How would you like to have more free time?
As I get older, I find time is ever so more valuable. I am super deliberate, passionate, and driven to create as much free time in my schedule as I can and I want to give you some of my tips to do this with me.
The Four Ds of Getting More Free Time
Decide that your free time is as valuable as your productive time. I spent a good portion of my life thinking that my worth was tied to how hard and busy I was. We have grown up in a culture where someone’s worth is based on how hard they work. There’s a lot of esteem attached to being a really hard worker, so this one can be a bit difficult. You need to decide that your free time, time with friends, time for play, time to meditate, time to sit and read a book, time to go on vacation, time to go for a walk with your dog, is just as valuable as hustling away at work, if not more so. We are meant to experience life and if all we’re doing is work, we miss it. Am I saying give up on your goals? No. But, what I’m saying is life is meant to be lived. I love doing work that has meaning to me. So my job is to decide how much of what I do and how much of everything else I do.
This is really key, especially in the world of distraction that we’re living in right now. Start to schedule your free time:
- schedule your workouts
- schedule your vacations
- schedule your date nights
- schedule walks with friends
Make scheduling these appointments as important as scheduling all the other things in your calendar. Stay super disciplined about maintaining them.
When it comes to your work, I really encourage you to time-block. So much of my work is done on social media. This has been a real skill for me to continue to develop and stay super disciplined and on task. I’m easily distracted and have a creative mind. So if I’m on social media doing work, I set the timer for 20 minutes and I go to work. During that time I don’t allow myself to do anything else. I try to do a couple of hours of focused time blocking each day where I can get deliberate work done.
Be unapologetic when people want your time and you’ve scheduled it. Particularly as women, we want to please people and we don’t want to let anybody down, but we need to understand that we’re the only ones who can set our own priorities and we shouldn’t be letting our priorities go to please someone else. That’s not how we’re supposed to live our life. Are there things that we put on our calendar that are for other people and in the act of service? Yes. And they should be part of your schedule. But it’s about not letting people eat into the time that we carved out for ourselves.
A great book on this topic, that I always recommend is Who Not How by Dan Sullivan. To quote Ronald Reagan: “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do, if you don’t care who gets the credit.” If you don’t care who gets credit or you don’t care who does it, there’s no amount of work you can’t get done. This goes back to this idea of feeling like you got to hustle for your worthiness and that if you didn’t do it personally, it doesn’t count. That’s not true. There are a lot of people out there who are looking to do the work that’s not a priority for you. You get to decide what activities are in your zone of genius. That is the best use of your skills and strengths and the best use of your time. Everything else is an opportunity to delegate to someone else. Once you start to delegate, you free yourself up to be more productive and to live life and that’s really the goal.
Dump everything out that’s not a priority. I’m always looking at what I’m doing each day, and what I can delegate or what doesn’t need to be done at all. That is very freeing. We are meant to evolve, and sometimes we get caught in habits of things we’ve always done because that’s the way we’ve always done them. But, if you just take a step back and look at it objectively, some of the things that you’re doing day in and day out, don’t even need to be done at all.
Hopefully, this has sparked some curiosity in you and if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.
In the meantime, remember, you are magnetic and people are waiting to hear what you have to say.