You DO have time!

Yes, you do have time … for what truly matters to you.

I’ve spent a few months playing a real-life version of the game “Beat The Clock”  in which there never seemed to be enough time in the day.  Or night.  I’d come to the end of a weekend and wish there was room somewhere to squeeze in a third day. 

I felt fragmented.  I eventually had to unchain myself from some of my interests.  Like Sweet Brown, now immortalized on YouTube, I had to say:  “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!”

Time slips through your hands

Photo credit: riandesign.eu

Perhaps the more important question was:  What is it that I DO want to make time for?

You know, I love how God sends confirmations when a blog idea is percolating in my mind.  

First, I came across this quote from time management guru Julie Morgenstern in her book, “Time Management from the Inside Out”:

“Managing your time better will enable you to accomplish something vitally important to you.  Ask yourself what that something is.”  

Then a friend shared this tweet by my boy Lecrae:  

“Some people waste time, some spend it, but the wisest people invest it.”  

And my blogging buddy Hope Reid posted about her 40 b4 40 list, the 40 accomplishments she wants to complete before she turns 40. 

Who has time, you ask?   You do.  If it really matters.

To ensure that you secure that time, consider these strategies:

Write the vision and make it plain (Habakkuk 2:2)

Sometimes we need to do like Hope did:  cast a written vision of what matters most and how and when we plan to accomplish it.  Seeing our goals in black and white makes them more concrete and increases the likelihood of making clear decisions about what we can fit into our “time diet.”

Consider the opportunity cost

Recognize that investing time in some activities means giving up on others.  There’s no such thing as having it all.  If you choose to go back to school, to volunteer, or to commit to a cause, your discretionary time will decrease substantially or, in some cases, disappear.  Make peace with the fact that something’s gotta go.

Be ruthless about the time snatchers

We all know our “darlings,” the time-sucks that gobble up our precious time.  We need to give them up to create more time, more space, and more margin in our lives.  Conduct a cold-hearted elimination of the activities that are okay–but not great–in your life.  It’s the only way you’ll make room for the important dreams you’re called to fulfill.

Intentionally take responsibility for your time

Guess what?  It’s your time.  Nobody else’s.  Recognize the distractions and excuses, what Steven Pressfield calls The Resistance: that which keeps you from being fully productive and creative.  Take small steps to put the truly time-deserving activities on your schedule. 

Can I encourage you to embrace this particular struggle with gusto?   Let’s stop the time hemorrhaging that occurs when we waste great gobs of time on things (and people) that leave our lives less than fulfilled.  God’s Word validates it in Psalm 90:12:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”

 

What do you wish you had more time for?  How will you go about rearranging your time to accommodate it?


Comments

  1. so this isn’t enough time to do ALL the things we’d like to do in a day. That’s where prioritizing comes in and it’s not so easy to do! I sometimes miss countless hours of sleep which I hate to do but I’m trying to scale back on some things……until God allows cloning of course 🙂
    Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty recently posted..Necessary: Aubrey Organics Green Tea & Clay Facial MaskMy Profile

    • LOL re: cloning. Michelle, you have no idea how often I jokingly say I wish I had a second me. But that’s a scary thought to me (and I’m sure to others). I’m a work in progress re: prioritization. Like little kids, I need reining in from time to time. There’s so much stuff to draw away my attention from what should be the main thing. But bit by bit, I’m trying to scale back, just like you are. We’re gonna make it!

  2. Glenna Hadley says:

    I am inspired to make that list and get on with it Thanks my friend

  3. Talk about a “must read” for anyone who ever wanted to do anything ever! I am sharing this all over the place. Love this!
    Eva recently posted..Eva Loves Fridays: Happy Friday!My Profile

  4. fabiana says:

    I hear you Alison, but have no idea as to where I should begin.

  5. There’s nothing like confirmation…3 of them 😉 I’m glad you let it percolate from your brain to your blog. Time management is so important, yet so illusive for many of us. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I always write things down…that’s a good place to start. Everything you listed is so pertinent in managing our time…especially those pesky time snatchers.lol.

    Great post as usual Alison and THANK YOU for the awesome shout out. I’m honored <3
    Hope recently posted..40 B4 40 ListMy Profile

    • Hey Hope! It was an honor to give you that shout-out. So well deserved! Like you, I’m all for writing down stuff. It makes all the difference in the world. Let’s continue to wage war against those time snatchers! LOL!

  6. I always wished I had more time for family, but I realized that I was the one getting in the way of having that time. By rearranging my priorities a bit and getting better at time management in general, I DO have time more time for my beautiful babies, and I’ve been enjoying it. (while the husband snores on floor)
    Yum Yucky recently posted..This will take couch-azzing to a whole ‘nother levelMy Profile

  7. We all have time for what matters the most. We make time and scheduling is very important in order to make sure your time is spread evenly. Great post I enjoyed it and I am a fan
    Kita recently posted..The road not takenMy Profile

  8. What a lovely post, Alison. What I am struggling it is working on an outline for a proposal for a book. I want to write the book; the outline is less compelling!

    • I can only imagine how daunting that is, Anita! Sometimes I find breaking the process into bite-sized pieces makes it less challenging and gives me more wiggle room in reaching that goal. Great to see you here commenting!

  9. WOW this is such a timely message for me. I too lose sleep because I’m worried about what I need to or WANT to get done the next day along with what I wish I could do. But like many here, I’m a work in progress and I do make lists and keep a schedule so I don’t miss the great moments in life. Thanks for this message.
    Terie recently posted..Stay in the game and take back your lifeMy Profile

    • Hey Terie! You’re very welcome. I do believe we’re all works in progress. Once we create sufficient margin in our lives and determine our priorities, we can enjoy the big moments and carve out some time for the little ones too!

  10. Oh I couldn’t agree more! I have just recently taken some measures to allow myself more time to work on what really matters to me. I’m done feeling guilty and I’ve learned to just say “no” to whatever is not leading me to my ultimate goals! You put this all so perfectly. Thank you for the reminder and Happy SITS Day!
    Allie recently posted..Raising Boys vs Girls: Guest PostMy Profile

    • Thanks, Allie! Good for you that you recognized the need to take steps to carve out the time for the priorities in your life. That’s probably the most important step to take toward being able to achieve what really matters.

  11. Time snatchers — now this is so true! I have recently made some changes in how am I blogging to really focus on what I want to leave the rest alone… as much as I’d like to participate in every link-up, etc., there’s nothing wrong with staying focused.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted..Cooking School: Frugal DinnersMy Profile

    • That’s my word for 2014, Sarah, “Focus.” Most of the time, a lack of time for certain interests is a result of a lack of focus. Been there, still doing that to a certain degree. We’re all works in progress, but the more we focus (especially in the blogging world), the more of substance we can achieve.

  12. Wow Alison, I love this post. You’ve got some great quotes here, and great thoughts as well. Might have to share out that Lecrae quote – and the reminder from Psalms. Happy SITS day!

  13. I am being more purposeful about my time today because I’ve been feeling frazzled. I made myself a to do list and I am crossing things off. Then I get to reward myself by reading a few blog posts. So far I’m feeling pretty accomplished today. Of course, it’s only 10:15!!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..Old School Blogging: Valentine’s Day Style!My Profile

  14. I love this. I realized years back, when making excuses for NOT having a quiet time with God that we MAKE time for things that are truly important to us. Whether it’s time with God, exercise, menu planning, playing with our kids, talking with our spouse, etc. You WILL make time for things that you REALLY want to do. Happy SITS day!
    Jean Lynd recently posted..Macadamia Oil “Flawless” Sulfate-free Cleansing Conditioner Review & DemoMy Profile

  15. Love this also. Will be subscribing to you! such great words and ideas.
    camille davis recently posted..How to start using your camera in manual and take control of your photosMy Profile

  16. Yes, you do have time … for what truly matters to you. <– For what truly matters to YOU, AMEN! I couldn't agree more. It's all about self-discipline and balancing out your priorities. It seems like a simple concept, yet most people don't grasp it and blame the clock.

    Oh, and happy SITS day : )
    Ashlee recently posted..How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day?My Profile

  17. This is such a beautifully written post….I struggle with the concept of having enough time ALL THE TIME. I need to step up and realize I am the only one to blame when I can’t get to the important things. Not my phone, not my job, ME.
    Jen recently posted..Why Valentine’s Day at the Office Is Slowly Killing MeMy Profile

    • Jen, owning the fact that we have the final say over what we prioritize is the first step toward reclaiming our time for what matters. I’m believing that you’ll make those choices that honor what matters most in your life!

  18. Funny, I have a blog post ‘percolating’ in my head about where we spend our time and is our time worthy of THAT? If we graphed our time line and saw where we spend our time- would it match our values and our dreams and our goals? I wonder…
    Chris Carter recently posted..Your Mother’s ChildMy Profile

  19. I know what you mean, Alizon, I often wish I had three sets of arms to be able to get done all that I have on my plate! If it wasn’t for the Lord, I wouldn’t make it! He is my rest.
    Clotilde/Craftybegonia recently posted..The River of GodMy Profile

  20. This is so true! I am always wishing there was more time in my day and I just need to do more prioritization. Right now is a perfect example, it ismidnight already and I have so many things left that I wish I could do! But I need to prioritize my sleep and go to bed now! Happy Sits Day!
    Jessica | Independent Travel Cats recently posted..Ride the TravelPony: New Hotel Booking Website Can Save you Money on AccommodationsMy Profile

    • Good for you, Jessica! Without a good night’s sleep we’re all worse for the wear, and time gets even more screwed up than ever. Here’s to more prioritization and more rest, too!

  21. Time is something I really struggle with. I never get enough work done at work. Then feel guilty when I take time off. I’m going to check out Julie’s book. Also, love seeing you featured on SITS. Congratulations on your day.
    Savvy Working Gal recently posted..The Real Reason You Weren’t Invited Along on that Consulting TripMy Profile

    • Savvy, thanks very much. Julie’s books are a treasure trove of processes, ideas, and practical tips to make the best use of our time and space. They’re definitely worth checking out.

  22. Hi Ali, I’m a day late on your SITS Day, because I had a sick baby last night. I love this post!! I have learned this lesson the hard way time and time again. It took me 3 years to finally put my blog into action. When I finally realized there would never be a “good time,” I just jumped in! You’ve got some really great advice here! Thanks for sharing!
    Leah Sannar recently posted..10 Things Everyone Should Know About Crohn’s DiseaseMy Profile

    • Thanks, Leah, especially for taking the time to still drop by and encourage me for my SITS day. Hope the baby is doing much better. There’s no time like the present, they say, so we truly do have to take the bull by the horns,literally, and press ahead with the things we want to achieve.

  23. I struggle with this on a daily basis. I have so much I want to get a accomplished but also have two little ones who need me there ALL the time! I’ve been a stay at home mom for exactly a year now, and it’s funny how the challenge that used to be “make more time for the kids and the family” is now “make more time for myself”. I am happy with my accomplishments so far however, and I’m happy that I get to work on making my dreams come true while enjoying my little sweety pies! But yes, you have to want it, and you have to make it happen because it does not happen on it’s own.
    Leila Boukarim recently posted..Blog Hop: Why Do I Write?My Profile

    • Sounds like you’re juggling a lot, time wise, Leila. To give your kids your best, you have to make time for yourself, indeed. Creating that balance is the trick. It’s a work in progress that I’m sure you’ll have to tweak as time progresses.

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