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HOW TO GET MORE TIME?

It is not TIME you need, it is RESPONSIBILITY

“I just need more time.”

If this is you, please read on.

It is the number one comment I hear from our coaching clients and our readers.  “If only I had more time I would be able to achieve my dreams, I would be able to cause the change in the world that I want, I would be able to have an amazing relationship, the business that I want or be the parent I dream of being.”

The truth is, you have all the time in your life, every last second of it.  What you don’t have is the balls to take responsibility to make the hard, or sometimes easy, decision to use it the way you really want to.

“A strategy—whether in companies or in life—is created through hundreds of everyday decisions about how you spend your time, energy, and money. With every moment of your time, every decision about how you spend your energy and your money, you are making a statement about what really matters to you.”  

Clayton Christensen

How do I get more time? 

Start choosing to say NO to those things in life that really don’t matter to you and ‘Hell YES’ to those that do.  Yes, it may be hard to begin with but it will get easier.  If you completed our RYPL Goal Setting Guide you will find this much easier to put in place.

Take a stocktake of exactly what you are trading your time for, for example:

– Television

– A poor relationship

– A dead-end job

– Consuming and more consuming with NO action

– Cleaning

– Shopping

– Computer Games

– Gossiping

And before you kick up a gear and start to rant, hear me out.

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs

I too used to use those dreaded words “I need more time” and I believed them to my core.  And it was like being woken from a nightmare with a slap across the face when I realised that the truth was that I had all the time in the world. I was just making really bad choices with how I was investing it.

I did a stocktake and it was scary.

For me it was:

1. Watching television

2. Hanging out with people that didn’t nourish me

3. Working at a job that I liked (yes it was amazing) but I felt there was something more.

4. Owning things that I didn’t need, including a five bedroom investment property.

5. Sleeping.

So I worked out a simple mathematical equation.

minus (-) time wasting activity plus plus (+) energy feeding activity = time

So how does this look in the real world

Television

1. I rarely (only because sometimes I flick on the news) watch any television or movies

Time regained 28 hours per week

People

2. I fired all those people who didn’t nourish me.  This one was huge.  Not only did I waste time on those people in face to face interactions, I also allowed them to take space in my mind even when they weren’t there.

Time regained – 12 hours per week

 J.O.B.

3. I took leave from my day job – long term leave – to really focus on what I love to do.  Then I resigned. Now I invest my regained time on serving and working with this community.  And something amazing started to happen.  Not only did I regain time, my energy levels are off the charts.

Time regained – 38 hours per week

Possessions

4. I started to get rid of all the possessions that were taking my time and energy.  This is still a work in progress because of course, it takes time and energy to get rid of things and at the moment I haven’t chosen to make that my top priority.  The biggest thing I did was sell, (at a loss), my investment property that wasn’t only a drain on finances but also a drain on my time.  I will write more about this into the future.  I have also been selling all the baby things we no longer need.

Time regained 4 hours per week

And an amazing thing began to happen…

Sleep

As I focused my time on those things that really nourished me, I began to get this unbelievable sense of energy.  I used to sleep up to 16 hours per day.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Crazy huh?  Now I really like to get 8 hours but can get by perfectly well on 6 hours.  I recently was fortunate enough to see Arnold Swarzerneggar live and I loved it when he said:  Want more time?  Sleep an hour less every night.  This would be a gain of 7 hours for most people.  (For me it was a gain of 28 hours per week.)

Net gain: 110 hours per week.

As you can see, I completely redesigned my life. I am no longer a victim of ‘not enough time’.

I have taken responsibility for how I choose to invest my time.  I am not letting life pass me by and I love every moment of it.

I get to take my kids on an adventure day every Tuesday which means we go and do something fun together for the whole day. I put them to bed each night and we sit and eat meals at the table together.

Recently, when my husband decided to take a couple of weeks off, we decided to go away for holidays together.  Yes, my laptop (violet) came with us but I could work around all our trips to the beach.

And when my friends call to say, “Do you want to catch up in an hour?”, I don’t have to go and speak to a boss. All I have to do is decide for myself if I would like to invest my time doing that.

What could you do with an extra 110 hours per week? What could you do if you removed the phrase ‘There are just not enough hours in the day/week’ (or similar cop-out phrase)?

Footnote: Before you go all crazy on me: like you, I still have a bunch of responsibilities like two children to feed, two mortgages to pay, a husband who loves his hobbies, and ill parents and parents-in-law.   You can find out how, by digging into past posts and/or follow along by signing up to our Newsletter. 

For the comments: Do a time stocktake of your life. Share in the comments, what surprised you about how you spend your time. What changes will you be making?

photo credit: Foter.com

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2 Comments

  1. Nicky
    January 9, 2014

    Love this post Naz! My day job would have taken 60 hours of my life in working and commuting. Now that I have resigned (woo hoo!) I get those hours back! I could definitely watch less TV and sleep less. I have started exercising for 30 mins each day to try and counter the fatigue by getting my body moving. I am hoping this will give me more energy so that I don’t feel the need to rest in front of the TV.

  2. Mark
    January 17, 2014

    Hi Naz,

    Great post.

    You’ve mentioned once before, but it striked me how similar our experiences have been.

    In less than one year I have

    – Cancelled all newspapers (because they only talk about what doesn’t work –
    not interested). 1/2 hour savings a day.

    – Stopped watching the news and TV in general (except for a selected movie to
    watch with my wife). That’s 1 hour saving per day.

    – Stopped smoking. I never thought about that before but smoking 10
    cigarettes a day (yeah, i know…-that’s why I ditched it) is quite time
    consuming activity. 10 cigarettes x 10 minutes = 100 minutes a day.
    1,5 hours savings per day

    – I’ve cleaned up my “friends” network that I’ve used to hang out with a lot.
    The harsh truth is that not many people remained. 1/2 hour savings per day.

    That’s 3,5 hours savings per day.

    – I also get up at 6 AM every morning.
    – I’ve sold my own company that was not fun anymore.

    And just today I’ve tested my self by getting up at 4.30 AM, just to see how it goes. It went perfectly, so I’ll do that more.

    It’s amazing, by 8.15 AM i have answered emails, done most of the most important stuff, had seen the sunrise, been to gym for an hour, prepared breakfast for family , had my morning coffee and took kids to school.

    Now I’ll start “working” but for me, the day has already been so great that anything on top of this will be pure bonus :)

    Cheers, Mark

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