Crazy busy. Time crunched. Too much to do. We wear our busyness like a badge of honor. Listen to a group of coworkers or department heads and it’s a constant stream of “one upmanship” about who’s the busiest.
Be honest with yourself. If there are things you want to do but never get to, stop using “busy” as your catchall excuse for not making time for what really matters. Of course, the first step in making time for the important stuff in your life is to KNOW what matters to you. To get focused, create a list of the top 10 things you would like to do more of and, for each item, ask yourself if you’re REALLY too busy to make time for each of those things.
Small changes WILL reap big results if done consistently. If your schedule really is jam-packed, challenge yourself to make small shifts. Even five minutes can make a huge difference over time. Here are some examples:
- If your home office (or entire house) is filled with clutter, carve out 5 minutes each and every day to eliminate or find places for things. To avoid overwhelm, commit to stopping after five minutes.
- If you can’t figure out how to make time for exercise, do 5 minutes of jumping rope or climbing stairs. If you’re stuck at a desk all day, make an effort to get up for a few minutes every hour.
- If you have a garden, commit to getting out there for at least 5 minutes.
- If you want to write an article or blog post, write for 5 minutes.
- If you never seem to find time to connect with a good friend, make a quick 5-minute call just to say hi and hear his voice.
- Get away from your desk for five minutes and focus on your breathing (which will calm you down and clear your head).
- If you’re spending way too much money on takeout, take 5 minutes to brainstorm 5 easy meals you could make regularly.
- Take 5 minutes each day to figure out what you can eliminate from your too long “do” list. In fact, why not start a “don’t” list!
These examples may seem inconsequential, given your current work load. Try it anyway. Just five minutes of doing something pleasurable will give you an enormous sense of accomplishment and can really impact the quality of your life and give you back some control. The idea is to re-introduce activities that are important to you. It gives you a positive mental shift. It reminds you how much you enjoy different things. It jolts you out of a black and white existence and brings the color back. Over time, those brief five minute stopping points, turn into 10 minutes or an hour. And, miraculously, you’ll suddenly have time.
THIS WEEK’S CALL TO ACTION:
Find five minutes to do something good for yourself and your life.