Have you ever said to yourself “if I had more time, I would start working on the goals I´ve been thinking about?”
Or “if I had more time, I would get to the gym or finally learn that new skill that’s going to help my career.”
Perhaps you might have thought “if I had more time I’d get in contact with old friends or family and catch up more”.
Though when you look back at the weeks and months that have passed, you realise nothing has really changed.
It could be that you really don´t have spare time to do anything else.
However, I think in many cases people don’t make good use of their time to make a start on the things they say are important to them. They also don´t know how.
The phrase “if I had more time…” is one of the most dangerous in the world when it comes to making changes in your life.
It sounds like an innocent phrase. Just rolls off the tongue without a moment´s thought.
You may not appreciate the cost of consistently delaying action or the benefits that come from trying to be disciplined in pursuing goals that stretch you.
There may be deeper, emotional or even logical reasons why you haven’t committed to a big push. It´s important to be honest with yourself about those reasons and if time really is the problem or not.
Life is short, time is fast
Time is rarely the problem.
One day, you may not have more time to make changes.
In 5 or 10 or 25 years, instead of “If I had more time” you don’t want to be saying “I wish I had more time.”
I wish I had more time to start on my dreams.
I wish I had more time to change things.
I wish I had more time to discover who I am.
I wish I had more time to try and live the kind of life I want.
Time is also a finite, limited and precious resource.
One reason why you might not commit to action is that you don´t have a strong enough reason to jump right in. When you do have a compelling reason for why change has to happen, it´s a lot easier to make a start. When you´ve aligned this reason with your mind and heart, the motivation will push you forward. It doesn´t stop there though. You still have to commit to action so that you can build the habits that will eventually change you. Using time wisely to focus on those habits is critical if you want to improve your life.
If you don´t then there is a greater risk that you´ll stay in your comfort zone and kill your own growth.
Assume you have enough time
Instead of “if I had more time” think about the question “What actions can I take to create time?”
You can use some of the time you´ve got today to start working out what you could do tomorrow.
Schedule small blocks of reflection time to consider the options and possibilities for your life in more depth.
This reflection time has to be scheduled in your calendar to make it more likely you’ll actually follow through.
When you are scheduling this also think about the environment you’ll be in as well.
For example, there might be a time of the day when your energy is low and you are less productive. Or when you know you’ll be distracted with the kids, partner or flatmate.
Try to schedule your reflection time when you’ll be more energetic and there’s less distraction.
It’s not good enough to say I’ve no time. Time is there. Even 15 minutes a day, for a couple of weeks, dedicated to exploring how to change your life is better than nothing.
Also, it’s a matter of prioritisation and making decisions about your life.
Drop something that isn´t essential from your current schedule to make this time.
Start with easy things, like 30 minutes less TV a day. Delete apps that distract you and hijack your attention. Put your mobile phone in the wardrobe.
Go to bed a little earlier to wake up a bit earlier so you have time to explore your future.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been working from home.
That means less or no commuting. Over 5 days of a standard working week that’s 5-7 hours saved!
Imagine your boss said to you “I’m going to give you 7 hours of free time every week for you to work on your future, and still get paid.”
You would grab the chance.
So, if you are in the fortunate position of being able to do this – grab it and use the time to start thinking through how to make the best use of your time in the future.
As Benjamin Franklin said:
“You may delay, but time will not.”
Life is short. Make the most of it.
What to do next
If you’d like to make a change in your own life and start going after the kind of life you really want, get in touch for a complimentary session.
As a coach I’ll work with you to help you be more productive and make the best use of the time you have.
Still not sure. Take a few seconds to read what some clients have also said about me here.
Check out some other articles I’ve written that might help and don´t forget to subscribe to get new content and my newsletter with insights and tips direct to your inbox!