Everyone wishes they had more time to do things in life. It is simply so short there are always things left undone or not accomplished. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the time you need to do everything you ever wanted? Well, since that is not going to happen, I wanted to explore a way to at least gain some time back so its available to do the right things. That’s by stopping to do things that don’t really matter.
What is in the Way?
Whether your thinking about this from the work aspect or your home life, there are always things seeming to get in the way of you doing what you really want to do. Maybe its taking that vacation with your family, or enjoying some new hobby. Possibly a desire for sports activities, exercise or volunteering. At work, it might be not having time to complete some project, performance review, or new initiative and proposal you keep planning to do. There are just countless things getting in the way slowing you down.
You Choose How You Spend Your Time
So, maybe its time to look at your time spend to see what really is getting in the way. There are often a lot of distractions and things going on that seem like they HAVE to be done but really they are not the things you WANT to get done. Here is where I disagree. I believe the things you do ARE the things you want to do. If you list all the things you spend time on, you may not want to believe those are your most important things to do, but remember you do choose to do them. So, at the moment when you choose to do them, they are the most important thing to you. Every action and choice you make is from some decision based on the pain and pleasure that you believe that choice will lead to.
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Choose What You Want
Its a good idea to examine the time you spend on things and decide what items you can easily do without. Maybe this is wasting time surfing the web, watching TV, cleaning the house, going to meetings you don’t participate in, or just tasks you really don’t enjoy but feel need your attention. Look at each of these and write down what it would mean if you stopped doing them completely or at least as often. Write down both the pain from it and the pleasure caused by not doing it. If you can identify more pleasure in not doing something (like having time to do other things then and being happier since you’re not having to do something you don’t enjoy) and can easily live with the pain its obviously something you can just stop doing.
Just Stop Doing It!
From your list, you can pick the best things to stop doing and decide on a way that you will help to NOT do them. Maybe this is scheduling other tasks in its place, or using reminders to keep aware, or asking others to help you stay away from those activities. Whatever it is you stop doing, just make sure you fill that time doing the things you initially wished you had more time for. Don’t trade one wasted bit of time for another activity that is just as wasteful. Use that time wisely and for the things you wanted to be using it for.
Review your list every week or month since things shift, you may need to look at changing other priorities, tasks and interests to best suite the things you truly want to do. Monitor the activities you’ve stopped doing and continue to look at what is really the most important to you so you are spending your time on the things that matter most.
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