By now you should have a good idea what drives you and what you would want to do to live a more purposeful life. Now, let’s look and how you can “find” the time to actually do it.

We live in hectic times and our most precious commodity is and always will be – TIME.

You can’t grow more of it, you can’t earn it, and when it’s gone you can’t get it back.

How many times have you told yourself that you can’t do something because you don’t have the time to do it? I believe we all do that at times but way too many people do it all the time. We want to live with more purpose, we want to contribute, we want to be of value or we simply want to spend more quality time with our family and friends, but there just never seems to be enough time to do it.

Can you relate?

However, the cold hard truth is that we all have the same 24 hours a day. Some people make millions working part time, other’s have to work 3 jobs to just scrape by. How is that possible when we all have the same time span? The answer is: It all depends on how you spend your time. Yes, you are spending it, like you spend money but contrary to money, which you can make back, time spent is gone forever. It is the only truly limited resource. If push comes to shove, you can find a way to get more of everything else, be it money, friends, or something easy like food. But time, we can’t get back and we don’t get more of. There’s no way to earn a few extra hours. We all work with 24 of them per day. Since they are our most limited resource, we should make sure we use them wisely and intentionally.

So what is the difference between a stressed, rushed and often unhappy person and someone who very successfully works part-time, just as an example? The ones who work limited hours value their life’s time more. They set totally different priorities. They have cut out the time suckers!!!

Instead of mindlessly popping down on the couch after a day at work and drifting off until it’s time to go to bed, I challenge you to think about it before you do. Is this how you want to spend your time? If so, go ahead and enjoy. If there’s something else you want to try, go for it. In other words, start making conscious choices about your free time.

Maybe you decide to go for a walk first or meet up with a friend for a beer before heading to your sofa. Maybe you decide to read a book or have a meaningful conversation with your spouse or children. Maybe you decide to dust off the old board games for some old-fashioned interactive family fun (one of my favorite things!). Pick what makes the most sense to you. Find something purposeful to do with all those extra hours in your day.

You’ll be amazed at just how much free time you have once you stop ‘wasting’ it away. Suddenly there is time for that new hobby you thought you couldn’t get around to. There’s time to work out and strange enough, you still find time to watch your favorite movie. Being intentional and purposeful with your time, particularly during those times of the day when it would otherwise slip through your hands can have a profound impact on your life and your well-being.

We all have these time suckers, things or actions that eat up our time without moving us forward. While the specifics may be different from person to person, the solution is the same for everyone. Find out where you spend your time and then make educated decisions on what’s important and what is not and change it. Easy, right?

I can hear you say: “Wish it was that easy.”

And it is. All you need to do is make a decision to change something. It always starts with awareness followed by a decision.
If you feel overwhelmed and stressed. If you feel you never have time for the good things in life, do yourself the favor of following my advice. It can totally change your life if you let it.

Some years ago I felt so stressed out that I forced myself to slow down. I started a time journal. Every half hour or so I wrote down what I had done since my last entry. Within the very first day, I knew what my problem was. Busy work on my computer like reading emails and following a lot of the links in them. These days, emails are low on my priorities list. it is usually the last thing I do before I switch my laptop off but in the “old” days I could spend the whole day on emails and the rabbit hole they lead me to. What is it for you???

Homework

Start a time journal. it is one of the best tools for figuring out exactly where you’re spending your time. This can be a simple little notebook, a stack of scrap paper, an Evernote doc on your phone, or a spreadsheet on your computer or smart phone. Next start taking note of what you’re doing every 15 minutes from the time you get up to the time you go to sleep. Keep this up for about a week and you will be amazed at what you come up with. Reviewing your time log can be a very eye opening experience.

You may discover that you spent a lot more time on the computer doing busy work, or surfing the web than you realize. One lady, I’ve worked with in my “Implement Today – Finally Get Stuff Done” program sent over 3000 text messages a month. One of my friends is constantly on WhatsApp. Another lady I’ve worked with, who had told me she does not have time to cook healthy meals for her family, was on her sofa all day watching senseless TV shows. She was not even aware of how many hours she spent like that.

Ok, maybe the last one was an extreme example but you probably have some habits that you don’t give much thought to that eat up your time. According to surveys, the average person in the Western World watches at least 4 hours of TV or Netflix a day.  I would say that many spent, even more, time on their mobile devices. In some cases, the commute takes several hours per day and you are already stressed when you get to work because of traffic jams, leaving late etc.

Become aware of what is sucking up your time if you want to have more time to do the things you really love.

How is it possible that Sir Richard Branson can control over 400 companies while living on a tiny island in the Caribbean kite-surfing most days?  How is it possible that someone like Christian Mickelsen, who refuses to work more than 20 hours per week and takes a week’s vacation per month can double the profits of his coaching company and buy two Million dollar homes in just over a year? What do they do differently?

They have different priorities!

We already talked about your values. What do you think are the values of the above-mentioned gentlemen that drive them to live the way they live? Christian Mickelsen is a friend of mine so I know that family is one of his top values. He spends most of his time with his lovely wife and 3 daughters. Richard Branson has fun as one of his top values so he has organized his life in a way that allows him to have lots of it.

What drives you to do what you do?

What drives you to do what you want to do?

How do you organize your day?

How do you spend your 24 hours?

When keeping a time journal, you’ll soon start to recognize patterns of behavior and where you tend to spend your time. While there are quite a few areas that we don’t have full control over (you have to show up for work or school, make time for personal hygiene, eating, and sleep), there are quite a few hours in each day that we can fill however we like. How do you fill yours?

Keeping a time log for a week or two provides you with the information you need to be able to make educated and conscious choices about how to spend that time. That, in turn, allows you to live more intentionally, more purposefully, no matter what your goals and aspirations are. Sometimes, you may want to sleep in, spend the day reading, watch your favorite series on TV, play video games, or simply daydream and that’s ok. It’s a great way to unwind, distress, and recharge. However, if you do that every day…

The point is that when you become aware of how and where you’re spending your time, you have more control over it, can change things around and be more intentional with how you spend your time and with that, how you spend your life.

Do share what your time suckers are. I can give you a whole list of mine 🙂 Share in our facebook group.

Do what matters most to you!

Barbara