You gotta love a good old negative cliché. If we repeat them enough, it should give us just about enough credible excuses for not making the most of our lives. And if everyone believes them, if everyone bemoans the facts, then surely you too have a right to feel aggrieved about how tough life can be.
“There aren’t enough hours in the day”. Wow. Deep sh*t dude. More like deep, negative bullsh*t. This must be the worst cliché to leave the lips of any person on the planet. Negativity like this will never allow you to better yourself, drop this cliché from your repertoire immediately. Passive pessimism is your enemy. And you, my friend, have 24 hours/1440 minutes/86.4k seconds in each day just the same as your boss, your CEO, Bill Gates or Nelson Mandela. If they can make it work, so can (read: should) you.
Quality time management is the difference between successful people and ‘the rest’. If you currently identify yourself with the latter group, then either accept mediocracy (and don’t bother reading any more of my stuff, don’t bother contacting me, you’re 6/10 life awaits you, you’re not my people) or be proactive and do something about become the former. It’s waiting for you.
24 hours a day is plenty time enough. You just need to use it more effectively.
Here are 5 ways to manage your time that will improve your life, and you can, and should, implement them today:
1) Passion Projects
Live is nothing without passion. If we’re just treading water at work, in relationships, in life then what’s the point in anything? Find your passion, seek it out, and pursue it with vigour.
You want to travel the world? Start making plans on how to do it. Choose destinations, sort out budgets, sign up to couchsurfing, buy a lonely planet. Move forward.
You wanna be a professional writer/photographer/blogger? Stop daydreaming. Millions of people around the world are dreaming the same thing, but they’re not doing anything about it. Do you want to be one of the minions, or are you going to actually action your dream?
Wanna bank $5k, $10k, $50k per month? Right on, but what are you doing to make it happen? Buy books, read up and take the plunge. You’re not ready, you never will be, but the people who did it also weren’t ready.
Start moving towards your end goals today, however small the action is. Passion is everything. If the prospect of stagnating where you currently are isn’t a big enough wakeup call, then visualize how you’ll feel when you’re actually living the life you currently dream about. Make time for your passion, at least 3 hours per week, go and get it.
If the company you slave away for takes a hit, would they feel bad about cutting you? Nope. 10 years down the line, will your former manager remember all those early mornings you came in? All those late nights you worked? Nope.
Your priority is and should always be number one. If you think it sounds selfish, then enjoy the grind because you’re going to be playing that game for a long time. Put yourself first. Put your dreams first. Put your lifestyle first.
Never live to work, never. Just like point number 1, prioritise your passions. Prioritise the people you love. Prioritise your lifestyle. If your Spanish lessons are at 6pm, then don’t let a late business call jeopardise that. Don’t feel guilty for missing work for going to the dentist or doctor, your health comes waaay before your job does. And if they’re making you feel bad about that, get out of that role as fast as you can.
Prioritise working yourself into a situation where you don’t hate your job. Whether that’s making money online like me, or freelancing so you have more freetime, or starting a business it’s imperative to put your lifestyle first, and we need to do it today. Make time to make it happen. Schedule the time into your calendar; if you have time for Game of Thrones, you have time to better your situation.
They’re important. Make time for them. You’re not too busy to reply to a whatsapp, you weren’t ‘snowed under’ to the extent that you haven’t spoken to your best buddy for a month and you certainly haven’t been ‘meaning to call X for ages’. Be honest with yourself, your priorities were wrong (See above) and now you’re redressing them.
Don’t ever forget the good people in your life. Always make an effort, always. Take 1 hour out of your week, 10 minutes a day, to call a good friend. Use that time everyday to reply to emails from people who deserve a reply. Call your mum, send postcards to your siblings, skype your besties. They won’t be there for us forever unless we nurture that relationship.
Schedule a time for them. And never forego it, this time is more important than any other. And it only takes 10 minutes a day. We all know you find time to swipe left/right/left/right on tinder for a few minutes a day, spend that time better. And watch the love you get back from the good people in your life.
4) Take Care of Yourself
If negative clichés breed passive pessimism then this cliché is quite the opposite. Health is wealth. Take time to do quality grocery shopping, take time to learn what a healthy diet is. Take time to cook quality food. Get your five a day. It costs both time and money, but you can hardly spend either commodity better.
Furthermore, exercise. Start small, but aim for 30-60 minutes per day. Even if it is simple chair exercises using a product like this, it is still something. It’s not a chore, that’s a guarantee. Motivation starts you, but habit and positivity keep you there.
When you find time to keep your body and diet healthy, suddenly you’ll miraculously find time for a hundred and one more things. A healthy body feeds straight through to a positive mindset, and with a positive mindset anything is possible. Dreaming of being a millionaire? Me too, positivity and health will get us there. Make time for taking care of yourself.
Write sh*t down. It doesn’t make you a loser to be taking notes and making lists. It makes you a superstar in progress. Time management is a mission, it’s not easy, but it’s probably the single most effective thing you can do to transform your life.
Spend an afternoon working out your priorities, thinking about the larger group around you and which relationships deserve your time and effort, how you are going to exercise and where, how you’re going to improve your diet and then pimp your calendar religiously.
Carve that sh*t in stone. Whack in those 10-15 minutes per day for your friends, that 30-60 minute exercise time, that longer cooking prep and don’t negotiate. Don’t let work hold you back. Schedule time for your passion projects/your side earners/your business ideas. This is your life. You’re improving it. Log it, and watch your progress. Do this and your life will improve. Why wouldn’t you?