Do you ever feel like a prisoner, not being able to escape from the rules dictated by the clock, not having time for yourself and the important things in life? Finishing task after task, chasing with the time and trying to do one more thing in the next 5 minutes before you go out.
If that sounds familiar, you are not alone. In fact, most of us are like this. It’s a busy world these days (or at least we believe so) and everything is moving fast. Time seems to never be enough and the clock may become an enemy.
It’s no wonder if sometimes you want to hide all your clocks somewhere and don’t see them for a while. And actually, that may be a very good idea. You can try this experiment if you haven’t.
I usually do that when I go on a holiday. It is not very easy to quit the habit of looking at the clock but a day or two are usually enough to stop the chase. The result is really nice – pressure and stress get really low.
The trick, however, is how to stop chasing with the time during our work weeks when we are busy making a hundred things.
Here are some really useful methods you can try for yourself.
Set goals and follow them
If you have your goals set and for each of them you have the next step for the week, then you have freedom. The freedom to choose what to do next.
Choosing your next action will not be just a reaction to what happens in your everyday life, it will be a conscious step.
And if you have your goals set, your chances are that you are very likely to recognize what is important and what is not and make some room for the important things in your life among the urgent matters that come to you throughout the day.
This way you can have more time for the things you want to have more time for.
Learn how to give up on things that are not important
Choose carefully what to do and what to skip. I know very well how hard it can be to give up on some of the things that you want to do, so everything can be perfectly ordered, or give up on those interesting but pointless activities that you can do in “just” 30 minutes (like watching TV or wandering in Facebook).
Let’s don’t lie to ourselves. 30 minutes is a lot of time and if you have more of those “interesting things” to do during the day, then things can get really tough.
It is important to learn how to give up on things that waste your time and are in fact not important at all. It is also not very easy. For me personally, that is one of the hardest. I always want to do something more and fit one more thing in the schedule, even though many times that is not really necessary.
I should also warn you that giving up is a process of learning how to do it, not just a decision. It takes time and patience. If you succeed in making it at once please let me know how you did it!
Learn how to delegate
Or in other words – give up the control. Even if you can do everything by yourself (really?!) you should not. Let other people help you and you may find out that things got even better than you expected.
However, to do that you need to start trusting people. Start asking for help. Start negotiating who can do what and delegate.
If you motivate the people around you to work with you on a common goal you will find out that the results can grow exponentially. That is to say, two people can finish 3 times or even more work when they work together with common direction and purpose.
Start your day half an hour earlier
Why? Because all day you will be ahead of everything that happens.
If you wake up 30 minutes earlier, go out earlier, take the kids to kindergarten/school earlier, start work earlier, etc. you will be so much ahead of everything that you will not feel the need to hurry at all.
The chase with the clock will be over. This way you will be able to find time for the important things we talked about above. It’s going to be much easier to see how to fit something which is important for you in the busy schedule of the day.
Don’t try to get everything done on your to-do list, it is impossible
I am sure some of you think it is. I also used to thinks so. Think faster, decide faster, act faster… and all of a sudden a year has passed. And then another.
It is good to be able to do those things faster and that will surely help you in critical situations, but let’s be honest. If you live your life like that you will burn out. Sooner or later. And for sure you will not live happily.
Just stop it. Use the tips for getting up half hour earlier, then decide what’s important and in direction with your goals, and then start your day. No hurry. Start to notice the world around you. Start living!
That’s another challenge here. Our culture today produces a lot of perfectionists. As a result, we try to make our days full of perfect and often meaningless things.
Wasting our time and happiness in trying to perfection everything. And thus seeing all imperfections around us. In all small things that tomorrow we will not even remember about.
This is messy, that is not tidy enough, that is not ordered correctly, this can be better. Losing so much energy in things that sometimes don’t even depend on us.
And those that depend on us – is it necessary to try to make them perfect? Not of course. Perfection is like the horizon – you cannot reach it. You can only feel miserable if you keep trying. It is “just” enough to be excellent in what you do and do the best you can at the current moment.
If you know and have written down what’s important for you and then measure your success by what you have already achieved then you will not need perfection anymore. You will be glad and happy that you are doing excellent. Well, only if you really do.
Reserve time for not doing anything
Being in a hurry all the time is initially an inner state. If you can find a little time, even 5 minutes, to stop and don’t do anything and just get aware of your state and how you are feeling, that will calm you and almost immediately you will find out there is nothing to hurry for.
I myself like to get up early in the morning. That is my personal time. Everyone else is sleeping and I have time to meditate, simply stare at the sunrise and get calm, start fresh and re-think my goals and set a plan for the day. This way I can go through the day with more control of what and when I am doing and less reactive actions.
Those were the methods I’ve come to through the years. I believe there are much truth and value in them. Let me know what is your vision about that and comment or share.
You can also check if you are wasting your time and read our goal buddy post about the importance of the first step: