How many times in the past month have you thought, “I just don’t have enough time!” We all fall into the pit of feeling that we don’t have enough time. Do we really not have enough time, or do we just have a lack of clarity about what our priorities are, or how to make time for the things that are important?
I have fallen into the not enough time pit. It is a frustrating place where you don’t think you will have enough energy and resources to scale the wall and climb out. What I have learned to recognize is that the not enough time pit is primarily an illusion. So, what climbing gear do you need to climb out of the pit?
1. Gratitude- When we face the day with gratitude, we are already entering into time with an attitude of wealth rather than scarcity. We are thankful for the time that we have to do the work we need to do that day. I take a moment to be grateful that I am able to do the work that I need to do that day, and I also am grateful that I have wonderful resources that can help me accomplish my task.
2. Give back- How do you feel when you give back? Most of us feel pretty good when we have the opportunity to help someone out. One way that I enjoy giving back is by mentoring someone. This reminds me that I have value to give to the world, and I’m helping to create even more resources in the world. Pretty nice, huh?
3. Assign Urgency Levels- When I was younger, my Mom had a mug that said “Around here we move from crisis to crisis!” What does that say about our society that there was a mug already with that quote on it? Too many times we are just putting out fires, and many of the fires either aren’t truly fires, or they are preventable fires. Make a list of the items that absolutely have to be completed today, within the week, within the month, etc. Schedule time in your calendar to address things that just pop up. We have so many technological tools that can help organize the day. Let them help you!
4. Delegate!- Are you truly the only person who can handle the entire task? Do you have to do the work by yourself, or can you get help from your team? Many times when you delegate or create space for teamwork on a project you increase your effectiveness, create more opportunities, and can create more time.
5. Take down time- When was the last time that you took time for yourself? My guess is that it wasn’t too recently. By making sure we take time for ourselves, or have down time, our perception of having time actually increases rather than decreases. So, take the time to read that book you have wanted to read. Spend time with your friends and family. Go on your vacation. Take a nap. Play! Our minds need the break. We are more creative, effective, and happier if we have some down time.
Do these sound possible? We can all use the climbing gear above, but it takes thought and intentionality. We have to make the conscious choice to enter the world with gratitude, to give back, to be aware of urgency levels, to delegate, and to take down time. I have started working on them all. My family and friends give me gentle reminders. When I start to feel the tension levels rise, or feel like I don’t have enough time, I pause and ask myself is this really true? Grab your climbing gear, and climb out of the not enough time pit. We don’t have to be there.