When I speak with people about life-changing projects like starting a business, getting fit and healthy, embarking on a creative project, or learning a new skill, I often hear something like: “I would love to do that, I just don’t have the time.”
Yes, we’re all “busy” with stuff that fills our days. Even then we don’t feel we have the time to get everything done. It certainly seems daunting to add one more significant project to the list.
However, we all have choices about how to use our time. Maybe what you need to do instead is look at what you are already doing and eliminate things from your list that aren’t as productive as what you want to accomplish.
Things like learning a new language, writing a book, starting a blog, becoming a better surfer, dropping 50 pounds, and starting a business all take hundreds of hours of work. I know because I have done all these things.
However, when I added something big, I would eliminate something less important to free up time.
For me, the biggest thing I eliminated was most of my television viewing (including streaming). Most weeks, I will stream one or two movies, although I did enjoy the recent Tokyo Olympics for a few hours a day.
Estimates suggest that in 2021 U.S. adults will spend an average of three hours and 17 minutes watching TV each day. That’s 1,200 hours a year! Imagine if you devoted most of that time to that new important project.
1,000 hours a year freed up is more than enough time to write a book, get your startup off the ground, record several years of a podcast, or learn to code.
Another way to free up time is to spend a few moments to consider every demand on your time and do a quick analysis of if it is worth it. In my case, I’m focused on saying “no” to unimportant requests. Yes, I love things like jumping on Zoom calls with interesting people, being a guest on podcasts, and writing book endorsements and I say “yes please” when I can. But I also say “no thank you” a lot. This frees up several hours a day I can devote to what is most valuable for me to do.
Finding the time to do what’s important
You need to find the time to do what is important for you, for your family, for your business, and for your health.
Find time to exercise.
Find time to be with your kids (or your parents).
Find time to write that book that’s been on your mind.
Find time to launch and grow the company you have been dreaming of.