In today’s ever-changing and rapidly progressing world, it’s not uncommon for us to have multiple priorities…at the same time. Whether it’s in our professional or personal lives, there are many inputs or distractions coming at us at any given time.
Unless we have a method for filtering what is or isn’t important, it can be very easy to get frustrated, overwhelmed or even disillusioned with what we are doing.
How, then, do we find the time to spend on those things that we deem to be important to us? Whether it is spending time with our family, going to the gym or doing some form of physical activity, completing a project that will add additional revenue to our business or even attending social events, what can we do to make the time for these things?
We all get the same amount of time each week – 168 hours every week. The interesting thing is every hour is already allocated. Whether we choose to do something worthwhile with it or whether we choose to waste it, time will not stop for any us. Therefore we need to be intentional with how we allocate time to our priorities.
Here are five ways that can help you find the time to spend on those important priorities so that you can accomplish what you want to and experience joy and happiness while doing it.
- Determine what are your priorities. It’s pretty obvious but unless we know what our priorities are, we cannot make decisions that will support those priorities. Once you have a list or priorities, ask yourself how important is it really to you and why it is important to you. Unless you have a strong emotion associated with a priority, you will find yourself compromising it for something else.
- Decide what are you willing to give up. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all can find time to do most things we want to do. There are things we do daily that aren’t necessarily the best use of our time. It could be watching meaningless television shows, surfing the internet without a specific goal in mind, or having conversations that do not add value to our lives.
Since all our time is already allocated, we need to decide what are the things we are currently doing that do not add real value. What are we willing to sacrifice? The law of sacrifice states that in order to receive something of a higher nature, we need to be willing to let go of something of a lower nature. Make a list of those activities that do not currently add value to your life then evaluate what you can reduce or even eliminate from that list.
- Schedule priorities in your diary or calendar. Once you know what your priorities are, schedule them. There is an old saying that unless something is scheduled, it is not real. By scheduling it, we are making a declaration that those things are important to us and we have every intention of getting them done.
- Add a consequence for not following through. A really interesting thing about human behaviour is that we tend to be driven more to avoid something rather being driven towards attaining something. This simply means that we will avoid pain more than we seek to gain pleasure. With that in mind, adding a consequence can be a very powerful motivator. It could be a monetary consequence, or it can be committing to do something that you aren’t really comfortable with.
- Delegate or ask for help. The importance of asking cannot be stated enough. What often surprises people is that when they do ask for help, other people are willing to help as it is in our nature to help others. Asking for help can reduce our current workload and create the space for us to do something different that is of a higher value to us. Delegating is a habit that all being people need to develop because if we’re good at delegating, it will make us a huge difference to what we can accomplish in any given period of time.
Whenever we need to do something, it makes a huge difference if we know whether we have the capacity or bandwidth to take it on. Being clear on why we are doing the things we are will certainly help us decide what’s important to us. If you’re able to apply these simple ideas, they will certainly help in being able to find the time for other things that we consider to be important.
Question: What is another technique that can be used to find time for important priorities?
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