There is time for everything you want to do (and there is time for most things you don’t want to do as well.) Work. Exercise. Pray. Develop relationships. Run errands. Dream. Accomplish long term goals. Have hobbies. Do housework.
Learn to chart your time. Take a week and write down exactly what you did every minute of the day. Figure out how long things take you to accomplish. How long is your commute? How much time exactly do you spend on housework? Is there a more efficient way to do it? Can you do less? How long do you spend each day checking email or facebook or pinterest? The average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV. If you have time to watch any TV, even less than 5 hours, then you have time for other things in your day. But I hear all the time from clients that they don’t have time to unload the dishwasher or fold their clothes or cook. By the way, I have timed myself on a lot of these things. It takes me 2 and a half minutes to unload my dishwasher and 7 minutes on average to fold and hang a load of clothes. If I unload the dishwasher every day and do two loads of laundry every day, that only adds up to 17 minutes a day. Out of 24 hours. I have the time for that.
Decide what things are important to you. Choose the have-to’s in your own life. I hate cleaning my house. So we have figured out a way to budget for a housekeeper to come twice a month. I don’t mind doing laundry, but if I did, I might find someone to do that for me as well. Don’t like to grocery shop? Have your groceries delivered or do curbside pick-up or join a food delivery service. Love to craft? Make sure it is in your schedule. I love to read. I read every day. I choose to put that in my schedule. I bring a book with me everywhere. That way I can read while waiting for a meeting to start or at the doctor’s office. Or I make sure to head up to bed early enough to get in a chapter or two.
Learning how to plan and prioritize will save yourself so much time and stress. They say that if you spend 15 minutes planning your day, you will save 4 hours of wasted time later on. That’s a lot of wasted time. But, sometimes we need to learn what the big things are and what the little things are. Always start with the big things. Then add in the little things. There is always a few minutes here or there for the little things, but you don’t usually just find an hour in your day for the big things.
We all have things that are important to us and things we want to do. These are often different from person to person. I have friends who never leave the house without a shower and makeup. That is important to them, so they spend their time on that. I have friends who choose to iron their clothes because looking unwrinkled is important to them. I have friends who have a date night every week with their significant other because that is important to them. I have friends who are training for a marathon because that is important to them. What is important to you? We need to remember that the things that matter the most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter the least.
Try to write down the five most important things in your life. Is it spending time with your family? Is it cultivating your career? Is it staying fit and healthy? Is it having people over for dinner? Whatever it is, make sure that it is in your schedule first. Don’t just fit it in somewhere. Let’s take back our schedules. Let’s stop being busy and be fulfilled.