Finding Time

Finding Time
A frequently asked question about the amount of work I can get done is, “How do you find the time to do all of that?” I often will tell people to get up at 4:30 am and stay up until midnight. While joking aside, thought I do get up at 4:30, the key is to analyze your time throughout your day and decide what is important to you. Here is what I have discovered.
Needs vs. Wants-
I make a list everyday of the things I NEED to do. These are not optional. These things have to be done or else I loose my job. I also have to qualify these needs into those that are Urgent vs. Important. Those that are urgent need to be done sooner than those which are important. I will get into the difference in a future post but to qualify, email may be important but is never urgent. If it was urgent then they would call you. So when you define the difference in your daily life as what is important to you, you will make time for it.
Let’s also determine what you NEED to do vs. what you WANT to do. Are you engaging in new projects that distract you from what you need to be doing? Are you engaging in your passion? Are you constantly perusing the internet to find that great new recipe instead of just making it and seeing what you can do to improve it?
If you love prepping like me then you tend to find yourself looking on the internet for the next thing to be doing instead of just DOING. I can spend 20 hours a week determining the best gun for my arsenal or I can go to the range with my 9mm and shoot and become more proficient with what I already have. Are you building food storage or using food storage? There is a difference between the two. There has been more than enough said about book smarts vs. street smarts. Are you becoming street smart or book smart?
“You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.”
Tom Kite
Kill your Television-
If you want to get things done quit watching TV. I don’t say this to be mean or snobby. It’s not that I don’t watch TV, it just I watch a lot less of it than others. I also watch it online. Hulu and Netflix are great options. You can watch as much as you want, just don’t complain when someone gets more things done than you. If you consume content you CAN’T produce content. Same goes for a computer. Unless you are doing something “productive”, it is the same as TV. Start choosing to cut things from your life that do not give you a return of a better life.
Eliminate distractions-

Imagine your daily life, no really, just sit back and think about all the things you are distracted by. The kids in the back seat, the phone is ringing, I have to go to the store, don’t forget that presentation is due tomorrow, there are SO many distractions in your life just on a daily basis. All of these distraction create mental clutter. Mental clutter bogs you down with irrelevant things you think you need to do. Are you giving any credence to all of the distractions or are you focused on those things that mean something to you?
By prioritizing your day and listing what you need to do for the day you will clarify what is important and what is not. Are you putting too much detail into your phone calls or emails. Can you say in 5 minutes what used to take you 10? Can you email in 2 lines what used to be 2 paragraphs? Do we really need to know what our neighbors are doing?
If you do get a distraction mentally put it in a pile.
Pile 1- Important, I need to finish this task. It is on my list of TO DO things.
Pile 2- Trash. I do not need this in my life. Useless info. If it is really important they will get back to me.
Just remember if it really is not important let it go.
Time vs. Money-
If you do not have the time then you must pay someone to do it OR don’t do it at all. If you have the money then by all means pay someone if it is important then you will have more time to do those things which you feel have more value to you.
That’s it. It is either time or money. When you boil it down to those two it really refines your choices. Because if you do not have the time or the money then you must eliminate something in your life which has less value than the thing you want to do.
Let’s review
Life is short. Spend time doing things that make your life better. If you don’t like it change. If you can’t find the time to do something that you feel is your passion, eliminate those things that are not of value to you.
Determine needs vs. wants. Get rid of “hobbies” for passions
Television is a condiment, use it that way
Eliminate distractions
Review time vs. money- Spend money if you need more time
The broader goal is to trim the fat of life and get down to the meat. Determine which kind of meat you like and marinate it with your passions.
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One response to “Finding Time

  1. Good stuff, we have different definitions of urgent and important tasks, but that is only semantics. You are so correct about need to do vs. want to do; yet many tend to justify doing the “want” rather than analyzing what needs to be done. Gosh, what am I doing right now?

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