If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering how you can make the time to to do something.
Maybe its …
- writing a book
- learning an instrument
- learning another language
- learning how to knit
- learning a new technology
- build your business
I’m sure you’ve heard this, but its worth repeating here … we all get the same 86,400 seconds in a day, but its what you do with them that counts. Saying you don’t have time is a myth.
The Tale of Two Schedules
Let’s say there are two people Person A and Person B and they both get up at 5:30am and they both go to bed at 9:30pm. They have until 8am when they have to start their normal “day” (work, kids, etc). Thats two and half hours.
Person A wakes up, grabs their phone and scrolls social media for an hour, or two, maybe goofs off around the house. An hour or so goes by in a flash. They make coffee/tea, and they don’t do much because they know that in an hour or less they have to leave so they don’t use that time that much. They turn on the tv, take an extra long shower, etc an they leave/get ready by 8am.
Person B wakes up, makes coffee/tea, and then works on their creative goals for the remaining hour or two before they hop in the shower, and run out the door to start their day. They might even throw in some reading and meditating in the AM if it fits their lifestyle.
Of course this timeline changes with each persons family, but I’m pretty sure I’m making a clear point here – we have the same amount of time. Its all about how you use it.
But let’s revisit Person A and Person B.
Who do you think is living a more fulfilled life?
Who do you think goes to sleep feeling more accomplished and happy about their life?
Even if you don’t want to admit it, you know it’s person B.
Person A and Person B wake up and go to sleep at the same exact time, but they utilized their time completely differently.
The Social Media Time Sink Trap
Is scrolling social media fun and a way to “check out” and “zone out” at times?
Absolutely, its great for that.
However, it’s also something that can be detrimental to your mental health because it can easily sap all of your free time with its constant stream of dopamine hits? It can leave you feeling awake, yet empty. We’ve all been there.
This isn’t an article about social media, but more about thinking about how you spend your time.
At the time of this writing, many people spend many hours on social media every single day.
In fact, about 3 months ago I had been feeling down about myself and my lack of progress on a few projects. I received my weekly screen time report from iOS and it informed me I was on my phone for an average of 6-9 hours last week. DAMNIT.
I spent 49-63 hours on my phone that week. Thats a full time fucking job.
I could have shipped a new product during that time. I could have reworked half my new consulting book in that time (sign up here to get notified when it drops). But no … I spent it on my phone early in the am and late into the night. Sure, some of it might have been work related or such, but even half of that time spent scrolling mindlessly is absolutely ridiculous.
Then I decided to change.
How I Regained My Focus
I got my focus back and I’ve been shipping products, blog posts, videos and code at a break neck speed again – all while still having plenty of down time to recharge.
How did I do this?
- I removed the quick access to social media apps from my phone (removed them from my home screen)
- I put in screen time reminders to only allow myself 15-30 minutes a day on certain apps.
- I found I spent a lot of time on Instagram. So I followed some accounts that post reminders to “get back at it” and get off my phone.
- I placed reminders on my phone via wallpaper, alarms and so forth to stay focused during specified hours of the day.
- I revisited my schedule and identified areas I could eliminate random blocks of time to become more productive and focused (yet while still allowing for downtime and recharging).
I had also recently read a book “Someday is Today” by Matthew Dicks. Dicks is a school teacher who has written many succesfull books, he does comedy nights and story telling, and more. He’s on podcasts, etc, all while doing his duties as a school teacher, husband and father. How does he do this? He utilizes every free moment. One thing that shifted my perspective was his notion of 10 minutes.
There are many random 10 minute blocks of time through out the day. These can be used to push you towards your goals. You could write 7-10 sentences for your blog or book. You could research a topic you need to look into. You can empty and load the dishwasher. You can fold 1/4 of your huge laundry pile in that time. Once I grasped the concept of utilizing this method my productivity went way up. My house was cleaner, my life felt more organized and I was getting more done towards my goals than ever before.
The reason why I’m telling you this is because previously I felt like I didn’t have the same amount of time that I had before. When in reality I did, but is usage had shifted and my priorities were off. I evaluated what I wanted out of my life, eliminated the unnecessary and reprioritized the things that brought me life and brought me closer to my goals. I naturally felt better about life and everything about it.
The Truth About Pursuing Your Goals
When I write these articles folks think I’m being altruistic about what’s possible and how you should live your life/etc. Thats not the point. Very often I’m here writing this because its something I need to read. It’s something I need a reminder of and writing is the best way to get that out of me. I know that making the time for things that are important are going to improve my life in many ways.
Ultimately, what I’m trying to say in all of this is this …
We all have the time.
But sometimes you have to make the time by taking it from somewhere else.
That’s not an easy decision sometimes. But ask yourself … in one year would you rather be closer to your goal (or have accomplished it) or will you be happy that you binged another season of some random show on Netflix or scrolled social media for 3-4 hours every morning and night?
Personally, I know I’d be much happier having accomplished my dreams and aspirations. I know this from experience.
We all have the time to get things done that we want to get done, we just have to recognize it and utilize it.
Last thing for you to think about …
Have you ever been in a severe time crunch to get something done and you somehow got it done? Yet, initially you thought it was impossible? You likely surprised yourself, and felt very good about yourself. You did it. You beat the odds and you made it happen! This is the energy I want you to harness when thinking about making time.
If you want it bad enough, you’ll make the time to make it happen.
Everything in life takes time. Its all about how you use it. When you feel like you have no time, its time to reevaluate everything and make time. It exists, you just have to find ways to make it work.