One of the most common excuses we hear as to why people aren’t doing the things they really want to is because they don’t have enough time.
Comments such as, “I’ll get to it when I have more time” or “I wish I had more time” or “I just don’t have enough time” confirm the fact that most of us now are so time poor.
The reality is we all have the same amount of time every day and every week — 24 hours per day and 168 hours per week. We cannot get more time, which means that in order to free up time to do what matters most to us, we must become more efficient and effective in how we do things.
When it comes to doing what matters most to us, it may include:
- Taking care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally and spiritually.
- Spending more time with our families.
- Learning something new.
- Planning for the future.
- Taking more time off.
- Doing things that bring us joy.
The challenge we face is finding the time to do these things, but the good news is there are things we can do daily to free up time.
For all of us, our innermost desire is to be happy in life and we spend our whole lives pursuing happiness in different ways.
As we’re all different, some of the ways we chase happiness include:
- Achieving financial success.
- Improving our personal status.
- Devoting ourselves to our families.
- Being of service to others.
- Sharing our gifts, talents and expertise with the world.
While it’s easy to buy into the idea that happiness can only be attained if certain conditions or criteria are met, the truth is happiness is something we create. In other words, we’re totally responsible for our level of happiness in life.
We don’t need external things or conditions to be satisfied, in order to feel happy. To experience greater levels of happiness, we can develop habits that automatically cause us to be happier.
With most of us living such busy lives, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged, which can often lead to procrastination.
If we don’t address the early signs of procrastination, it can easily become a habit and have some long-term implications such as:
- Low motivation.
- Delay in completing tasks or projects on time.
- Failure to achieve our goals.
- Reduced levels of confidence.
- Low self-esteem.
The root cause of procrastination is often an emotional issue such as reluctance to deal with a situation, or avoiding something because it brings up certain insecurities or fears.
The better we can deal with procrastination, the more productive we will become.
We all crave for free time, where we can slow down, pause and take a break from being busy and constantly doing things.
Our busy and hectic lifestyle has made it difficult for us to be at our best consistently because we’re always “on the go.”
Not being able to relax and recharge ourselves can lead to:
- Overwhelm and burnout.
- Serious health problems later in life.
- Mental fatigue.
- Low performance and productivity.
- Conflict in relationships.
If we want to be more productive and effective, we must be able to quickly recharge ourselves whenever we do get some downtime.
The type of people we spend most of our time with influences the type of results we get and the quality of our lives.
Yet often, we find it difficult to remove ourselves from negativity.
Why does negativity have such a powerful influence on us?
One reason is because we have been programmed from an early age with negativity. It could have been from people who had influence over us like our parents or guardians, who without being aware of what they were doing, affected us with their words and actions.
Our programming affects our behaviours and actions, and most times, we do things without giving them any conscious thought. Therefore we get attracted to negativity because it’s what we are more familiar with.
There is a huge difference in the results of positive and negative people. Most times, it only takes a slight adjustment to one’s attitude to start getting better results.
In order to go to new levels of achievement and success, we have to be willing to go through some challenges and obstacles.
Along the way, it’s very likely we’ll experience some type of pain. While there may be emotional, physical and mental pain, there are two other types of pain referred to here if we’re serious about living up to our potential.
I once read that there are only two types of pain in life — the pain of regret and the pain of discipline. The pain of discipline weighs ounces whereas the pain of regret weighs tons.
Pain is a physical sensation we experience when something is not going right. Its main purpose is to give us an immediate warning that we have to make a correction somewhere.
If we ignore the pain, chances are it’ll get worse, maybe not straight away, but certainly over time. From that perspective, we can view pain as an opportunity to make changes.
The pain of discipline is more of a commitment issue rather than an actual pain. Consider professional athletes, say Olympians, who sacrifice so much for years, only to get their opportunity every four years. In order to be best prepared, they have to put in long hours of training and practice over many years leading up to their event.
Do you ever feel you’re not where you should be or that you’re actually falling behind in life?
As most of us desire to have the best quality life we possibly can, sometimes our expectations don’t match up with our current reality, which can cause us to feel like we’re falling behind in life.
If we believe things are not going well and we’re not where we should be in life, it can:
- Decrease our motivation to do what’s required to get to where we want to be.
- Lower our self-confidence.
- Cause us to feel unhappy.
- Generate more stress or anxiety.
- Cause us to feel disappointed with ourselves.
This is why knowing which signs indicate we’re actually on track and not falling behind in life is important.
Through our daily interactions, we convey to others the amount of self-confidence we have. We do this through our words, body language, behaviours and actions.
We tend to be attracted more to those who display a high level of confidence than those who are lacking confidence. This is even more important in professional situations because those who display a strong level of self-confidence:
- Are more likely to be given new opportunities first, such as job promotions.
- Have a greater chance of succeeding in new ventures or projects.
- Will be able to find solutions to problems quicker.
- Are more willing to take risks to achieve what matters most to them.
- Will attract the right people or resources to help them get to where they want to be.
Who we are and how we show up everyday lets people know the level of confidence we have in our ability to get things done.
Confidence is something that must be constantly developed. It’s very rare for someone to achieve great results without consistently challenging themselves to greater levels of performance and confidence.
One of the challenges we have daily is to maintain a healthy attitude and avoid getting caught up in negativity.
The reason why it’s a daily challenge is because negativity is not hard to find. We don’t have to look for it because it’s always close by via different media such as television, radio or social networks, also via daily conversations with people.
It’s not hard to recognise patterns people we associate with regularly have. Some people get their charge or feel significant by being negative and most times, they may not even realise their own behaviours. Without any provocation, people will blame or complain about:
- Other people including co-workers, significant other or family members.
- The weather.
- The traffic.
- The government.
- How expensive things are.
And the list goes on and on.
If we’re not cautious about what we give our focus and attention to, we can easily get drawn into negativity, which will affect our attitude and energy levels. We must be willing to say “no” to negativity in order to be at our best consistently and be true to who we are.
Even though we all have different definitions of success, one thing for certain is that if we want more success, we must be willing to be uncomfortable.
It’s very rare to attain greater levels of success without challenging ourselves in new ways, which often will cause us to be uncomfortable.
Anyone who has achieved noteworthy success will admit that the success we are seeking is often outside our comfortable zone or outside of things we are familiar with.
To achieve new levels of success will require us to take new actions, which often means doing things we have not done before. One of the best things about life is we are always receiving feedback via our results.
If we are not getting the results we want, that’s feedback that we have to do different things to eventually get the results we want.
If we are always comfortable, it means:
- We are not growing and evolving.
- We are not challenging ourselves.
- We may miss opportunities to learn from new experiences or even from our failures.
- We may become stagnant and play life at a level we are used to.
- We may not have the confidence to do what’s necessary to create the results we want.
Intentionally putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations will develop our mental muscles to deal with whatever comes our way.