A common theme among my coaching clients is the feeling of a ‘lack of time’. And really, feeling is too fleeting a word. It seems to be an ever-present, weighty mindset that consumes a lot of energy in already booked up lives.
And it’s completely understandable given the demands, expectations and distractions of the modern world. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time (pun fun) to look at how you spend and think about your most precious resource. Here are some ideas to help you soften that four-letter word (t i m e) and create more space in your life.
Do what you want… a bit differently
Maybe there’s something you’d love to do, but don’t have the time right now. For example, you really want to go back to Uni to study architecture. Don’t stop pursuing this interest, just approach it differently. Perhaps you could begin with a short course online, find some great books and podcasts or join a meet up group. If you’d love to complete a half marathon, but don’t have time for the training, how about training for a fun run? Maybe you’d love to mentor people in your industry, but don’t have time for a continuing commitment. Perhaps you could offer a one-off session every couple of months.
Out with old habits, in with more time
Social media and TV series. They’re there to be enjoyed and certainly should be. But, remember who’s running the show. If you’re spending too much time scrolling, think about how you could change this habit. It might be by moving your phone to another room and not using it from a certain time. Or capping the time spent on it. For example, enjoying your Instagram feed for 15 minutes at 7pm. And consider using social media in a way that adds value to your life, rather than wastes your time. For example, valuable use might be staying connected to friends and family overseas or learning marketing strategies for your small business. To maximise your free time with friends, family and experiences, perhaps enjoy a Netflix bite – rather than binge. Some great comedies are only 22 minutes!
Forget the fuss
Finding the perfect product can consume a lot of your time. Do you really need to drive through three suburbs to buy a French Brie for guests? Is it necessary to go to a shopping centre on a Saturday to pick up accessories for your beach trip? Unless you enjoy the process, simplify how you get what you need (online, close to work, locally or borrowed) to conserve your energy and buy yourself more time.
Be here, right now
You’ve heard it in songs, seen it on tank tops, and read the titles again and again in bookstores. The sentiment is hard to deny – nothing is more important than the here and now. Life’s finite and things can change in a moment. Remembering this can be a powerful way to become more present with the people, places and activities that bring you joy. And speaking of joy, are you doing enough of the things that light you up? Write down a few things you love to do; and a few things you’d like to try. Then schedule them in over the next few weeks. You might need to stop, change or shift something else to fit these happy bursts in, but making time for these experiences will enhance your wellbeing, expand your world and feel like time well-spent.