5 Ways to Make Time

I wish I could, I just don’t have the time”

We’ve all heard and/or said that line plenty of times. Sometimes it’s true. The thing is, more time isn’t just going to appear out of thin air. Often, we have to make the time.

Here are five ways that you can make time:

What is it that you want to make time for?

What does it look like? How does it make you feel? 

“Me time” looks different for everyone, so think about what it means to YOU. Get specific. When time for yourself is just a vague idea in the back of your mind, you’re less likely to actually make it happen. Having a vivid picture of what you want to do with this time that you’re creating, and why it’s important to you, will excite you. It should excite you! Whether it’s spending more time with friends and family, going to the gym, or sitting alone and reading a book, getting specific makes it real. Just by visualizing it, you’ll start to feel good. That taste of ‘feeling good’ will motivate you to do what it takes to secure your “me time”.

2. Keep track of what your typical day/week entails. 

Keep a notebook with you or a note on your phone and log what you do throughout the day. Write it down. Do that for a week. This one might seem tedious, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m not suggesting you get as detailed as: “7:03am – I brushed my teeth with Colgate Extra Fresh toothpaste.”

“7:03am – I brushed my teeth with Colgate Extra Fresh toothpaste.” 

I’m not a psychopath. But, observing what occupies your daily and weekly routine can lead to some pretty cool realizations. You might find that you actually do have some free time – yay your work here is done! (just kidding). Or, if that gap in your schedule doesn’t already exist, you might see if and when you can shift some things around to make a little room.

Whatever the case may be, putting your average daily itinerary down on paper (or on your phone because, you know, technology. #2022) will allow you to take an objective look at how you’re currently utilizing the 24 hours we have each day. Think of it as collecting data. Once you have the data, you can analyze the information and come up with a plan of action. 

3. Tackle your To-Do List with intention.

Are you a morning person or a ‘don’t talk to me until I’ve had my iced coffee’ kind of person? 

Maybe you thrive after the sun goes down like a nocturnal fox scurrying through the woods doing all kinds of fun fox things. 

In all seriousness though, we all have that time of the day when we are super productive, and times when we are… less productive. 

Prioritize your To-Do list. Optimize your time and energy. 

Whenever possible, do your most demanding tasks – the ones that require your full attention and focus – during those times you feel the most productive. When you feel like you can conquer the world and crossing things off your list is as easy as eating an entire bag of popcorn without even realizing it. 

By doing this, you’ll accomplish them quickly and competently. Much faster than if you try when you’re tired and your mind is foggy. Additionally, that success – the “win” of putting a big ol’ check mark next to an arduous chore on the list – will give you momentum to effectively work your way through the rest. And then BOOM, you find yourself with some extra time. 

Don’t just wing it and hope it works out that way. Plan it. Be intentional.

4. Ask for help where you need it.

That’s ok! It can be extremely overwhelming, but it’s ok. Stay with me here…

Society has created this false narrative that we have to take care of a home, a family, work, clean, cook, be social – all of the things – all on our own. And look fabulous while doing so. Otherwise, we’re somehow failing or falling short. 

That’s some nonsense. 

It’s ok to NOT do it all yourself. It’s ok to not WANT to do it all yourself. You don’t have to! There are plenty of resources out there. Don’t let your ego get in the way. It is absolutely ok to ask for help and take some of those responsibilities off of your plate. I’d even say it’s necessary. 

Ask a family member to watch the kids for an hour or two. Hire a babysitter. Bring in a house cleaner. Shop for foods and meals that are easily, or already, prepared. Groceries can be delivered now (isn’t that wild??). Say no to things you don’t want to do – don’t feel obligated to over commit. 

Asking for help does not make you a failure. Not by any means. In fact, by asking for – and accepting – the help you need, you’re setting yourself up for success. When you take care of YOU, you become your best self. When you’re feeling your best, you can show up for the people around you even more. 

You are a superhero. Asking for help will not make you any less of a superhero. It will just give you time to recharge your superpowers. 

5. Find an accountability partner. 

Fact: We are more likely to follow through with something when we know we will be held accountable.

So, get yourself an accountability partner. 

Share your goal with someone you trust. A family member, friend, therapist, coach. Someone who supports you. Tell them what your goal is (to make time for X,Y, or Z) and how you plan to achieve it. Tell them why it means so much to you.

I suggest this for two reasons. 

By saying it out loud, you are already taking action. Verbalizing what you want, and feeling heard and understood, can make a huge difference. So that’s a big deal. The thought or idea of making time is now one step closer to becoming a reality. 

Self efficacy is important, no doubt. But occasionally we need an extra nudge from somebody else (and that’s ok). Whether your accountability partner is someone who shares the same interests as you, a professional, or a loved one that just wants to help you succeed, their role is essentially the same:]

They will hold you to your word.

Check in on you.

Encourage you.

They won’t let you shy away from what you said you would do. 

So. Speak it into existence. Find an accountability partner. Make the time. 

One Final Thought

Regardless of the methods you choose, “making time” will require a great deal of self reflection. You must take a moment to look inward. To really look at yourself. You will have to make a conscious effort to become more aware of your actions, your needs, and your desires. The more you learn about yourself and what is most important to you, the clearer the path to creating space and time will become. \

Author of “5 Ways to Make Time” – Coach Gina

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