Everyone always talks about not having enough time to do the things they want to do and a lot of people say how they’ll have time for those things when such and such happens, or after this event, or once they finish these other things. The problem is, all those other things (or excuses) come and go and then there is just a new list invented as to why the things can’t yet be done. The truth is, the things you do ARE in fact the most important things to you at that time. Its a matter of perspective otherwise and the only time that really matters is NOW. You don’t know how long you’ll be here and most people certainly forget to make the most of it. It takes a near death experience or other life defining moment to trigger most people to wake up and pay attention to what really does matter to them. All those excuses are never going to be things you are happy you did on your death bed if you miss the rest of your dreams and passionate desires. Here is what the translation of complacent behavior really looks like:
- Since you’re always working, its because your jobs does come first before time spent with friends and family.
- Those people you didn’t call back yet to ask how they are doing ARE NOT really more important than the TV shows you’re watching tonight.
- That job change or new career path is something you’re afraid and happy to avoid by staying doing what you’re always doing and complaining about it.
- Going on that special trip or vacation really doesn’t matter as much as having to clean the house and do all that yard work and maintenance.
- Those relationships and friends you wish you had time will still be there in the winter when you have more time.
- Once work slows down, then you’ll spend a little more time with your spouse.
- etc, etc.
You Do What You Choose to Do
The things you do are the things you want to do. And they really are the most important things at that time since you do CHOOSE to do them. Nothing is really forced on anyone and unfortunately, the society we live in puts high expectations and importance on careers, material objects and staying busy with everything one can imagine instead of keeping your time in your life meaningful and spent doing the things that bring you love, peace and joy. Those are lasting qualities of a good life, not your overtime spend, money earned and value of your house.
People love to talk about doing other things, but don’t take any actions to in fact do it. That really means its NOT as important, even though people don’t dare admit it. Who wants to admit that their money, television shows, house, car and internet surfing is more important than loving others and building relationships? Nobody. Problem is, that is often the case until too late in life.
Overcoming “Not Enough Time”
So, how do you deal with the ongoing “Not enough time” problem? Its not as hard as you think but does take some thought, focus and actions to change. I suggest making a list and tracking all the things you do in a giving week. Write done in a notebook or pad of paper the things you do every hour of every day over the course of a week. Add them tally the hours up into the various categories and see how you spend your time.
After you have this week of time records, separately rate each category in order of importance to you in your life. Some of the items might seem disproportionately high compared to your rating. For example, most people don’t rate work very high but then they would rate earning money and caring for family high on the list. Work is part of that so its not just your favorite items, but the things in your life you need to do to ensure you balance the things that are important to you. Just rate everything in your weekly record as best you can!
Next, look at all the hours spent doing activities you could probably live without and not miss. Also what about the items you wish you had time for and didn’t do during the week. Make yourself another list of simple actions for each of the items you truly wish you were doing and aren’t yet. These are simply steps or small time items to work towards those major things you are missing in your life. Maybe its some planning steps for a big vacation, or just a couple of phone calls or letters to old friends or family. Possibly its just taking one hour to do a hobby, sport or activity you love and don’t normally fit it. Find some of those types of actions and set a time to do them, every week, the same time if possible and start this week! These should either fulfill or lead you towards those items you are constantly saying you just don’t have enough time for. Put them on a calendar. Tell your spouse, children, or friends when you’re going to do them and ask them to follow up to find out if you are and hold you accountable to keeping that commitment. Don’t let anything else take that time away, especially the things on your list that you said are not as important.
Make it a Habit
You’ll soon find that its not that hard to make a habit of only doing things that really are important to you and you will probably never miss the other things that you were wasting time on and using as excuses for not getting done what you really wanted. Its amazing how something this simple can transform your attitude and bring pleasure and joy to you each week. Its a great way to understand your desires but it takes some serious honesty in looking at what is important to you. You might also realize that the things you’re doing are really more important to you than those items on your dream list. That’s not a bad thing, and if it is the case, stop fooling yourself with dreams you don’t really want and find the joy in what you already spend your precious time on. Just think about what things you’d choose to do if you knew you were dying, or knew you would loose love ones. Have you really fulfilled your time with important matters and are you satisfied with the time you spend (How are you living your Dash?). Use those criteria in helping prioritize and rate the things actually happening in your life.
Its Your Choice
You make choices every minute of everyday what actions you will take and you do control those things in your life. You can therefore easily make choices to spend your time on the things that matter. So, measure what you do now, decide what you want to do instead, and take some steps to move in that direction. Build on that over time and shift more and more to what you desire doing. Use a buddy or someone else to hold you accountable to new commitments and enjoy new things you make time for.
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