Time management hack - self-leadership coaching tips
How many times do we think to ourselves "I wish I could do that but I don't have the time" or "If only I had extra time during the day"...
So I thought I would share some thoughts and energy facts here about what we have ALL said before, more than once... "I don't have time" - ALL of us have said this in our daily life, professional life, whatever so we're all the same, no judgment here.
I write "we/us" because I include myself in there, I'm no better than anyone else, we're all the same and I had to bring this to my awareness too :)
This article (and my website in general) is a judgment-free, blame-free and shame-free safe space where we can work on our self-improvement and self-leadership from a place of self-love and love for others :) This article is some food for thought that aims at raising awareness on time, energy and desires.
Before we dive in, if you'd ever want to chat about time management and productivity and see how I could help you, you can book your free 20-min clarity call here.
At the end of this article, you'll get the chance to get your free Tasks and productivity planner - self-leadership coaching tips
"I don't have time" can sometimes be a pretext
This might be triggering, but you know me, I'm all about healthy triggers - those that make us question ourselves from a place of self-improvement - so that we can bring hidden fears, beliefs, etc. to our consciousness and we can all grow.
I realized that "I don't have time" is an excuse, a pretext, it hides a lot of fears. And it blew my mind.
Time is used as a pretext, it can be a story we tell ourselves... but we're not always aware of we're doing this.
Sometimes we genuinely believe we don't have time, because we're used to doing things a certain way that seems to be working so we don't question these habits. It's ok, it's human.
As humans, we are creatures of comfort, changing habits can be uncomfortable. I believe that if you were drawn to this article, it's because you're on your self-improvement journey and you're feeling like you could improve one thing or two in your daily life, so I genuinely hope that what follows will bring you an epiphany or at least give you the answer you're seeking:)
Raising awareness on the topic of time is helping us to be honest with ourselves and help us honor our needs and be there for ourselves.
Nowadays, when I catch myself thinking "I don't have time" or if I'm about to say it, I stop and think...
Let me share the questions I ask myself so you can ask yourself these too from a place of self-improvement (no need to be hard on yourself :) )
Self-reflection journal prompts:
Do I really not have time?
Am I making excuses or using time as a pretext?
Why was I about to say "I don't have time": - Is it something I don't feel like doing? - Is is something I'm trying to escape from (aka procrastination)? - Can I refuse? If yes, why don't I say how I feel? (is it a fear of disappointing someone, of being judged etc.) - Can I allow myself to express my needs and boundaries?
What are my priorities?
Personal life example
Sometimes I know I have to do a specific thing, but it's a bit boring so I delay. But after self-reflection, when I delay, I now take responsibility for it and admit to myself "I don't feel like doing this right now, I'll do it later" and I do my best to keep myself accountable.
I sometimes write it down so it becomes something more "concrete" and later when I do it, I feel satisfied and grateful for having done it.
As entrepreneurs, we're busy! Fact!
It's true, sometimes life gets "crazy" and we're super busy, there's no denying that.
And let's also mention that resting is important, I'm talking about getting enough good quality sleep and for as many hours as you need - every one is unique and needs a certain number of hours of sleep for their own balance.
It's super important to remember that as busy as we are, it's 100% ok to set some non-negotiable things that we need to do and that important for us.
However, it's not always the case (that we don't have time) and that's what I'm talking about here.
Self-transparency and self-improvement
Why not start to really analyse what we mean when we say "I don't have time"
sometimes it implies some silent remarks that we're not always aware of... because sometimes we are not fully transparent with ourselves.
"I don't have time" can mean or imply:
I need to organise my day better or improve the way I manage my time
I don't want to do that but if I say I don't, I will disappoint someone/be judged/<insert fear here>
I am not worthy of this/I don't deserve this so I'll just say I don't have time
I don't know where to start
I can't be bothered
I'm scared to fail
I need help
I'm feeling shame/guilt
Sometimes it's also a need for recognition, needing to be seen, the inner child needing to be acknowledged
Transparency is a leadership fundamental
My point is, as entrepreneurs, we lead ourselves and our business life, it's important to lead ourselves and allow ourselves to acknowledge how we feel and to say what we mean :) Even if it's not always easy... we are way-showers and can encourage others to do the same.
Why not really be honest with ourselves and with others?
Why are we running from ourselves? What are we afraid of?
If something is really important, we can always MAKE the time for it - right?
Do you really not have time for your dreams and what sets your soul on fire or is there a fear of failure or success that is preventing you from taking action?
Either way, it's ok, it's just a matter of awareness and choosing what we can do to help ourselves in a way that doesn't feel too stressful for our nervous system.
Then it becomes a choice: a choice to remain in the same situation or a choice to reorganise our priorities (ex: heal a fear, seek help, talk to a friend... whatever applies)
Most importantly, let's be honest, it's ok to feel lost, scared, to want to distract yourself sometimes, not knowing where to start... but acknowledging it is important. What matters is awareness on the real reasons why we don't have time.
Above everything else, it's about taking responsibility for the way we feel, acknowledge it within ourselves and towards others too.
If you feel you could need some help to improve your time management and productivity, let's chat or check my 3-month mentorship program here :)
Energy and time hack
You've heard before "Everything is energy" and "you create your reality", these are actually 2 Universal Laws.
Let me share 2 facts to take into consideration here:
You will always see more of what you believe to be true or what your attention is focused on. Your reticular activating system (that "thing" in our nervous system that filters information to our brain so we only become aware of what we need to) will filter what your attention is focused on.
You've also heard before that words are spells (we spell words, right?). Being intentional with our words - and especially the energy we put behind these words - makes a big difference in the vibrations we send out to the Universe. This is also a Universal Law.
With those facts being established, as you could guess, the more you say "I don't have time", the more you will feel that you don't have time, the busier you will feel and the more overwhelmed you will feel too.
The Universe responds to frequencies, so you will feel you're busy and you will be reinforcing the belief that you don't have time.
My challenge to you: train yourself to become aware of your speech and reformulate your sentences when necessary.
Ex: "I will do this when it will feel comfortable / inspired" or "Let me write it down and I will make time for this"
Society tends to glorify busyness
Being busy is ok, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.
But it doesn't mean we're successful when we're busy. This is what society tends to want us to believe. Say what? Yes! I realized that there's also a "praise" of people who are busy, but it is not synonym of being successful.
Sometimes we do feel busy, we are doing a lot of stuff, but are these things actually moving the needle forward? Or are they "feel-good" tasks that are more secondary and give us the feeling that we've accomplished a lot?
I've been there myself, spending time on secondary tasks to avoid doing the "scary thing"... But, the scary thing in question was what could have made me feel more productive and more fulfilled. I could have reached my next level faster with less worry and stress.
Sometimes with reorganisation, mental clarity and mindset shift, we can accomplish the same things in less time.
"I don't have time to meditate" - let's debunk a myth :)
I've been there myself too, a few years ago when I was told by my Lakota teacher (a wise elder, a Medicine Man) that meditation would benefit me and improve my life. I was an executive at the time, that was back in 2009... I wasn't really familiar with meditation, I didn't have much patience so I thought it'd take me time.
And oh boy, was I wrong!
Meditation doesn't have to take time, even 2 minutes are beneficial and I want share the following meditation with you so you can see it for yourself right now as an example.
Meditation helps you in many ways, when you meditate, even for a few minutes:
your nervous system slows down
your anxiety and overwhelm lessen, you do something for yourself as a self-care activity
you come back to your own center, in your own body, "shutting down" the external world for a few minutes
you are in the present moment
your mind's activity reduces, it's like a reorganisation of your thoughts, which therefore gives you mental clarity and better focus
you take a step back and when you resume work you gain a different perspective or get a new idea you hadn't thought of before...
So when one thinks they don't have time to meditate, it's actually a sign that one could benefit from it :)
Self-leadership journal prompts
Am I willing to be real with myself?
Do I really want to do <insert the thing in question here>?
What is important to me?
Is there a way I could re-organise my day to make time for xyz?
Sometimes we need to compromise and get out of our comfort zone, sometimes
it's genuinely not possible at that moment in time... and it's ok, remember you are in control of your life :)
My challenge to you
My challenge to you is that next time you think or say "I don't have time", check in with yourself to see what hides behind this statement.
Don't judge yourself, what matters is to be aware and observe, think in terms of growth and what serves your highest good.
My gift to you
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You can listen to the podcast version here for more insight :)
Feel free to contact me if you need to step past procrastination and self-sabotage.
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Much love always,