One of the most common lines that people love to use: “I wish I had more time.” Maybe it’s more time to spend with family or friends; more time to exercise and eat healthy; or more time to go back to school. Whatever it is, how do you make more time for those truly important things in your life?
Dr. Alok Trivedi, author of Chasing Success, says the reality is we all have the same 24 hours. The difference is some people know how to better manage it than others. When it comes to making time for the important things, Dr. Trivedi recommends:
- Minimize, minimize and minimize some more. There was a reason Marie Kondo’s novel about tidying up your space to become happy was so successful. There is truth in her message of eliminating the unnecessary and finding what you love in the process. Get rid of what does not bring you joy. This can be old items or even toxic relationships that no longer serve you. Less is really more.
- Being busy does not bring you value. In American culture, it can be all too easy to be running around completing task after task. Many people view this form of productivity as determining their worth in society. It’s wise to assess what in your life is brining you value and maximize that rather than trying to do things that just don’t feel right and make you feel unworthy on the inside. Business is an excuse and distraction to overlook the things in which you may be afraid to focus your energy on.
- Differentiate between efficiency and effectiveness. Your time is precious and needs to be allocated to the most important things. Utilize your time to be both effective and efficient. Being only effective can be a time-consuming action. While complementary, being only efficient can lead to sloppy results. When you are doing any task, approach it within a concept of both maximum efficiency and total effectiveness to reap the best results. In your personal life, this is achieved through being present and genuine in your interactions.
- Single task and hold your focus. Many people find themselves casually checking a single email, and before long they snap into full-fledged work mode. Develop a schedule and follow it religiously. It may be hard to find your groove initially, but if you stick to it, little by little it will become a habit.
- Know what you hold important. It is a challenge to know how to dedicate your free time if you haven’t discovered what you love. Find the activities where your creativity flows and your heart sings. Only in these states are you going to find yourself in the states of joy that make you feel life is worth living.
- Address problems at the root. When you have the time to dedicate to the important things, you don’t want work problems to keep popping up. If there is a problem at work, address it from the start. Don’t keep putting it off, because it will fester at inopportune times. This goes both ways. If you have a personal dilemma with a family member, don’t run from it by adopting workaholic ways. Confront your problems head on to solve them with best results. Shying away will only allow the problem to become worse in the shadows.
- Getting and staying organized. When it is time to be with friends and family the last thing you want to do is housework. Dedicate an initial cleaning and mass organization of your space. After this initial step, take a little time each day to clear your space and organize everything into its given area. The clarity of your physical space lends to clarity of mind. Then, there is mental space to focus on what matters, and not be distracted by the mess around you.
- Block out time just for you. You must become your top priority. Declare certain times of the day and week that are just for you. This time can be for you to indulge in your favorite pastimes, meditate, or even to do nothing. This time is yours to center yourself and think about what you are presently encountering in life. Live in every moment, and focus on the present.