‘FML, nothing seems to work out. So many things I need to do. My to-do list only seems to get longer and my time seems to get more scarce. I am so tired. Everything I say turns into a discussion. Nothing goes smooth. Everything I do grows into an obstacle or a problem. Everything and everybody is asking my attention, my kids, my spouse, my boss, my friends. If I could only split myself into ten pieces and make everybody happy… And when do I have time to go to the gym? If I only could have more hours in a day! I am letting everybody down. What should I do?’
Do you recognize this conversation? Does it sound familiar as one of the voices inside your head?
A lot of people come to me with a time management question. They expect a life hacking solution. They expect me to tell them a quick fix and all of a sudden they have more time on their hands. ‘I am going to a coach and she will fix my problem’. Well, the last time I checked I also have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. I have no magic tricks or skills. Disappointing news; I have no life hacking solution to create more time.
Everything you do cost time, some things more than others, but everything takes time. What you do with that time is your choice. So how do you spend your time? What is really a priority? Not everything can be a priority. We tend to make everything a priority. But as we all know, when you spend an hour in the gym, this hour takes away time from other things. Which sounds almost like a bad thing because it costs you something, but it is not.
We live in a world with a lot of opportunities and we are faced with it every single day. The feeling of never (being) enough is fed by this. We see people living extraordinary lives with a beautiful house, multiple holidays a year, dinners every week, partying every weekend… you know what I mean. We all know the pictures. And consciously and unconsciously it gives us a feeling of being a loser and it raises our standards of what to do with our own lives and what we expect from ourselves, without thinking if it is realistic. Because we see others do it so why can’t we?!
People complain about work/ life balance. They complain about not having enough time to do it all. And they should have and do it all. In my experience when people get stuck, they have a major list with their wants, to do’s and they are always running behind, never have time for anything and are at a point that they hate their life and ask for help because they don’t know what to do. Or keep struggling until they come to a point and experience physical problems.
In my opinion, it is not that those people who struggle don’t know what to do, it is the consequence they don’t want to accept. It is the choice making and the giving up part that people are not willing to do and so they go to a coach with the hope of a life hacking solution to have it all. You could probably save some time here and there with a time management training, but that is not the real issue.
When I ask them ‘What do you want the most?’. They are pretty clear about what they want. Most of the time it is spending time with their family, living in the present and worry less.
And what is your fear when you stop doing certain things? Fear? Yes, fear? I am certain that fears arise when I ask you to stop doing things. And don’t tell me you can’t stop doing what you are doing because you can and life still goes on. The irritating level is going upward, isn’t it? The question is ‘What is the next action you need to take to come closer to what you want?’ And that is about doing less, about priorities, about choosing.
You have been justifying your doing by saying that your demanding job took away all your time. And you are not eating healthy and you have gained five kilos because you are too busy to go to the gym. And you have no time to go on holiday because of all the deadlines.
It is not that you don’t know what to do. It is you that don’t want to stop doing what you are doing. You don’t want to choose what is really a priority.
So, what is your priority? You just can’t have it all.
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