I’ve read your advice on making time, but what if I really DON’T have time?
This makes me smile. While I don’t know the intricacies of your individual situation, in my last post I noted that we are all working with different puzzle pieces. This is the truth. Blanket advice can be a challenge for this exact reason, but I can tell you that in every coaching engagement I’ve had where the phrase, “I don’t have time” has come up, we’ve been able to work through things and squash that thinking.
1. Prioritization is key.
I start with What’s Important. What’s important to you? What’s the MOST important thing to you, right now? This is what we must never lose sight of. The answer to that question may change from one day to the next, one month to the next or one year to the next. That’s OK. But keeping your sights on the answer, no matter how often it changes, and shifting all your actions to support the ‘What’s Important’ list, is how you solve the problem of making enough time.
2. Seriously, seriously examine WHY you don’t have time.
The most challenging time of my life that I can recall, was becoming a single mother to a 4 yr old and a 7 month old while working full time at a new job (with a 1 hr commute each way), after closing the doors on a company I loved.
Emotionally, I was a wreck. Time wise, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to make a great impression at my new job, I needed to be there for my kids - I had no family near that could help.
The first thing that got lost in the shuffle for me was my health. Prior to this moment, I was a super active and quite healthy person. While at first, all my life goings-on were a really legit reason, after a while I realized that I used it as an excuse for a prolonged period of time. It took me 5 years to put my health back into priority. 5 years to realize how important my health for me to hold my shit together. And 4 years to see I had turned a legit reason from one moment in my life, into an excuse that infected years.
Once I realized, I started figuring out ways to change it. If it meant making more money to afford a sitter, I tackled it; if it meant only working out at home for 5 minutes every day until I could figure something else out, I tackled it. I tried dozens of different things until I found something that worked. Once I found a rhythm, I moved my health out of the top spot on my list. It still visits the top of the list from time to time but it no longer leaves the list entirely.
Life will drop bombs. I’ve had jam-packed but beautifully planned days get shot off the rails at 6am. Days where there’s no hope of getting to the list of todos. If you’ve got a method in place that guides you, prioritizing starts to become second nature. Always evaluating what is important RIGHT NOW. Always asking yourself, does THIS ACTION support what’s important? If yes, how quickly can I get it done? If no, how quickly can I get it off my plate. Please note, that by getting it off your plate, I do not mean buying time to do it later. That’s the beautiful art of procrastination. I mean clearing it from your list of future tasks altogether. This is a cycle that takes practice but once you get into the swing of it, things start to fall into place more gracefully. When life knocks you on your butt, get up. Keep going.
They say, it's not what happens to you, it's how you deal with what happens to you. I couldn't agree more.