Instead of saying, ‘I don’t have time,’ try saying…
Is it really about the time we don’t have or is it not understanding our priorities? Read to find out!
I laugh at this quote because it reminds me of the “old me.” The me that when someone would ask “how are you doing?,” I would respond quickly with “Busy.” Clearly, I had different priorities than listening.
Just reading that I cringe! It’s the same for the quote this week…I would run around like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland yelling how much time I don’t have. My priorities were clearly not in check, it is not a way to live.
Does this sound like you or someone you know?
Then read on for 3 easy steps on how we can learn to distinguish our priorities in our crazy world…
1. What Matters:
When we are running around not knowing where to turn to next, it can be hard to figure out what matters. List out the top 3 things in your life that matter to you. Maybe it’s your kids, your partner, and your work for example. Let’s now take this a step further and say your friend asks you to come to happy hour tomorrow. The other piece of this is you’ve been away on business the past 3 days…what do you say? If your friend isn’t on the top 3 this is an easy “no.”
If you take the time to discover what matters to you, it will help you put your priorities into focus from the rest of the “stuff” that doesn’t matter. Depending on your life, this may change daily, weekly, or not change at all depending on your schedule. It all depends on what you want and what matters to you and only you.
When you can tell yourself “It’s not a priority” instead of “I don’t have time” like our quote this week tells us, we can better understand our needs and our ability to hold our priorities close to us. Say it out loud right now: “It’s not a priority,” how does it feel?
Want some more help discovering your priorities?
The next step here is to permit yourself to say “no” to those things that are not one of those top priorities. I want this to feel like a relief! You are letting yourself off the hook from doing something you don’t want to do. If one of your priorities is to write a book and your partner wants to see 2 back to back movies you can permit yourself here. The options are to compromise (see 1 of the 2 movies) or you can say no and let them know you want to write instead and will take a raincheck.
I know I make it sound so easy, but permitting yourself to focus on your priorities is hard! No one likes hearing “no” and if they aren’t used to hearing it from you it can be difficult to take in. Start by saying “no” to yourself first when you notice you are giving in to something that’s not part of your top 3, or on your current “Hit List.”
Then when you feel more comfortable with yourself, practice on those close to you. Bonus points if you tell them you are working on permitting yourself to focus on your priorities. Asking for support with this rocks!
Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post that ties into this idea further.
If you’ve seen the Harry Potter movies or read the books then you may be imagining Hermoine’s Time-Turner. As soon as I saw it, I said to myself “I need that! Send me to Hogwarts!” But alas, it is just part of J.K. Rowling’s awesome imagination and so unfortunately time is something we cannot get back once we make to choose to use it ineffectively. However, it is something you can control.
If you’ve followed the other 2 steps in figuring out what matters to you and permitting yourself, then you are ready to control your time. Believe it or not, we all have the same number of hours in the week as Beyoncé. I know…your mind is blown.
We all have 168 hours in a week. Start there and subtract the main things like how many hours you work, your sleep, etc. The hours that remain after that are the ones you can “play” with. This is where you can start to better understand where your time goes and where you want it to go instead.
The first step in being effective and in control with those hours is asking yourself, “What can I cut out?” Maybe that’s screen-time, driving to stores, not ordering groceries online, giving your kids more chores around the house, hiring help for things that take a long time, etc.
Lastly, give yourself a few weeks of adjusting here and there and see what works and what aligns truly with your priorities.
Even if you accomplish 1 of these steps, you are 1 step closer to feeling more in control of your schedule.
Then you can say “I have time…AND I’m not afraid to use it how I want!”