How often do you complain that you don’t have enough time to do all the things you want/need to do? Better yet, how often do you hear others complain about it? “If only there were 29 hours in a day,” or, “I can’t seem to catch up.” Yes, some people have overextended themselves, but most people just don’t know how to organize their time. In my life procrastination wastes a lot of my time, and believe me, I am a master at it. I practice a trifecta of avoidance, boredom, and lack of focus.
So, two simple questions to ask as we begin the new year:
1. What is the one thing you do that wastes the most time your life? Is it TV, video games, eating, Facebook or Twitter browsing, cleaning? Whatever it is, it is taking time away from what you really should be doing-and only you know what that is. Shouldn’t you be writing, working, cleaning, doing paperwork, exercising, etc.
OK, once you know what you are doing to waste time, make an agreement with yourself to recognize when you are doing this and ask yourself, “Do I have something more important to do right now?” If the answer is yes…go do it.
2. What is the one thing you did this past year that made you happy? Was it traveling, writing, reading, spending time with friends, cooking with your kids, etc.? Promise yourself right now to make time for what makes you happy. Don’t deny yourself those little things that make you smile. When you’re content, everything seems easier.
Now, I hear some of you saying, “But the thing I do that wastes time is the thing that makes me happy.” Nice try, Smartass. I’m not saying you can’t do those things anymore. I’m suggesting that you make specific time for those activities and stick to it. For example: if you love watching TV, and it’s your time waster, then look through the TV schedule and line up your favorite shows. Then make time to watch them as a reward for getting your responsibilities taken care of. No sitting down with the remote and mindlessly channel surfing for two hours when you’ve got paperwork to take care of.
Don’t beat yourself up if you grab the remote and plop on the couch. Just recognize it, think about whether you are avoiding something or really enjoying it. Avoiding something?- get it over with and go do it. Enjoying it and have some free time?- have fun.
Sounds simple, but I know it isn’t. Nobody’s perfect, especially me. But I am going to try this year and follow my own advice. Which means less TV and Facebook scrolling and more time for what I enjoy-movies with my daughter, writing, blogging, photography, reading and art.
Good luck! Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!