Why There is Never Enough Time
I don’t know if you often declare that you have plenty of time but I have yet to hear anyone say those words or see them written anywhere. If you are like most of the people I’m chatting with regularly, you want more time and you never seem to get it but I’m going to suggest you’re looking for the wrong thing.
If you’re like me, you consciously try to get control of time by taking things off your schedule. This makes you feel good for a short time but before you know it new things have landed on your calendar. You still don’t have free time, you’ve only got a new routine.
Rather than time, which is largely out of your control – have you also wished for an extra hour or two in the day? It never happens, does it? – I propose you seek something different: more energy.
The coaching process I use with my clients is called the Core Energy Coaching Process.
At the root of this process is 1) the scientific fact that we are all made of energy and 2) our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions have an energetic signature that either depletes or restores us; works for us or works against us.
All day long we are thinking thoughts that either gives us energy or we are thinking thoughts that take our energy away.
What is really stealing your time?
This phenomenon was written about in the book, The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. The subtitle of this book is Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal.
How many times have you carved out time to work on a project only to find when that open time came that you were too cranky, tired, or restless to focus on the task and get it done? The reason you couldn’t focus is your energy was tapped out. You needed to do something to restore your energy before you could use any on your project.
These are the times you find yourself reaching for your phone or going on the computer to check Facebook or watch Youtube videos.
One of my favorites is of a baby panda bear sneezing. It’s hilarious!
We instinctively do this because we want to find something that will calm us down, let us check out for a while or find a good laugh – all things that help us to renew our energy stores.
These strategies work in the short-term but they are not the most effective renewal sources of energy. You end up spending precious time trying to gain a small amount of energy to make it to the end of the day.
The most effective strategy is to proactively keep your energy high so when the time comes to get something done, you are all-in, energized and ready to go. Rather than constantly responding reactively to energy lost, try adding in some activities that both proactively renew your energy and prevent your energy from getting stolen.
How to find more energy
Here is a list of things that proactively renew your energy and obviously their opposites are the energy stealers. I’ve broken them down into categories but let me be clear, they all overlap.
- Physical energy: sleep, good nutrition, exercise or activity, stretching, conscious breathing, and good hydration.
- Mental energy: keep life simple; minimize decision-making and make decisions in a timely manner. Read books, watch videos and have conversations that stimulate your mind (TED talks are great for this). Actively seek to communicate clearly to prevent confusion and ask that those around you do the same.
- Emotional and spiritual energy: any activity that brings you joy, spending time with positive people, spending time with animals, being out in nature, being of service and taking time for reflection.
What would you add to this list?
If you want to be at your best at crucial times you need to build into your schedule activities that renew your energy.
It seems counter intuitive to invest in enjoyable and self-nurturing activities but in the end, you are going to get more done in a shorter amount of time netting you extra time to invest however you wish.
What would you do if you had a few extra hours each week?
Jodi Flynn, is an iPEC Professional Coach, founder of Women Taking the Lead podcast and author of Accomplished: How to go from Dreaming to Doing. She specializes in coaching Type-A clients to help them achieve their biggest goals with ease and live the life they have been dreaming about. For more information, visit: www.womentakingthelead.com