One of my biggest fears is that 30 years from right now, I am going to wake up from this dream of life and say what the heck was I doing with my life? Can you relate to this feeling too? Maybe it’s that my birthday is coming up and it reminds me I am another year older, but this thought is terrifying. That I could spend more time doing what I hated, than intentionally spending it on what I loved.
As we all very well know, Time is the most valuable resource that we each have. We all have the same amount of it, and once it’s gone, there is no going back (unless someone built a time machine I don’t know about!).
The point is, that you can make as much money as you want, have all the things- The toys, the mansion, the yachts, 8 different beautiful cedar raised garden beds and 3 Mazeratis to match your Boo, but if you are spending your time in the wrong ways, you can never get it back.
It wasn’t until recently that I totally took a leap and spent some money to sign up for an online business coach. I was terrified. What if I didn’t make that money back? What if I didn’t have the time to work on my business? What if my son kept interupting my work time? What if I was wasting my time even more?
I decided that I needed to keep going despite the fear. I had to keep moving forward because I knew that if I didn’t sign up, I would have had a lot of regret – Like continuing to work at a 9-5 that was causing me more stress/pain/hardships than it was worth.
I got to work creating a strong picture of what I wanted in my life – The things but also the feelings and experiences I wanted to have. My goals grew bigger and bigger until they were pretty much in the clouds.
When it was time to actually get to work, I thought I was doing all the right things. Building posts and pages, pins and pictures. Surely, I would be successful right? I hit a wall. I struggled to stay motivated. I would get lost in the details or think about things that really had no context to what I was doing. I was spending so much TIME and not making anything from it. No ROI = No leaving my full time job.
Has this ever happened to you? Where you have this idea but have no idea how to make it a reality? Or maybe you are in the middle of a really intense deadline and realize that 3 hours later, you are down the rabbit hole of pinterest or facebook groups?
This was me too. I attacked it the only way that I knew how. Just head on. I tried to just do it as best as I could manage. This plan by the way, failed miserably. By the end of each day, I felt more overwhelmed than I had the day before, and I really didn’t know what the most important thing was.
I started to spiral and doubt started to creep in. The more I looked at what was going on, I realized that my schedule and time management was the thing that was holding me back. I would wake up at a different time, and just start putting out fires from the beginning of the day, and it wouldn’t stop until it was time for me to sleep.
During this time, I wasn’t taking care of my body or myself like I should have. My self-care went out the window. Read more about that in this post here.
I had these massive goals, no idea how to go after them, and between all the things going on at home, zero time. I thought to myself “There Has to be another way”. I went to my bookshelf and stared at the collection of books that I had received over the years, but never actually had time to read. After skimming three or four of them over a week long period, I finally got a nugget that was useful. I was wasting my time. ALL DAY LONG.
Now before everyone totally loses it here, I do not mean that the goals I had set for myself were not worth chasing. I do not mean that it was a hopeless cause for me to even want to change my life.
I mean that during my day, my time was getting stolen, by over two dozen different time sucking activities and I had no idea! They were worse than the gremlins – and multiplied just as quickly!
How did I figure this out? The first step to recovery of any kind is just awareness. Be kind, but keep a log of what you do in your day. And be straight with yourself!
If you can’t be honest to you and your future better self, it’s never going to get better. So I started just keeping track of my days. On the hour, I would look back and make a note of what I ACTUALLY did.
For the record, I kept this log in the notes on my phone- you could also use your calendar too. I just started tracking what I was doing, and vowed that I wouldn’t reflect or judge myself on it until the end of a full week.
Friends, I spent 4 hours a week on Instagram and Facebook ALONE! CRAZY!!! I spent 1 hour working out, 60+ hours working, and another huge chunk driving around running errands/ doing non-important things. No wonder I couldn’t achieve my goals!
Once I figured out where my time was being spent, I could really start to better direct my energies on the things that were most important. I based the “important” tasks off of what my goals were for that day/week/month.
This is KEY – I reviewed my goals and what I wanted WEEKLY and DAILY!!! You can’t hit an invisible target! I brought to light what it was that was truly important to me and started narrowing down really where my time needed to be spent – and then DID IT.
I started each week with a fresh blank calendar and nailed down the big things. Other people’s opinions aside, I took the time to really consider my goals and what I wanted my week to look like, then engineered the week in reverse.
Your most important priorities go in first, and then you fill in the rest from there. Once I started looking at how I actually wanted to spend my time, I was feeling happier and even more productive too! It was incredible what a difference it could make.
The things that weren’t as important I delegated as much as I possibly could, and I started to be really intentional about the time that I was spending at home and also at work. It resulted in higher productivity, and a happier, more fulfilled Sam which was exactly what I was looking for.
Now ladies, I want to be the first person to tell you that just like Yoga – This is something you PRACTICE. I am NOT perfect at this, and probably never will be. This is a muscle that I am learning to flex and get better and better at everyday and it will change as seasons in life do.
The point here is to first increase awareness, and then increase the intentionality behind your time so that you can actually accomplish the things that you want to do and find the time for the things you love.
What are some of the things that take up the most time for you? What would you love to stop doing to free up more time in your day?