How often do you tell yourself that you just don’t have time to do something? If you’re like anyone I know, you'd probably admit to this quite often.
It's an excuse we provide to others when we can't be somewhere or don't want to do something, but even worse, it's an excuse we tell ourselves when we put things off or ignore what's really important -- aka, procrastination.
I get it: Sometimes, there is literally not enough time in the day or time to give to others. That's fine. This article isn't about that, but rather about making the most of the 24 hours we have at our disposal each day. It's about finding the time to do the things you want and to be with the people you want to be around.
Everything else? Get rid of it. Here's how:
1. Don't let pointless tasks suck up your time.
Unfortunately, things like grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning and making that long overdue dentist appointment are items that fill up to-do lists way too quickly. Rather than stressing out about all the things you “have to do" after work and having a nervous breakdown about not having time to pick up dishwashing liquid, tackle your errands one at a time. If it can wait another day, let it wait another day.
In the grand scheme of life, spending two hours writing your novel, meeting an old friend for coffee or going to that salsa class is probably more important.
2. Sleep when you're dead.
We're all wired differently when it comes to how much sleep we need to function and be healthy. However, I'm all about busting up a sleep schedule every now and then if it's all for good reason.
Pulling weekly all-nighters probably isn't the most productive choice someone could make. But every now and then, if you want to stay up all night programming your new video game, do it. If you feel like waking up at 4 am to practice that guitar lick you've been working on, do it.
Taking advantage of the wee hours at either end of the clock — morning or night — will provide you with more hours (and peaceful ones, at that) to pursue what you love.
3. Make sh*t happen.
Be a doer, not a dreamer. If you want something, there's no reason you can't make it happen. The world is smaller and more accessible than ever before and we’ve never been more connected. Whether you want to backpack through Peru, start a folk band or blog about gourmet coffee beans, getting started just requires focus and time.
Don't lose sight of your goal, no matter how long it takes. Be patient, be diligent and be passionate.
4. Surround yourself with positivity.
Making the most of your time means learning to get rid of and ignore the things and people that waste your time.
Fill your life with activities, good causes, people and things that bring you joy. Whether it's a pet, a career, a significant other, a city or a hobby, find something or someone that brings out the best in you and helps you to see the world in a more positive light.
Everything else? Push it aside. Ain't nobody got time for negativity or drama.
5. Force yourself to unwind and unplug.
It's always easier said than done, I know.
If you're already working to make every hour of your day count, you're probably finding it difficult to take it easy and relax for any given period. Try to allow yourself a break and think of it as your time to recharge. Taking a moment to unwind and unplug from technology — even if for just a few hours — will help you to stay fresh, creative and sharp.
Be kind to yourself (mentally, physically and emotionally) and it will pay off in the long run.
Photo via We Heart It