Follow these 5 easy steps
Having trouble finding the time to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do? Can’t finish that project that absolutely has to be done? Not sure how you could fit one more thing into your week?
Take a breath. You cannot make more time but you can use it more productively. Here are five top tips for finding the time to do those important projects.
1. Time versus Priority.
We all have the same amount of time in a day… prime ministers, mothers, CEO’s, university students, part-time workers…you get the picture. If you believe that you don’t have the time to do things perhaps now is an opportunity to revisit that belief.
Instead of telling yourself you don’t have the time to do something try telling yourself that it’s just not a priority for you at the moment. Getting things done often isn’t about the amount of time we have to do them, it’s about how motivated we are to do them.
So next time you find you are using lack of time as an excuse for not being able to do something ask yourself if that is really true or if that whatever it is that needs doing is just not as important to you as everything else right now.
2. But versus And.
I could do it, but. Don’t let ‘buts’ hold you back. If you really want to move forward with a project try changing your ‘but’ into an ‘and’. Using ‘but’ provides us with a reason not to do something. This is an illusion, we always have a choice we just need to recognise it. Next time you are tempted to say ‘I could do it, but’ try saying ‘I could do it and‘.
3. Goal versus Time.
If you read my previous blog Goal setting – the good, the bad and the ugly you will recognise the importance of setting a specific goal for yourself. In order for you to achieve it you need to do two things:
(a) Make it your priority
(b) Block out time to complete it.
Blocking out the time, whether it’s an hour a day or an hour a week is important as it commits you to the project. Make the time you set aside limited to that goal – no e-mail, facebook, making a cup of tea etc. Your goal is your only priority in that section of time.
4. Gain versus Loss.
As your brain is designed to move you towards pleasure and away from pain, it is a powerful way to motivate yourself so why not use it. Focus on what you will gain by finishing your particular challenge rather than what you will lose or won’t have if you don’t.
5. Celebration versus Time.
Even if you are busy take time out to congratulate yourself on what you have achieved. I’ve mentioned it several times before but don’t underestimate how important it is to celebrate your successes and achievements. It feeds your reward response and you are more likely to carry on and complete your project if you take a few moments to treat yourself along the way.
A friend of mine has recently written a book, for every hour he wrote he rewarded himself with 10 minutes of Facebook time ( to be published soon, so watch this space!)
So is it possible to do all those things you really want to do even if you have a busy schedule? Yes, prioritise the things that are important to you, give yourself a goal, set aside time to do them and celebrate your success along the way, AND most importantly ban the word ‘but’ from your vocabulary. Why not try it for a week and let us know how you get on