You deserve time for you
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could take a ‘life holiday’ and spend months just doing what you love? There’s only one thing that gets in the way: reality.
Life is constantly moving. There are responsibilities, demands, urgent requests and yet more things to add to the to-do list.
But, what if you could find time for the things you truly care about?
There are ten great ways to create more time regardless of how hectic life is.
1. Notice how you’re spending time
One of the most common barriers to spending time on what matters is the belief that there is no time. Life can be very busy but there is often ‘lost time’ that can be recaptured. Lost time is most often found in moments where familiar tasks are completed on ‘autopilot’, when multi-tasking the wrong things or when distractions creep in.
Lost time is regained through consciousness.
Start noticing how you are spending your time. For one week, use this handy time finder to record what you do. The process can be enlightening and simply being conscious of time can encourage you use it better.
2. Reclaim lost time
Looking at your completed time finder, go through the things you did and ask yourself ‘Is this important?’, ‘Do I need to do this?’, ‘Am I wasting time?’ and ‘Could I use this time better?’
Circle the pockets where you are wasting time, for example scrolling on social media or procrastinating while your wait for ‘motivation’ to do what matters.
Add this time up. Just 15 minutes freed could be valuable. More is a bonus.
Over the course of a year, 15 minutes could add up to days of productive activity.
3. Make empty time usable
Look for empty periods of time that could be used productively, for example reading something inspiring and uplifting while waiting for a train or listening to an informative podcast while cooking.
Don’t forget that thinking is productive too.
You could keep a notebook full of questions you need to ask yourself or ideas you need to explore and use empty moments to turn these over in your mind. As ideas come to you, write them down and save them for a time when you can implement them.
4. Cut down on juggling
Does your time finder show you are juggling too many things?
Are you doing things because you ‘could’ or ‘should’ as opposed to because they matter? It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to too many tasks and opportunities then end up overburdened.
Making your true dreams happen is not about cramming more into your life. It’s about giving it focus.
Decide today what you will stop, start and continue doing.
5. Play to your energies
We are all built differently so there is no one perfect way to spend a day. Some find joining the ‘5am club’ is perfect for them because they are motivated in the morning. Others are sluggish first thing, but turn into creative geniuses in the evening. Don’t be swayed by what works for others. Try things out and find out what makes you thrive.
You may also find you’re better at different tasks at different times of day. When are you most creative? When are you most productive? When do you have the energy for tricky tasks? When do you prefer calm and ease?
Try to tailor your routine to how your energy flows at different times of day.
6. Allocate ‘focus’ and ‘flexi’ time
Some tasks, from example writing, planning and working on your dreams, need deep focus. Set aside a suitable block of time for them and avoid letting anything else creep in.
Focus time is precious. Give it your all.
Other tasks, like making phone calls and responding to emails, are more flexible and can be slotted into ‘flexi’ times of day where anything goes.
7. Think ahead
To make the most of your focus time, it helps to plan ahead.
Think about what you’ll need, whether any preparation is required and the order you’ll complete everything. If you know you’ll find it hard to get started, plan a short activity or affirmation that will help you get going.
Most importantly, block that time in your diary and treat it with the same importance as a meeting.
8. Create focus space
Try to have a special space that’s reserved for what you love. It doesn’t have to be a whole room. A desk or corner of an existing space will do. It’s not essential but it will help you a lot. Your mind will come to associate this space with your dreams and it should be easier to switch into the mode you desire, when it’s time.
Make your focus space an inspiring place. Have your vision board somewhere you can see it, keep a favourite notebook by your side, display inspirational quotes and other things that create a positive mindset.
9. Block those distractions
Keep your focus space free of distractions. Turn off your phone or ensure you won’t see or hear notifications. Put anything negative or that causes you anxiety out of site.
If you can’t get quiet, try listening to sounds of nature or music without lyrics to block out distractions.
10. Don’t forget to create headspace
Just as important as having time and a place for what you love is having headspace. Without this, you can have the perfect physical conditions but you won’t be able to focus on what you desire.
If your mind is cluttered and overburdened, spend the first five to ten minutes of your focus time in meditation. Imagine a sky above you and let your thoughts float away like clouds. Then, when the horizon is clear, picture what it is that you desire, what you’d like to create today. Imagine it happening. Imagine how good it feels.
Alternatively, you could try journalling for a few minutes in your notebook and allow all your thoughts to pour onto the page without judgement. Write down any tasks and worries that are niggling at the back of your mind. Then, close your notebook and allow yourself to forget them for a while. You won’t forget. You’ve written them down.
You don’t have to wait for a ‘life holiday’ to do what you love.
Create time and space for your desires so you can enjoy them today.