You have enough time for the life you want

Time is one of the most precious resources we must manage. You can make more money, you can increase your energy, you can build new relationships and networks but without time; you can’t do anything. As a coach, I regularly get the opportunity to listen to people as they talk about their goals. It can be wonderfully enjoyable experience as they talk about all the things that they would like to do. It’s wonderful until I ask them why they have not achieved the goal before now. The most common reason that people give me for not having achieved their goals is that they could not find the time. It seems to be compulsory for mature adults to think that there is not enough time.

Well, there is always enough time. You heard me; no matter what you want to do in life there is always enough time to do it. The problem is not that you do not have enough time; the problem lies in how you use the time that you do have. If you want to make the most of your time you need to understand what Charles W. Chesnutt says:

‘There’s time enough, but none to spare’

Chesnutt is telling you that there is enough time to do the things you really want to do in life but there is no time to waste on things that do not add value to your life. One of the quickest ways to improve your quality of life is to do some serious decluttering which will free up space for you to focus on the things you really want.

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3 Reasons you think there is not enough time

There are many things which stop us from using our time most effectively. The following are just 3 examples of how you can waste your time on things which don’t really matter.

1. You don’t know what you want to do with your life

One of the most valuable things that you can do in life is to discover your purpose. It allows you to focus on the things that you really want to do but just as importantly; it allows you to identify the things which add no value to your life so that you can then remove them from your life.

When we are growing up we seem to think that we need to be good at as many things as possible and, we take that attitude into our adult life. But the truth is that in the real world, specialism (being excellent at one or very few things) is valued and rewarded far more than being good at many things (generalism). To see this, you only need to look at the world of sports. The following are some sporting examples:

  • In Soccer, the two best players in the world are excellent forwards who never play defence.
  • In American Football, quarterbacks are the best paid players. They throw a ball and occasionally run with it but they very rarely have to block, tackle or kick.
  • In Baseball, there are some very highly paid pitchers who specialise in pitching to left handed batsmen. They may occasionally have to pitch to a right hander but they specialise in left handed batsmen.
  • In Cycling, there are cyclists who specialise in sprinting, climbing, time trialing etc. They are far better paid than domestiques who do the arduous ‘donkey’ work.

I do not intend to belittle those who are generalists but identifying one or very few areas in which to specialise removes a lot of unnecessary, time consuming work from your life; allows you to increase your value and; gives you time to focus on the things that really matter.

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There Is time enough, but none to spare. - Charles W. Chesnutt

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2. You don’t know how to prioritise

Just because you know what is important; it doesn’t mean that you are focusing on what is important. You need to be able to identify your priorities and commit yourself to focusing on them at the expense of the things which don’t matter.

In most cases, the more time you can dedicate to the pursuit of your most important goals, the quicker you can achieve them. This then makes more space for the pursuit of even more important goals.

The more time you spend on the important things, the better you become at them and again, the more valuable you become to others. Let me give you an example from my own industry. I know coaches who charge $150 per month to work with them and I know coaches whose clients pay them $10,000 per month to work with them. Who do you think has to work the most hours?

That extra time comes when you focus on your priorities and stop spending time on things which don’t really matter.

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3. You can’t say no

Of course, if you are going to reduce the number of things you do and cut out stuff which doesn’t really matter to you; chances are that you are going to have to look some people in the eyes and tell them no. While no is a short and simple word which we learn at a very young age; it is still one of the most difficult words to say, for many people.

Humans are social creatures. This often results in us making a very simple mistake – we automatically think that if something is important to us, it must be important to our friends and colleagues too. So, if we need a hand with something, we don’t hesitate to ask a friend or colleague. If you are the friend or colleague who has been asked, you probably think you are letting the other person down if you say no. But if it is not something which helps you or that you are interested in, you may actually be letting yourself down if you say yes.

Sure, there will be times when you just want to help a friend or colleague and; if you have the spare time to do so, there is no harm. Unfortunately, most people fail to think about themselves when they are asked to help; meaning they end up burdening themselves by trying to ease the burden on others.

The Organised Mind

Develop an organised mind which allows you to stay on top of your work and make the most of your time..


'The Organised Mind' will teach you to do so.

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Conclusion

While lack of time is one of the most common excuses for failing to achieve your goals, it is rarely the truth. Time is limited. You cannot make more of it. However, you can almost always do a better job of how you manage your time. After all, time management is a very misleading term. You simply cannot manage time. You can only manage how you use and; if you take an honest look at your life, you will usually find that you are spending time on things which are not a priority and really should have no place in your life. You need to remove these things from your life so that you can spend more time on the things that matter. Value your time; defend your time and make the best use of your time because, there is time enough but none to spare.