Make Time Now

Overworked business womanIt seems none of my clients have any time. They are busy at work, busy giving their time to causes they support, busy being great parents. And when they do have time, they, quite frankly, are beat, and need some time to just veg and turn off.

This is a common, societal malaise. We are too busy. And yet, at the end of the day, we feel we’ve accomplished nothing and don’t even know what we would have liked to accomplish.

I recently asked a client who is trying to figure out her next move after a corporate management career what she would do if she didn’t have to do anything. I get that it’s a hard question. There are so many options out there and so much unknown about what we might or might not enjoy. But, it’s really just a game to get you thinking – what if you had nothing you had to do?

She couldn’t even imagine it.

She couldn’t imagine 10 minutes a day with nothing to do. Where she wasn’t checking something off the list or “doing nothing” but really multitasking (planning errands, creating a grocery list). And when it came up, she started to get a little sad.

Because here’s the thing – if you have no idea what you would do if you had nothing to do, then you’re not really living a life that you’ve created. You’re so used to reacting to what’s around you, checking things off a to-do list that other people gave you or living up to other people’s’ expectations that it makes perfect sense that you haven’t had the chance to think about what you really want.

Everyone wants more time, but few know what they’d actually do with it. Most people want to feel they’ve accomplished something at the end of the day. Almost everyone thinks it will come some day with changed external circumstances – you know, winter is always a slower time – or, I just need to get this promotion and then I’ll have more control – or once the kids get into high school it will be easier.

But it won’t.

Sad Young Woman Looking At Hourglass

Sad Young Woman Looking At Hourglass

Every day, with everything you do, you are developing habits. You are slowly but surely hardwiring your brain to work in a certain way. And if you don’t start developing ways of living that cement in – step by step – the type of life you really want to live, then it’s not going to happen. It’s why so many people have such a hard time retiring – they’re not sure what they’ll do because they’ve never thought about it before. Designing your time takes deliberate action, trial and error, and practice. 

There is a reason you often hear people say “you just have to take the time” or “I just need to make the time to do it.” Time is not given to you. You have to take it. You have to create it. No one will ever just give you the gift of more time – you have to take it!

So – my challenge to you is to make time now. Find a time when you can do nothing. Actually block it on your calendar. Where there is no agenda. And then, at the start of that time, choose how you want to spend it. The only rule is that you can’t be checking something off the list. It must be for you.

Time will not just magically appear to you one day. You have to create it now. So, what are you waiting for?

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