On Making Time

If you ask anyone why they aren’t progressing further on their goals, time is often the answer. “I just don’t have the time.” I’ve said it. You’ve said it. Time is unfortunately one of the clearest, most finite resources available. Interestingly enough, we all have the same amount.

There are times when this excuse is reasonable and times when, even when offered a generous amount of merit, is completely off base. The famed Olympian, Arnold Schwarzenegger takes aim at the excuse when he told a group to just sleep faster.

Our bodies and minds are incredibly adaptive. We can form habits. Break habits. Live on more. Live on less. We can adjust wonderfully to a wide variety of circumstances. I used to be a late night person. I would go to the gym at 9:00pm. I did that for a couple years. Then, I switched to early morning. I would exercise at 5:00am. I did that for a couple years. Then, after getting married and having kids, I found the best time for me to spend time on myself (goals, hobbies, etc.) was while my family slept. I started getting up at 4:00am, then 3:30am, then next thing you know I’m getting up at 3:00am. Every now and then I’ll be up at 2:00am!

You may be thinking I must go to sleep while the sun is still up. But you’d be wrong. My body adapts as needed and yours can too. Sleep is great and I’m a big promoter of sleep and taking naps whenever and however you can get it. Unfortunately though, I’ve found we often use sleep as an excuse to not get stuff done. If you haven’t really been working that hard, you may have slipped into a pattern of excess sleep. What you feel is a necessity is really just a formed habit. Best thing in the world though, is our ability to form new habits!

Habit forming works best when you have a passionate goal. No one likes crawling out of bed for something they are so-so about. However, if you begin spending time on your passions, you’ll find crawling out of bed turns into jumping out of bed. I can’t wait to get up in the morning. I look forward to it. Why? Because it’s my time. I get to do everything I wanted to do for myself that I wasn’t able to do all day. I long for my alarm to go off – although once it’s a habit, you’ll wake up before your alarm!

Lately, I’ve found myself taking vehicles to the shop more frequently than every before. At least it feels that way. I used to sit around waiting for the car to get serviced, sipping on some coffee, watching the TV, etc. The last few times, I’ve brought my laptop, found a corner to hole up in, still got the coffee, and spent a few hours writing. It’s been an incredible use of time that up until recently I wasted horribly. Now, I look forward to car appointments because I know it’ll be my time to get some writing done with little to no distraction. I love it!

You see, we have so much time. Social media, although it has its place when building a platform, is often used to waste time. We need to continually ask ourselves, “Is what I’m doing right now contributing towards my future success, my satisfaction in life, my mission, my goal, anything?” We need to be real about it. Time is all around us, and each person has the same amount.

What you’ll find in people who are considerably successful in any area of their life, they make time. They find time. They look for time. They plan time. They annihilate time wasting. They get rid of distractions. They get rid of the slow, dripping effect of losing time. It’s been said that if you want to know what a person will become 5 years down the road, 10 years or even 20 years, simply look at their current daily schedule. What do they spend time doing? What do you spend time doing?

If you logged every minute of the day, how much of it is spent achieving your dreams and goals? Is a third or more of it sleeping? Good luck achieving a great deal of success. If you’re making time work, if you’re living with a sense of true grit, you will achieve a great deal of success when compared to your life now. If you want to be a successful author, how much time are you devoting to writing? If you want to become a better business owner, spouse, parent, etc., how much time are you spending mastering the craft?

Our abilities are directly related to the time spent honing them. You have time. Lots of it. You simply need to trade your time doing one thing to doing another. Find it. It’ll be well worth it down the road.

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