“It’s not that you don’t have enough time, it’s that you don’t have priorities” – Tim Ferris
Our attention is limited especially in the age of social media. Everything happens in a matter of nanoseconds & the moment it does, it captures our direct attention while occupying a rather large piece of our mind. The moments that we know we ought to be using wisely become drained as we scroll down through our news feed or swipe right on our touchscreen-hour glass. It’s clear, that rather than sitting down at night to unwind, that many of us, myself included, have become accustom to delaying our day to day tasks by filling it with social media garble. Then, when it is time to allot attention to things which TRULY do matter such as physical fitness, relationships, or just general pleasurable leisure, there is a tremendous amount of stress in the way because we simply “cannot find the time”.
As a Fitness Lifestyle Coach & Classic Physique Bodybuilder, the sheer numbers of times I have heard the excuse that one doesn’t “have the time” to commit to themselves is simply daunting. I am blessed and grateful to have had the ability to work with over 300 clients in the last two years, but when I receive an inquiry or just general fitness related question, there are usually two to three phrases I will receive upon of first conversation from many potential clients.
1) I have tried everything
2) Nothing Seems to Work
3) I Just Don’t Have the Time
#3 is usually the hardest habit of the mind to break because it is just that; a habit of the mind. The first two usually come down to a matter of a circumstance. Things like working off the wrong program or unfortunately, many times working with the wrong coach, but these can be adjusted easily. For many people, the “time” crisis is real or at least made to be real by the priorities that shape their habits.
The truth that everyone knows is the time is NOT the problem here, but priority & more importantly, FOCUS are the issues when it comes to reshaping our daily habits. We all have the same amount of time whether you’re Dwayne Johnson or the florist down the street. It is what we do or better yet, how EFFECTIVELY we do it that matters. You don’t need to spend 3 hours at the gym to get incredible results, much like you don’t need to spend the day with your spouse or loved ones to have an impact on them in a positive way. It is all about WHAT we do with our time that matters the most and that truly comes down to our priorities.
Personally, I have struggled with this in the past especially when it comes to focusing my attention. I would say that I certainly have a form of undiagnosed attention disorder, which although makes it easier to work in the capacity that I do, but doesn’t always lead to highly effective tendencies. Over the years though, I have learned how to hone in my attention & MAXIMIZE my effectiveness day to day. Here are my top three tips and habits that have helped me develop a more productive lifestyle & can help you too.
1) Meditate & Become Grounded
Every morning, I have two major things that I must do before checking emails, answering client calls & moving amongst my day. The first is I make my bed & then I simply meditate for 5-10 minutes. I use this time to be what I like to call “Brain-Neutral” meaning I observe my thoughts as they come racing in, but instead of focusing on them I let them pass through like a cleanse of my mind. I visualize the three things that would make the day incredible & hone in on the feelings that they would present.
Now to the naysayer who is reading this and thinking, “Well, I am not going to be humming and singing cumbia”; I would like to challenge your belief about what mediation is. Think of it as a mental priming for the day & a moment of present-ness before the day. Use this time to think of what you are grateful for, what you are shooting for & what would make your feel joyful if you accomplished it every day which leads us into number two.
2) Write Daily Goals (Priority Setting)
After I have cleared my mind, I begin to think about what I want to achieve in the day and write them down. I think “what would make today a great day?” and establish the feelings of accomplishing that task. This acts as a priority-setting phase of the day so you don’t become distracted throughout your day.
Now, I am not saying to just imagine ludicrous ideas into your life for no clear reason like winning the lottery, but things that you have been focusing on in your day to day life. Focus on the things that bring you happiness day to day and allow them to manifest themselves.
Some examples for me are the following:
1) I want to sign 1 new client & have them start transforming their lives.
2) I want to have an incredible workout & be completely focused.
3) I want to be able to make someone’s day better & be present in the day.
These are simple goals, but prime my priorities so I can move throughout the day with focus and not like I am walking in the dark.
This is a major component to productivity above all else. Disconnect from your phone, laptop and television whenever possible which I must admit is a difficult task for me as well.
But, think about the sheer volume of times you have spent scrolling through useless bullshit for 10-20 minutes to stop and think, oh wait, I need to get back to work.
I have 1 major rule for whenever I must be productive, like right now as I write this, which is that my phone must be shut off & place out of sight to disable to the feedback loop that tells me to check my phone. The best part is it will give you the time to allocate towards the things you need to get done & in the end, that is what matters the most.
Here’s the greatest part about these three tips which is if you follow them, you will CERTAINLY have time to allocate towards one or more major goals in your life that will bring you joy and value. Simply by reshaping your priorities & giving YOURSELF more time to focus on you, you’ll realize there is more of you to go towards others which is an extremely freeing feeling. Now, I’m not saying this is a magically solution orthat you should abandon all to shift your life’s focus, but if there is something you truly want to accomplish that is outside of your time frame right now, implementing these three easy steps will make the path much more clear.
I want to continue this conversation though so please leave a comment below about your thoughts on this topic.
How do you balance your time?
What are your thoughts on the subject?