If you want to create time so you can enjoy the things you love, it’s time to look at time differently. While we all have demands on our time from family, work and other things that get our attention, there are ways that we are letting time slip away.
8 Tiny Notes To Help You Create Time For What You Love
Before you dig into the 8 tiny notes, consider what you love and how you’d rather be spending your time. What lights you up? Make a list of the things you love doing, the people you love spending time with and the possibilities you’d love to consider.
1. If catching up worked you’d be caught up by now.
What if we stopped compromising sleep, rest, health, love and fun in the name of catching up, realizing that we are never caught up for more than a moment (if ever)? Then we’d be able to take better care of ourselves and the people we love. Check in with your catching up habits. Are you staying late at work, or staying up late trying to catch up with email, your work or things around the house? And if you are doing that, do you feel caught up or do you just feel like you are caught in a never ending cycle of falling behind and catching up. To create more time for what you love, reprioritize. Instead of constantly trying to catch up, get in your life first. Notice it. Breathe it in. Show up for it. The other stuff can wait.
2. It’s easier to take back a no than to take back a yes.
One time, my friend Heidi told me, “It’s easier to take back a no than to take back a yes.” Remembering those wise words has made it even easier to say things like, “No thank you.” “Not today.” “I’m not interested.” “I’m not the right person for that.”
At first glance, you may think, how negative, but what’s behind each no is a whole-hearted yes. And if I change my mind, I can more easily take back a no. I’m grateful for this shift in perspective. Saying no with more ease is critical to protecting your time for the things you love. When you crave a slower, more spacious schedule, just remember, it’s easier to take back a no than to take back a yes. If saying no is a struggle for you, these tips can help you create time.
3. Most things don’t require or deserve your time and attention.
4. I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can say no even when you aren’t busy.
I don’t say “no” because I’m so busy, I say “no” because I don’t want to be so busy. Just because you have time or availability for something doesn’t mean you are obligated to say yes. You are the only one who can protect your time.
Don’t create time so you can do more things (especially things you have no interest in). Even things that only take a few minutes build up. Create space for more life and for the things you love.
5. Doing more things doesn’t make you a better person, it makes you a tired person.
Often we try to prove our worth by what we get done which means we always we feel like we have to do more. Your worth, your heart, your you-ness, it’s not connected to how many checkmarks are on your to do list, how clean your house is or how many hoops you jumped through at work. Check in with the “doing more” part of your life. Is it working for you or against you? What would happen if you pulled back a little on proving yourself by how much can do? You’d probably have more time for the things you actually want to spend time on.
6. Don’t sacrifice your sleep in the name of doing one more thing.
Giving up sleep hours will rob you of awake hours too. You know how much harder it is to spend your time wisely if you are exhausted. Honor your bedtime. Limit whatever gets in the way of you and sleep. The obvious suspects include alcohol, caffeine, worrying and stress. Deal with worry and stress after a good night of sleep instead of during what should have been a good night of sleep.
7. You have to stop doing things you want to do so you can do the thing you most want to do.
Whenever I think I don’t have time for (insert the thing I most want to do here), I remember Elizabeth Gilbert’s words, “You have to stop doing things you want to do so you can do the thing you most want to do.” This means that I have to let go of things, even good things. There are too many amazing, wonderful, interesting, compelling things … the good stuff. This means that we have to say no to some (I mean a lot) of the good stuff too. It’s why I’m so good at saying no to the “meh” stuff. I want to have room for as much of the good stuff as possible.
8. Pretend the internet is broken.
I think we all know where the biggest time sucks are. Email, Instagram, FB, Googling things, news alerts and all the browsing and scrolling. For a little while every day and a little bit longer every week, unplug. Create pockets of quiet, get bored, embrace solitude. Track how much time you spend online each week. If you cut back 25% how much time will that give you for the things you love?
If one of these tiny notes resonates with you, write it down. The next time you are wondering where all of your time went, revisit the words you wrote down and use them to help you create time for what you love.
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