The best way to Take care of the Strain of By no means Having Sufficient Time (and Why It’s Complete BS)
If you’ve read Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week, you can just skip to the bottom of this post. For everyone else, I invite you to take a closer look at your relationship now. Especially those of you who are too busy to spend 5 minutes or so on, oh, I don’t know.
Somehow, “I’m busy” has become the new “I’m fine” in response to how you are doing. I thought so – I know you are indeed busy, but stay here with me.
When I work with new clients, they will usually tell me they don’t have time to sit down for a filling, nutrient-dense breakfast, so they just grab a “quick toast and coffee”. Or they’re too busy and can’t go to bed on time. It’s not just an occasional thing, either. It’s day after day after day.
Sounds like your life If so, let me ask you this: Why do some people seem to effortlessly destroy their to-do lists and others find theirs is out of control?
Seriously, there isn’t enough time
I never want to say, “We all have the same 24 hours a day” because that logic is fundamentally flawed and can sound privileged. In truth, we all fill our 24 hours in different ways, depending on our work, our lives, our families, hobbies, commitments and the unique life we have.
Sometimes I’m busy during my 24 hours because I have a lot of things that are important to me – family, friends, my clients, my personal life, my role at the Primal Health Coach Institute. And * usually * I like this because I enjoy my job and like to be productive.
I choose to be busy because it makes me feel fulfilled. The problem arises when you feel like a victim, can’t keep up, or just want to bury your head in the sand.
Lack of time = lack of priorities
It depends on the priorities. If better health or a leaner waistline was really important to you, you’d make it a priority. Unfortunately if you are like most people They unknowingly put other, less important priorities in their place (from stewing to making a mean comment on social media to worrying about how you’re going to get things done).
Remember whenever you catch yourself having a moment when I don’t have enough time What you spend your time is a choice – and you always have options. Now is the perfect time to take a step back and ask yourself these four questions:
- What is important here?
- What is not important
- Am I wasting time doing things that are not important?
- What else could I do with my time?
Do this exercise with me for a second. Take out a piece of paper (or the section with the notes on your phone) and write down your schedule for the day. When do you usually get up? What time do you go to bed? How much time do you spend at work? On social media? With your family? Daydream? Errands? Are you working on your health?
What are the three things that you spend the most time on on your list?
Like it or not, these three things are your priorities. How you spend your day reflects what you think is most important. If that doesn’t suit you well – or if you feel like you have the same number of priorities (when it actually isn’t possible), you are in a good place to make changes.
Because when you learn to eliminate your non-priorities, you will have time to focus on what is important to you.
How do you eliminate non-priorities?
It starts with taking things off the table that aren’t important or urgent. Research shows that having too many options can lead you to waste time worrying about things that don’t matter or avoiding a task altogether. In this experiment, a Columbia University professor set up a booth selling jams at a local farmers market. Every few hours she changed between 24 and 6 jams. She found that 60% of customers visited the booth when the larger range was available, but more people actually shopped when there were fewer options.
Not only that when it comes to tasks of mixed urgency and importance, The participants in this study prioritized time-sensitive tasks over less urgent tasks with a higher reward The researchers found the effect was even more noticeable in people who describe themselves as busy, adding that they were more likely to choose an urgent task with a lower reward because they were watch-fixated and “get it done” .
But how do you determine what is urgent and important? Enter the Eisenhower Matrix, named after the 34th US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It’s a prioritization framework (used by everyone from the athlete to the CEO) that can help you avoid wasting time in your life.
And in case you need the proof that Eisenhower knew what he was talking about, during his two terms in office he signed the first major civil rights law since the end of the Civil War, he ended the Korean War, oh and He created NASA.
Eisenhower realized that a solid understanding of time management means you have to do important and important things – and eliminate the rest.
- Important tasks Bring you closer to your goal, whether you’re wearing smaller pants or feeling starved all day.
- Urgent tasks are those that require your immediate attention, such as a deadline or the timely appearance of an appointment.
Once you get that straight, you can get rid of the tendency to focus on the unimportant tasks and instead do whatever is essential to your success, whatever that may seem to you.
Let’s put the matrix into action
The following questions can help you get a grip on your priorities and assess which are urgent, which are important, and which can be delegated to someone else – or dropped entirely.
1. If action is not taken immediately, will there be any consequences and is it consistent with your goals?
ACTION STEP: DO IT. This is an urgent and important task, which means it is a priority. And if you do it first, it will take a lot of pressure off your plate. Examples are:
- Complete a project for work
- Take a deep breath when you are stressed
- Reply to specific emails
2. Does it get you closer to your goals but doesn’t have a clear deadline?
ACTION STEP: SCHEDULE. This is an important but not an urgent task. Since it is easy to hesitate here, it is best if you take the time to deal with it. Examples are:
- Working out
- General self-care
- Spending time with your family
3. Does it have to be done within a certain time frame, but doesn’t require your specific skills?
ACTION STEP: DELEGATE IT. This is an urgent but not important task – at least not important to you. Sure, it needs to be done, but you could probably hand this job off to someone else, which will save your time. Examples are:
- Make sure the kids are ready for school
- Shopping for groceries for the week
- Meal preparation
4. Does it have no deadline or is it getting you closer to your goals?
ACTION STEP: DELETE. This is a task that is not important or urgent. And it’s a huge suck time! It’s the kind of “task” that makes you wonder where all of your time has gone. Using a browser blocker like Freedom can help a lot. Examples are:
- Scroll through your social media feed
- Play online games
- Worry, obsession, and stress about things that don’t matter
Bonus tip: Find out what time of day you are most focused. When do you tend to achieve a lot? Are you an early riser? A night owl? When you know when you are most productive, you can get things done with less effort.
Now tell me what you think Have you tried these strategies? What worked for you
About the author
Erin Power is the coaching and curriculum director of the Primal Health Coach Institute. She also helps her clients reestablish a loving and trusting relationship with their bodies – while restoring their metabolic health so they can lose fat and gain energy – through her own private health coaching practice, eat.simple.
If you are passionate about health and wellness and you want to help people like Erin for their clients every day, you should consider becoming a certified health coach yourself. In this special briefing event hosted by PHCI Co-Founder Mark Sisson, you will learn the three simple steps to building a successful health coaching business in a maximum of 6 months.
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