I know what you struggle with most, trust me I’ve been there too. “How in the hell am I going to accomplish anything when I’m being pulled in a million directions every day.” You think, “of course, I would love to work towards my big goals but I just can’t focus on those right now. I don’t have the time to take on another thing”. I hear you, I’ve said those same words and I’ve felt exactly the same way.
Setting goals and trying to refocus your time and energy on something that you don’t even know is worth your time and energy just seems like a lot of unnecessary effort. If there is one thing you can’t spare right now, it’s time. Plus, work-life balance is important to you, if you cut out all the fun stuff to make time for more work, you will be on the verge of sacrificing your sanity.
What if I told you that I could make time in your schedule, without sacrificing work-life balance?
How to put time back into your schedule:
First, I want you to figure something out. I’m going to give you a list, I need you to take out a piece of paper and a pen. Now, put this list in order from most important to least important.
Family and relationships – (quality time with friends, family)
Health – (gym, meal prep, meditation)
Goals and ambitions – (planning, creating, goal setting, side hustle)
Making a living/ money – (9-5, full-time income)
Fun/ leisure – (social media, TV, going out to dinner)
After you put those in order, I want you to go through your schedule and tell me how much time you dedicated to each category this week.
For example; If you spent time watching tv, out drinking with friends, swiping through social media, etc. add all that time up for fun and leisure.
If you’re not sure how much time you spent on each of these categories, track it for a week. Download this guide and track what you spend your time on. Write down what your daily routine looks like. Pay attention to what you do in your free time. Are you checking social media? Watching TV? Hanging out with friends? You will gain a lot of clarity about how you spend the bulk of your time.
Once you finish tracking your daily activities for 1 week spend some time figuring out which of the 5 categories each activity fits into.
When you’ve categorized how you’re using your time, order this list from what you spend the most time on to the least amount of time on.
Now that you have two lists I want you to compare them-— how are things adding up? Does the first list match the second list? Do your priorities reflect what you are actually spending your time on? If so, yay! You are living your best life according to your values, keep it up!
If not, then you are my friend are prioritizing the wrong things and could implement some new tactics to better prioritize your time.
You’re here because you want to design your best life, but if you are not living according to your values and prioritizing the most important stuff then you’re not living your best life.
If you want to add time back into your schedule this is my advice to you:
Cut out the fat
I have spent hours on the sofa in front of the TV after working my 9-5. I was too “tired to do anything else after work” and “just wanted to rest after a long day” while constantly complaining that I had no time to do anything I really wanted to.
I had a schedule full of things to do but I always seemed to be too busy to get started with them. When I got serious about achieving my goals I looked over my schedule and started figuring out where I could make more time. I realized the place I had the most extra time in my schedule was after work. After I cut out fat in my schedule (TV) and cut back on lounge time, I was able to find the blocks of time to work on my goals, which I now prioritize over fun and leisure.
Find what is sucking up most of your time and see what you can do to cut back on it.You have to start figuring out what truly is a priority. A good place to start is with your schedule and your to-do list. How to Organize your to-do list to get shit done.
Stop wasting time
I knew how hard finding time in your schedule can be especially when there are certain things you know are a waste of time but you can’t cut out. I spend 4 hours a day in the car commuting to and from work 5-days a week. At first, I thought of this as a huge waste of and I felt frustrated because it was unavoidable. I decided that if I was going to be in the car for that long I’d find a way to make the best use of my time. I realized it was a great opportunity for me to listen to books and podcasts on growing a business. This time now contributes to my goals and achievements category because I’m using it to focus on my growth.
If you have those unavoidable time wasters find the best way to make use of that time. You might find that it ends up being a really great time to work on that side hustle you otherwise might not have been able to find the time for.
Every single week I set aside time that I’m going to work on my blog. That way, when that day rolls around and someone asks me if I can go out and get drinks I have to say no, I already have another obligation. I’m not superman I cave sometimes and that’s okay, because when the intention is there I show up for myself way more often.
We treat appointments with ourselves as being flexible, like they’re not as important as a scheduled visit with your doctor or hairdresser. But, you wouldn’t bail on your hairdresser if you were scheduled for some highlights, you wouldn’t let her down like that. Give yourself that same respect. Start showing up for yourself when you say you’re going to. Plan ahead and make it happen.
Focus on what really matters
That’s what this is all about right. If you did the exercise above then you know whether or not you are giving what matters the time and attention that it needs. If designing your best life matters to you, if your goals matter to you, then figure out what you need to do to make more time for what matters. That is your priority. When you start treating yourself and your goals as a priority you won’t have the excuse that you can’t find the time anymore. If it’s truly important you’ll make the time.
A necessary step of designing a life that is balanced and fulfilling is realigning your priorities to fit with your vision of a beautiful life. Have the courage to change what isn’t working, focus on the areas that you want to grow in, and make yourself a priority.