Your day starts in a rush and continues on pretty much at the same pace until the end of the day. Finally, you collapse on your bed and struggle to quiet your mind chatter, so you can get some sleep and do it all over again. Does this sound familiar?
Ever know anyone who seemed to get it all done effortlessly? They seem to be so graceful in their approach to life and appear to be almost problem-free zones. And yet, they have the same 24 hours a day as everyone else. What’s their secret? Here are 10 ways to give yourself more time.
Raise your standards
When you stop putting up with stuff, you are redefining yourself and raising your standards. There is great power in choice. When you choose to no longer put up with stuff, you have more energy and time to focus on the things that matter.
Value your time
Don’t let others steal your time with unnecessary interruptions or long conversations. If others come to you with gossip, stop it. If you value your time, others will. Time equals life. How you spend each minute/hour/day of your life is your choice.
Eliminate redundant activities
Limit the amount of TV, electronic games and other such activities to five hours a week (if that). These types of mind-numbing activities should be used sparingly. Eliminate anything that does not contribute to your personal or professional development. Ask yourself whether the information is nice-to-know versus need-to-know. Eliminate redundant activities to free up valuable time for more enjoyable activities.
Eliminate the “rush”
If you are someone who constantly runs late, drives too fast, procrastinates or avoids things, you may be an adrenaline addict. Stop the triggering behavior and avoid crisis mode. Arrive 15 minutes early for every appointment. Drive slower — you have the time. Eliminate procrastination from your life — just get it done and you will increase your energy reserve and decrease your stress. Under-promise and over-deliver.
Eliminating the mental and physical clutter in your life will allow you to focus more on getting things accomplished. Only touch a piece of material once and deal with it using the 3D model —Do it, Delegate it or Dump it. Resolve personal issues and issues that hold you back.
Identify your priorities
If you value spending time with your kids and you work late every night, you are not living by your own values. Have your actions reflect your values. Stop comparing yourself to others and create your own standards. Eliminate anything that gets in the way of living by your priorities.
Do less, simplify everything
Stop doing things that are not a good use of your time. Learn to delegate. Automate anything and everything you can. Learn to say no to things that are not the best use of your time. Eliminate 50 percent of your projects. Boredom is the gatekeeper to peace. Once you have simplified enough to bring boredom, you can fill the space with things you really enjoy. Do less. You will have more.
Accept that you are human
Realize that you are already perfect — perfectly human. Perfectionism is a great time-waster and energy-drainer. It doesn’t work. Don’t take life so seriously. Mistakes are our way of inviting lessons. These lessons are perfect for our growth. Be abundantly human and know that we are all perfect in our humanness. What is not perfect is our definition of perfect.
Take care of yourself
Regular maintenance is necessary for your car and computer to run in perfect order. Your body, mind and soul need regular maintenance and fueling to run smoothly as well. Regular doses of exercise, meditation (15 minutes of quiet time daily) and soul food (music, dancing, touch, etc.) rejuvenate and energize you. This is necessary to maintain your engine in perfect working condition. If you are calm and at peace, you are in better condition to be productive.
Focus on being
If you rush through life, you avoid being yourself. Give yourself permission to be a human being rather than a human doing. In school we are taught to think, but no one ever teaches us how to feel our feelings and express them appropriately. Feelings are so important in decision-making, problem solving and goal setting. Give yourself time to reflect and experience your feelings. When you experience your feelings, you save time and energy by addressing the underlying issue right away.
Learn to just be with yourself. When you have time to breathe and reflect, you let the creative juices flow and you are able to synthesize the information and ideas that surface. When we are too busy doing, there is no time to consider the possibilities.
The joy you seek in life can be found in living every day to its fullest. It’s the little things that we often gloss over that mean the most in our lives if we take the time to notice them. Make the effort to be fully present and experience the moments in each day. When you do, you find that your life has more meaning and richness to it.