“Hey Ollin: my challenge right now is that there’s just not enough time in the day… but I don’t think you can help me with that one. Unless of course, you know how to add more time to my day. Haha!”
One of the most common problems I hear from my readers is that they can’t find enough time in their day to follow their passion.
I know how hard it can be (this is true especially now that I have to balance following my passion with a full-time job).
And trust me: I have tried to see how I can literally add more time to my day. Unfortunately, I have learned that there is no way to actually add more time to your day, but I have learned that there are ways to make the most of the time you do have, and also how to make it appear as if the time is stretching out longer, rather than shrinking at a rapid pace.
Here are just four ways you can pretend to add more time to your day.
How To Add More Time To Your Day (AKA: How to Make The Most of The Time You Do Have)
1. Focus On Energy: Not Time
To make it seem as if you’ve added more time to your day, you need to find out how to give yourself more energy and focus during the times you need to get a lot of stuff done.
Sometimes the reason we feel like we’re running out of time is because we are wasting the time we do have being unmotivated and unfocused. When we can’t concentrate, or feel incredibly unenthusiastic about our writing, then we can’t get it done right away–and so we spend much more TIME writing because we are spending a lot more effort trying to get ourselves to start writing.
My point is this: you need to be able to sit down and get straight to writing without distraction and without long moments of lethargy.
“But Ollin, I don’t know how to do that! I’m always blocked and can never focus and I’m NEVER motivated to write!”
Oh, honey boo boo child: you are clearly new to Courage 2 Create.
Ollin’s got you covered.
To help you concentrate while writing, please read:
To help you with that nasty case of writer’s block, please read:
Finally, if you ever need a bit of an energy boost, try reading:
Your welcome. (And if you want to repay me, you can do so by sending me a toy colonial viper fighter spacecraft in its original packaging, mint condition, to my P.O. Box, care of Ollin Morales.)
2. Buck The Culture
Sometimes the reason we feel like we are constrained by time is because we feel like we have to do things at a certain time of the day; because if we don’t, others will think we are weird, irresponsible, incapable, or just plain stupid.
For instance: I used to have time to go running every morning for 30 minutes. Now, because I have to wake up early for work and beat traffic–that isn’t realistic anymore.
So, instead, nowadays I’ll usually go running at 9 o’clock at night.
In all honestly, I hate running that late at night, but hey, that’s the only time I can fit in my weekly exercise routine.
So, if there are random hours in your day that you always have free, but these are not usually the hours were certain tasks are “supposed” to get done, buck the culture and use those minutes up anyway.
3. How about adding more “day” to your “time”?
Instead of focusing on how you can add more time to your day, why don’t you try adding more day to your time?
By that I mean: try being more present and aware during your day. Whatever you do–whether it’s writing, working, doing laundry, spending time with friends–fall into the present moment and be there as opposed to worrying about the next thing on your to-do list.
If you’re eating cereal, be with the crunchiness of those honey oat clusters. If you’re feeling kinda sad, be with that sadness. If you’re spending a night with your friends, pay attention so you don’t miss the punchline of the joke, and so you can laugh along with everyone else when it finally comes.
When you try to be “here” instead of “there” you might find that time seems to stretch for hours and hours–suddenly numbers on the clock lose their meaning, and before you know it, you’ve made your day much longer–even though you haven’t added a single second to it.
4. Don’t Make Any Compromises With Time
“As he made no compromise with Time, Time kept out of his way, and only sighed at a distance because he could not overcome him.”
– Henry David Thoreau
In the end, the main reason we stress out so much about not having enough time is because we’ve made so many deals with time that are nearly impossible to keep:
Deal #345: “Time, you need to get me a husband/wife by….”
Deal #670: “Time, you need to make me stinkin’ rich by…”
Deal #181: “Time, I must have house by…”
Deal #64: “Time, I must lose weight by…”
Deal #921: “Time, I must have at least 2 kids by..”
Deal #56: “Time, I must have seen Paris and Rome and Machu Picchu by the age of…”
The deals we have made with time are in the thousands.
And I get it: we all have to have goals and vision boards and bucket lists and one of those fancy walls on Pinterest with all the delicious pictures of culinary delights that we will never cook ourselves but pretend we will one day–“Screw you, Ollin: just for that, I WILL be making that lemon merengue pie with those rare, expensive imported lemons from France and that whipped cream made of that special goats milk imported from Turkey and that handmade crust that must be prepared with painstakingly… ah, forget it, I’m just gonna by one of those 99 cent apple pies from McDonalds.”–yes I get that we need to have goals!
We’re all supposed to make the most of our time here.
We’re all supposed to seize the day. Yes, even I said it. (I’m such a hypocritical douchebag, I know.) But when we seize the day, we don’t have to enslave ourselves to it.
We don’t have to make any compromises with time that are binding. Time should be a tool, not a bullwhip to make us feel guilty and ashamed for not meeting obligations to ourselves (obligations that maybe we couldn’t meet because of situations out of our control).
Let’s make the most of our time, yes, but let’s also cut ourselves some slack when things don’t happen in the exact time-frame we hoped they’d happen in.
If you are not careful, time can make you its slave. It’s good to have goals for yourself and self-imposed deadlines while pursuing your dream, but if you can’t make those goals and deadlines because of events and situations out of your control, then there is no use letting time grab you in its stranglehold. Don’t make any deals with time then, and time will cease to make you its slave. The work will get done when it gets done: you just try your best to move the process forward.
Today’s Courage Exercise
Don’t make any deals with Time today. Instead, be uncompromising about the fact that you will accomplish your life goals, no matter what date or time they get accomplished in–and watch as time is forced to surrender and sigh at a distance.
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