Free Up Time For What Matters Most
Can you really free up time?
Do you feel like the days pass by and you are looking for ways to free up time?
All of a sudden, it’s a new season, new year…the kids are growing up too fast for you to keep up with them?
I get you.
I feel like that sometimes too.
And though I don’t have a magic solution to slow time down, I can share some tips to making your schedule less daunting and more intentional so that you can enjoy the time you do have – no matter how fast it flies.
#1. Start with your mind.
I know it sounds cliche, but you won’t be able to make real changes and free up time until you’ve evolved your mindset somehow.
Let me use a quick metaphor to help you visualize what I mean:
When your computer is working slower than usual and freezing at the simplest of tasks, you know it likely needs an update.
In the same way, you need to let your mind know that you’re updating your life, and you need a system reset.
Remember, your subconscious controls what’s going on most of the time, so the trick is to tell it what to do.
But we’ll get to that in another post.
For now, let’s touch upon some quick ideas in which you can literally ‘change your mind’:
Observe the thought patterns you already have –
Listen to what you say about yourself, others, and how you see life. A lot of the time, we busy ourselves by thinking ALL.THE.TIME.
You don’t have to be a pro at sitting still in one position to practice. Just get started with a few minutes a day of consciously ‘doing nothing’ and let your thoughts come and go. Use music if it will help you.
Taking in your awareness of your surroundings can be incredibly grounding and useful to get out of your head.
All of these are tips to help you CLEAR your mind to be able to re-program it.
Now your mind is clear, try the following:
Journal your goals and ambitions –
I find that the best time to do this is to have a fresh head in the morning. You’re telling your mind what you want to happen so that your mind will act accordingly.
Elaborate with vision boards and affirmations –
The mind works very well when we ‘trick it’ into thinking that our reality is already true, so use that to your advantage. What do you want your reality to look like?
Take action –
No amount of the above will work if you don’t take concrete action into making those goals come true. For example, set your intention ‘I want to spend more quality time with my children’ and get to it!
#2. Work with what you already have
To make time for the things you love, you don’t have to uproot your whole life.
That can put you off, starting to change things in the first place.
Instead, I recommend making small tweaks to the routines and schedules you already have in place. This will help to free up time.
Observe your day-to-day schedule and notice where the day seems to drag, where you feel rushed, overwhelmed and even the parts of the day where things seem to go smoothly; you feel organized and in control – what is working?
If it’s easier to do the shopping on the way home from work when you’re alone and get it done more efficiently, build it into your routine.
Likewise, if planning meals for the week ahead will save you stress around dinner time during the week scrambling together food for the whole household, allocate an evening in the week where you sit down and do that.
(It’s a great way to get the family to suggest meals too, so there are no complaints and everyone’s happy…almost!)
Call in the troops!
If your schedule is too full to enjoy any time for the things you love – be that time with your spouse, an evening out, or your favorite hobby, it’s time to ask for help.
In our ‘do it all’ culture, asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness – but that’s far from the truth! The more you reach out at a time of need, the more windows of opportunities will open for you to desire in life.
Let’s recap that:
Observe your day-to-day schedule for what’s working and what’s not
Plan out the parts of the week that feel sluggish
Ask for help when it’s getting too much
#3. Organize the week/month/trimester
Getting on top of your ‘must-dos’ is essential to understanding what you really can take on and what is just unfeasible.
We’re all prone to taking on more responsibilities than we can handle – the result being us running around trying to get it all done and never taking any time to relax and ‘be.’
Change your focus from accomplishment to feeling satisfied with where you are already, and you’ll start to feel an inner peace rather than a constant frustration accumulating.
What do we do with constant frustration?
Often we think even more, desperately clinging on to the hope of a solution but guess what?
That’s even more mental work!
Back to my point: Get your calendar out, pencil in all your appointments, chores, work, kid’s activities, special occasions, and don’t forget to write in there what you WANT to do, too!
If you don’t write down what you want to do for you, it might not ever happen!
It’s all about making you a priority, too, not just your to-do list.
Time block certain parts of the week if it helps. Even knowing how long it will take you to prepare for a meeting, how long the drive is to a place -with expected traffic time, will help you avoid stress and have more ‘ahhhhh’ moments in your day today.
#4 Let go of what you can’t do
A clear mind comes from being okay with the fact that you can’t do it all. You can’t wear all the hats.
If you truly want to free up time, you need to learn to let go.
(CHECK OUT OUR MASTER CLASS ON LETTING GO HERE)
From being a partner, a parent, a sibling, an employee, a carer…
There’s only so much you can do – something must give.
It’s a good idea to review that schedule you just made for the entire month and ask yourself if there is anything on there that you don’t NEED to do. Anything that can be done at another time or by someone else let go.
For example, if you have many emails to get through, can you set up an automatic response? The same goes for your phone messages.
Free up your precious time by automating all you can, getting help around the house (and hiring someone if you can afford it bi-monthly), and letting go of the rest.
Know your priorities.
Once you get clear on what is actually good for you and what is dragging you down, it will become easy to know what to say no to.
Put yourself first; it’s not selfish. It’s self-care. AND, you will free up time.
And there you have it, that’s a wrap!
Here are the four main points to take away to help you free up time:
Start with your mind
All change comes from intention. Get your journal out, write down your goals and ambitions, and brainstorm how you can get from A to B.
Work with what you already have.
Look at your current routines, see what’s working and what you need to tweak.
Organize the month
Grab the calendar, note down all you have to do, and what you WANT to do, too!
Let go of what you can’t do.
…And feel your forehead relax with the thought that you don’t have to do it all.
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