As the old saying goes, "We all have the same 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week..." and then, "it's what we do with them that makes us different," or "that we spend them on what truly matters," or whatever your preferred version of this is. Whatever your preference, it boils down to this; how we spend our time and energy creates our outcomes and results.
And, good news, how we set the tone for our day, hour, meeting, or conversation creates more time. And even better news, it's not really about time; it's about energy, setting ourselves up to be the best use of us, and the way we relate to and think about time.
So what do you spend your time and energy on, how do you set the tone for your day, and how do you support yourself to create what you want?
Here are 3 places to look. Start now.
Language counts: I met with someone this last week who, when talking about creating the change they said they so dearly wanted, repeatedly said, "I'll try," "I hope," "I can't," and "I don't have time." They ended with, "I'll try to find the time, I hope it will work."
None of these words, and the intention (or lack of intention), energy, and mindset behind them will support them. They're squishy words. There is no commitment or command in them. They're setting themselves up for the cycle of ick.
"I will," "I trust," "I intend," "I'm committed to," "I'll create the time," "I am devoted to making this work," are all phrases that carry more intention and power. Play with them today.
Setting your day up counts: How you set the tone for your day will create ripple effects throughout -- for good or bad. Starting your day in bed (after snoozing three times), on your phone, checking email and texts before your feet even hit the floor, sets the tone for being reactive, overwhelmed, and at the command of everyone else's needs. You've lost your day before it's even started. (Don't worry, you can get it back with a reboot and a decision to regain command of your space.)
Instead, set it up. Start your day with NO SNOOZE (just get up or use your 9-minute snooze to check in with yourself and pre-flect and intend the day). And then block the first 10 or 20 or 30 or 60 (whatever) minutes of the day for you. What do you do with this time? Journal, meditate, breathe, stretch, set intentions, fill out your IEP Sheet for the day, preview your calendar and make sure it's intentional (though I recommend doing this at the end of the previous workday), dance, or a combination of all of the above. Whatever you do, keep your space for you. When you're done, you own your day. NOW you can decide how to interact with all the demands coming at you. (And know more consciously what to say "YES" and "NO" to.)
Self-care counts: How you take care of you; your nutrition, exercise, sleep, thinking, self-kindness, all of it, makes a humongous difference on your energy, stamina, and sustainability. Which makes a huge difference in your resiliency throughout the day, your ability to stay "on" for prolonged periods of time, decision making, how you treat others, and ultimately your trust and credibility in how people respond to you. (It's really hard to inspire and build trust if you're burned out, exhausted, barely present, and just surviving your day.) Prioritize it.
Make time for self-care. Swap crap food for clean food. Get movement in (if even 20 push ups, a stretch, and a 5-minute walk three times a day, is all you can muster at the start). Get your zzzz's, replace TV, social media, and "killing time" with SLEEP. Pay attention to your thinking, does it support you or exhaust you? ("I'm so busy, this is so hard, I'm so tired" are usually not energizing ways to think. Replace with words that serve, "I'm richly scheduled/on purpose," "This is something that will grow me," (or "Easy peasy!"), and "My energy is low so I'll give myself a 5-minute reboot" (and "I'll also give myself more rest tonight") are all words that serve and produce versus complain and deplete. And be kind, self-kind, meaning be nice to yourself as well as others. Our self talk fuels or depletes. Notice it. Make it kind. You'll see.
Pay attention to these three things today as you navigate your life and your "busy-ness". Apply one or all and notice how these change your game.
To making time and energy count, and to setting ourselves up well to be the boss of it (and us).