#116: There’s More Time Than You Think

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For the past ten years I have been building my online community, trying new things, and building businesses, all while attempting to meet my own expectations and the expectations of others in every other important area of life. Just like you, because of all the daily demands, I am always trying to find more time in my day.

After sleeping, working, and taking the time to meet all other basic human needs, it probably seems that there isn’t much time left to do what is needed — I know I have found myself in this place before — but I found that there are some fixes to the shortage of time we all experience. Once I began saying that I didn’t have enough time to exercise, or enough time to spend with friends, or enough time to vacation, or enough time to take a day or two off every week, or enough time to write a book, or enough time to [_fill in the blank_], I would hear of people who were busier than myself who had enough time to do all of the things I wanted to accomplish and even more, all while doing them well. You know who I’m talking about — the CEOs, and the entrepreneurs, and the politicians, and the successful business people who you hear about who have done everything you ever wanted to in life, but you in your busyness can’t seem to find any extra time in your day.

So, what’s the difference between you and those who can find the time? The difference between them and you probably has to do with three things, and here they are:

First, if you can’t seem to find enough time, you may be holding onto things you don’t need to keep.

I can speak from experience here — when you run multiple businesses, you have to learn how to get creative with time, and that means that you learn to let go of things. Yes, you may even need to get rid of some things that you like doing in order to make room for the things that you love doing. Ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?” If you’re passionate enough, you’ll make ample room in your schedule for those things. Even if it means that you have to pay someone to cut the lawn in order to free up an hour, or you have to pick up carry-out for dinner to free up the hour of time spent cooking and cleaning up, or whatever small task you can pay others to do for you, it’s worth it if you can save any time at all. (Some people may think that fifteen minutes is just fifteen minutes, but I see it as fifteen minutes of opportunity.) As valuable as time is, my advice is to always save it when you can. Know what you need to do to accomplish your dreams, take care of the people who need you, and get rid of the excess. This is where you need to start when chasing your wildest dreams.

Second, if you can’t seem to find enough time, it may be time to be more realistic with where you currently are in life.

If you are a single mom or dad and you have three kids under the age of seven, this may not the best season to build a startup. If you can figure it out and still enjoy your children, then great, but so many people ignore their current situations and will find that they missed out on more important things later down the road. Trust me, when you realize the current season you are in and you dance in those lines, you will save both your relationships and your sanity. And if you are extremely driven to accomplish your dreams, and you want them right now, you need to begin pairing that determination with patience, as it will save you from so many future letdowns. Success is coming; it may just appear a little slower than you think.

And third, if you still can’t seem to find enough time, it’s time to become more efficient.

You know you can improve on efficiency when projects take much longer than they should. Maybe you allow your mind wander more than you should, or maybe you don’t give yourself enough deadlines, or maybe you are always working in an open space where people are free to interrupt you whenever they please, or maybe you engage in too much ‘small talk,’ or maybe your meetings have become unfocused. Whatever the case may be, increased focus equals increased efficiency, so looking for ways to better your productivity is extremely important. Saving time allows you to start your next project sooner, it gives you back time to put in better work, and it makes space for the opportunity to put more time into the areas you actually need to work on more often.

When you get rid of the excess, are realistic with your time, and become more efficient, you will realize that you have more time than you think. Now, go and find more time today.

Originally published at asmithblog.com.