How to Use Your Time Wisely When All You Want to do is Lie Down
Ah time. Our most valuable commodity.
Ah time. Our most valuable commodity.
For some of us, we have more than we have ever had before - more than we know what to do with - yet we still seem to end up with not enough.
We complain about not having enough hours in the day even though half of it we’ve spent scrolling through our phones or procrastinating whilst sat in front of our computer screens.
And often, we wish time away.
When things get overwhelming, we long for better times and wish to the future.
Right now I’m at the stage of wanting to take long naps every day. Sometimes I face plant on the bed in the middle of the day and just lay there. Lockdown life is exhausting.
I started off with endless bouts of energy and motivation to get things done. I started writing my first book, I put my countless blog ideas into motion, I worked, I did yoga every day, I meditated, I spent time with my husband, I spent time with myself…
I achieved. And time was my best friend.
“Every second is of infinite value”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I’m not really sure when I got into my current rut but I do know I haven’t done yoga for well over two weeks and I had to muster up everything I had to do an online 10-minute meditation class last week. And had someone hold me accountable to make sure I actually did it.
I’ve used the excuse that work is taking up too much of my time right now — which is only partly true.
When my husband says ‘you’ve not posted a blog today’, I’ve become that person that says ‘yeah, I’ve not had time today’, or my personal favourite; ‘I don’t have capacity’.
Who do I think I am? Like I’m something to be put into a container?
Regardless, we’re getting worryingly close to the half-way point in the year and I’m at real risk of wishing the entirety of 2020 away and doing nothing of note that I’m particularly ‘proud of’.
This is my ‘kick-up the ass, let’s do something about it’ post that maybe you need to hear too.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t lie down and face plant when you need to. Sometimes it’s just what you gotta do. But you’ve also got to pick yourself back up again and stop letting the days roll into one.
Your future self will thank you for it.
Analyse where your time is currently going
And be honest about it.
Journaling is the ‘in thing’ right now and I’ll be completely truthful — I put it off a lot. But even just writing down and keeping a log of how you spend the next few days will give you an insight into how your time is being used.
I can tell you now that my evenings are spent watching TV, scrolling through my phone, and face planting. Imagine what I could do with those hours instead?
Write down how you want to spend your time
Once you know where your time is going, figure out how you’d actually like it to be spent, even if it seems ‘unattainable’ right now - because you don’t have capacity right?
What is it that you want to change about your current routine? What do you want to start doing less of, and more importantly, what do you want to start doing more of?
Start planning your time
Make a list of the goals you want to accomplish and assign tasks each day to help you get closer to these goals. Break it down into small, manageable chunks.
Think about specific work-related goals, spending time with family, and blocking out time for relaxation and valuable ‘you time’. Get the balance just right.
Get rid of distractions
If your phone is your biggest enemy — move it out of your sight for a period of time throughout the day. Sign out of social media and news sites. Turn off the TV. Close the door.
Whatever it is you’re working on or engaging with, dedicate your time to focusing on that one thing in that moment. Don’t think about anything else. You’ll soon find your flow.
For goodness sake, say no
Start setting boundaries now. You shouldn’t feel like you always have to agree to everything, especially if it doesn’t align with your goals for that day. Don’t veer off from how you want your day to look (within reason of course — we can’t always avoid work requests unfortunately).
Stop feeling like you have to explain yourself or find a ‘good’ excuse. Learn to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty and you’ll start to see life-changing results.
“Either you run the day or the day runs you” ~ Jim Rohn
Take back control. Make lists. Set routines. And achieve those goals, whatever they may be.
You don’t need to do everything at once but at least make a start today and you can build up the rest later.
Life can get busy and overwhelming for all of us but we do have a choice every single day when we wake up — to either let the day run you, or to let the day run for you. I know which one I’d rather choose.
This article was originally published on medium.