How to find more time has been a bit of a quest for the holy grail of modern life, well before the added challenges we’re facing today. But it is possible to find time. We manage to find a way to meet the new grandbaby, take a dream trip, or book a necessary medical procedure, no matter how busy we are. But how can we apply that day to day?
The last 2 years of the pandemic and all the ways it’s affected our daily lives has really had an impact – so first, we each need to give ourselves a break. The way to get through this is to ground ourselves by creating deeper meaning and order in our own lives. Getting clear on true priorities, based on our values, then making room for them goes a long way in staying centered in the midst of it all.
Either way, how do you find the time to do what you need to? We all have the same 24 hours to work with. Some manage it well. You can be one of those people. How?
We can make time for what’s important if we stop giving it away to what’s not.
Take a pause here. Let that sink in.
How To Find More Time
Write down a list of where you misspend your time. Let yourself think on this for a good while, so the less obvious ways will arise. Be really honest here, because it’s this list that will empower you to create a more rewarding life.
- Constantly checking emails and texts
- Meaningless scrolling through Social Media
- Over-watching TV (rehashed news stories, games or sports)
- Overdoing anything to excess- shopping, eating, sleeping, cleaning
- Doing low priority items as a way of putting off important ones
- Falling down a rabbit hole on the internet
- Unnecessary meetings, or poorly run ones
- Saying ‘yes’ to too much – especially to social “obligations”
- Lack of priorities or of keeping them top of mind daily
- Doing for others what they can (and should?) do for themselves
- Trying to do it all, perfectly
The last two are time killers indeed.
Now that you’ve located some real time wasters, the good news is, you can create your own solutions!
Make room for a brainstorming session- even if you have to drive to some park bench to get it. Take one item at a time and come up with practical ways to solve the time waster. Take into account both behavior changes and internal drivers – how your thinking may need to shift, and that you may need to inform some people that changes are afoot. This makes it all easier to change.
Improve Work Habits
We kind of fell into our habits with emails, texts and social media… and now they contribute to the countless interruptions to our day. So it is totally accomplishable to walk into new habits to restore some order, focus and productivity. Set times to check email and texts, ie: for the first half hour at your desk, then just before or after lunch, and again an hour before you leave.
Explore your notifications and sounds on all your devices. Set up a special ring for the emergency ones, and learn how to turn all others off so you take the lead, rather than every ping yanking you out of where you need to be.
Follow by blocking time for uninterrupted work. People will get to know that you don’t answer your phone for personal calls until lunch time (or while driving, or on Sunday mornings for that matter). If you have to, tell the 5 people who expect an immediate response to non-essential texts that you’re shifting how you do things.
Curate Your Consciousness
Become aware of what goes into your head each day – news, music, relatives, clients, bosses and their needs or problems, plus your own inner commentary on it all. When it all is too much, why not decide to watch only funny movies, or read rom coms instead of the new White House tell all? It’s OK to protect your psyche!
Scale Down Social Media
A big part of consciousness curation is your social media habits. Is it time to go through your friends list on FB, Twitter, IG, etc and let go of who you don’t really know, or whose been a bit of a drag? Be thoughtful about it, Maybe you can’t just delete a cousin without issue, but check your privacy settings. You can hide their posts for some time, or make a list of FB of what friends can’t see your posts.
If you are going to spend some time scrolling each day, you might as well se and hear things that raise your serotonin, feeds your hope and strength, teaches you something or brings joy. It can still be a sink hole but at least your feed will be positive.
Go down your list and add at least one solution to each time waster till you complete the list. Don’t expect to shift it all overnight. It took time to make the habits, so give yourself a little time to make new ones. Keep this front and center and keep working at it. If you see it as the way to spend more time on who and what really matters to you, you will succeed!
As you enter the new year, now is a great time to make meaningful changes. I offer private coaching sessions and can partner with you to help you live your best life.