Time. It’s the one thing we all wish we had more of, and it’s the only thing we have no control over.
It’s also the topic I get asked about the most from members of the Woman Rising Network community and friends in general, and that is, “Where do you find the time?’
To answer that, I need to go back a few steps…
When I launched Woman Rising in 2014 (as The Woman Rising Network was previously known), I was working full time, studying to be a Life Coach and looking after my family.
You know the drill: Up early, make lunches, organise baby for day care, organise to leave house, work, exercise, home, dinner, bed time routines, study, check emails, write a blog post, check Facebook, crash….
To say I felt like time was stretched thin would be an understatement, but here’s the twist: I knew intrinsically that I didn’t need to FIND time in my day to do more, I simply needed to MAKE the time to do what was important to me, without sacrificing what was valuable in my life.
(Related: 3 Steps To Simplify Your Time)
So my question to you is, how do you spend your time compared to how time spends you?
In other words, are you investing your time on things that matter to your overall life vision or are you inadvertently wasting time on things that have no meaningful impact on the bigger picture.
Now, that’s the long version of my answer. The short answer is, ‘I don’t stress on the little things, say no to some things and let go of the rest.’
Trust me when I say, if I can do it, so can you!
I’ve been a ‘yes’ girl for as long as I can remember and it’s one of my greatest hurdles in life, but when there’s something important to me that I genuinely want to change, happen or cultivate – I know deep in my core, I’m the only person that can make it happen.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non apologetically, to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good’.” – Stephen Covey
To help you make more time in your day, here are the three C’s you need to action:
1. Create a list of priorities
To help decipher what are priorities in your life and what are niceties, I recommend creating a list of everything that has genuine meaning in your life that you want to invest your time and energy in to. This list includes all your non-negotiables.
For example my list looks like this:
- Personal Self-Care (exercise, writing, journaling, reading, kid-free time)
- Quality time with my Family (my children and partner)
- Developing my business
- Connecting with extended family and friends
Perhaps your list might include church, volunteering, cooking, yoga, study, surfing, art classes etc… It’s your list so only you know what is meaningful and a must-do priority.
2. Cull the clutter
On a seperate piece of paper, right down everything you’re responsible for or committed to at the moment.
Think: groups, volunteering, work commitments, social events, study etc… Are there items on this list that have no impact on the list you created above? What can you say no too?
Yes that networking event after work might be worthwhile but is it really essential? Yes, those cupcakes would be lovely for the 3 year-old’s play date but could someone else make them for a change?
Again, this is your list and only you know the answer. And before saying, ‘But Sian everything is important!’ I say look again. Feel in to your heart and ask yourself; “am I being stretched too thin with things I must-do or the think-I-have-to-dos?”
3. Cultivate What’s Important
By culling the clutter in your life, you’ve given yourself permission to invest in yourself, your family and those priorities you listed in step one. If you’re keen to create something new and it’s just been added to your list, then do it! Make it happen!
As you can see checking Facebook before bed is no longer on my list of priorities, compared to a few years ago when I couldn’t fall asleep with out it!
I no longer feel tied to it like a daily crack habit (I never had one of those either, but you know what I mean) because in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t real. It doesn’t have an impact on what’s important to me so I have removed the time-sucker from my daily routine freeing me up to do other things, such as create more powerful content for The Network and this community.
By understanding where your values lie, you’ll realise that finding time to do more is only serving your ego and pushing your stress levels higher.
If it’s valuable you make time to do it. If it’s not, you find an excuse.
Simple as that.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Do you struggle with finding time for what matters to you because you’re time is stretched too thin? What could you say no to, to cultivate time for what’s important to you?