don’t want to look back one day with a regret. I sometimes wonder why we get voluntarily overwhelmed by the things that don’t even matter.
Urgent is not important
People often think that everything urgent must be important. But it’s not. You don’t need to be everywhere. You don’t need to solve every problem someone involved you in or fight the battle you don’t even care about.
Have you ever said or thought phrases like these
If I just had more time in the day then I’d make it work, but my life is so jam-packed!
I just ran out of time to get it done.
I don’t have time right now.
What “I Don’t Have Time” Really Means
We all have the same amount of time in a day. It is one of the few things that actually puts us all on an equal playing field! So why is it that there are some people who seem to be able to achieve more?
Well the answer is actually quite simple: whenever any of us say “I don’t have time,” what we really mean is:
“It’s just not a priority for me right now.”
Becoming aware of this statement will become a massive wake-up call—just like it was for me. Because all of a sudden you will interrupt your normal way of being, thinking and doing—which for many of us means being caught up in constant excuses.
Changing your language is one of the fastest ways to change your life. So try out some of these replacement phrases and see how it feels to get real:
I don’t have time to work on my passion = My passion isn’t a priority right now
I don’t have time to exercise = My health isn’t a priority right now
I don’t have time to meditate = My mind balance isn’t a priority right now
Now, of course, it might actually be that these things (for example, passion, health, meditation, etc.) are important to you, but you just actually aren’t making them a priority, because you’ve been entertaining an old and familiar conversation in your head. You have been giving the “I don’t have time” thoughts all the attention and power.
When you start to change the conversation in your head, you’ll be taking the first step towards living in alignment with your highest priorities.
I don’t have time to work on my passion—becomes—My passion is a priority and I will do 5 minutes tonight toward it.
I don’t have time to exercise—becomes—My health is a priority and I will do 5 squats right now.
I don’t have time to meditate—becomes—My mind balance is a priority and I will take 3 deep, mindful breaths to prove it
How to Magically Make More Time for Yourself
1. Start (Super) Small
With any habit change, it’s really important to start as small as you can. Getting into that first phase of momentum can be challenging as you’re used to doing things the “old” way. It can be somewhat comfortable. Because although our tendency is to shoot high and go all out from the outset, it’s often not sustainable, and can be seriously deflating when you don’t meet your goal.
2. Get Clear on What You Actually Want
Before you can move from where you don’t want to be (and work out how to create more time to get there), you have to know where you actually want to go (or at the minimum identify some place different than where you are now). Take some time to figure this out. What is your passion?
And although we are almost 4 months into the year, you can still create some 2022 goals and action items before the year’s out.
3. Ask Yourself “What Am I Actually Scared of?”
Time is an excuse. Usually people use it because they are scared of something else.
Is it failure, success, being unsure of yourself, not believing you are worthy?
Get super curious about what the time excuse is a cover for—and you will not only magically make more time for yourself, but you’ll also create more power for yourself.
4. Use the “In Between” Time
We have so much “in between” time in our days. Waiting in line, waiting on hold on the phone, waiting for the kids to come out of school, or for your boss to show up at the meeting. Start using these micro times to work on your passion projects. You’d be surprised how much five minutes of consistent daily action gets you.
5. Stocktake the “Wasted” Hours of Your Day
So many of us fill our days with unnecessary tasks that actually progress us nowhere. Is it TV, gossiping, scrolling the social networks, lunch breaks at work, etc.?
Whatever it is for you, take stock of it, and either cut it out or make better use of it. Remember, is this really a priority for you?
6. Start Saying NO
You need to have boundaries in your life. If you cannot say NO, other people’s priorities will sneak into your day and become your priorities.
Do you offer to help others out because you feel obligated instead of honoring your own priorities? Do you find yourself doing “busy” work that can wait (cleaning the house endlessly, doing chores) because they give you a feeling of getting somewhere?
I think a good question to ask is: What is this at a cost to? Because by saying yes to something, you are by default saying no to something else you might rather (and perhaps should rather) do. And saying no to something means you are able to say yes to something really important.
Release your need for control. Most people have this insane need to control everything in their lives. Don’t worry, most of us have suffered from this once upon a time, too! But you can find people around you that actually love the things that you despise. What a great match that is!
Just make sure that when you are delegating to that person, they actually want or enjoy the thing you are asking. If it is in a home setting, perhaps you need to have an open and frank conversation with the other people you live with.
For many of us who claim to have no time, it’s simply poor management of that time. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking “If I don’t do x-y-z, then nobody will do it!” Let go of some tasks that are mundane or drain you and ask for help!
Time Is Your Most Precious Resource
You can always get more stuff—more money—but no matter how much you accumulate, you cannot write a check at the end of your life and purchase more time! Time is constantly ticking. There is no reverse switch, and the decisions you make about how to spend your time will largely determine the quality of your life.
So are you ready to stop fooling yourself that you don’t have time to do what matters to you? Are you ready to live a life that you love and to take the small steps towards making it happen? Are you ready to start treating time as the precious and finite resource it is?