Is there a little voice in your head that seems to repeat “I don’t have enough time to get everything done” or “I wish I had more time to do other things”? We always want and need additional time, yet if time is the one thing that is equal to all, why do other people seem to accomplish more? Why can’t we get done what we want to in the time we have available?
Now first, I want to tell you that I struggled with time for years. I was constantly late for everything (just ask my supervisors when I worked in corporate or my family). I didn’t mean to be late; it just happened I never had enough time to get ready, to arrive on time, to be prepared. Time was my enemy and we battled frequently.
I believe, as a whole, we think it takes too much time to get in shape, to live a healthy lifestyle, to work enough to support our families, or to sit down and plan for our future. Shoot, it just takes too long to get through the grocery store once a week! Right?
Well… no. I have learned we actually have all the time that we need.
Here are three key lessons I want to share with you to release all the stress and overwhelm related to time.
Lesson #1: Be clear about what you want to accomplish. When you don’t know exactly what you want to accomplish, you can’t have a true idea about how long it will take. However, knowing what your goal is gives you a starting point from which to plan what you need to do, assess how long it will take, and what you need to have in order to reach your goal in a timely manner. So whether it’s to arrive on time somewhere, have more down-time or lose 10 pounds, know what you want.
Lesson #2: Be realistic about how long a task will take. How many times have you said something like “I’m going to quickly balance my checkbook” only to experience a string of problems that take far too long to fix? Maybe you found a discrepancy in your accounting or realized you forgot to pay a bill. When you are unrealistic (i.e. “quickly”) with how long something should take, time seems to shorten. In order to expand time, you need to be practical.
Lesson #3: Plan your steps. Here’s another one: You found a great healthy recipe online and decide you are going to whip it together one evening for dinner. When that evening arrives, however, you realize you don’t have all the ingredients on hand you thought you did. Or by the time you dash into the kitchen and read the recipe again, you discover you were supposed to marinate something for a few hours first. However, if you take the time to create action steps for this new recipe, you will have all the ingredients beforehand and allow the proper time to complete it.
In essence, once you take to heart the lessons I shared above, you will stop adding too much on your To Do list and putting undue pressure on yourself. You’ll be much more at peace and find that you will have way more time than you thought. I promise you will reach your goals and feel good about yourself again!
I’d love to hear your experiences. As always, I invite you to write to me or feel free to share your thoughts, insights and revelations below. You never know how they may help someone else!