Say it once more.
“I just don’t have time for anything”.
Because that will be the last time you say it after you read this.
Did that satisfy your daily addiction to justify why you don’t;
- Take that class you always wanted
- Cook dinner
- Make breakfast
- Take the dog for a walk
- Go on a holiday
- Start that business idea you’ve been going on about for 4 years now
- Get your assignment done without leaving it to the last night
- Spend time with your kids/friends/partner
- Clean that stain off the wall that’s become part of the furniture
Yet you still managed to;
- Get drunk last weekend
- Watch every season of Game of Thrones/Masterchef/Orange is the New Black/The Bachelor/True Detective/or ‘fill-in-the-blank’
- Go shopping
- Scroll Instagram and facebook for at least 1 hour before bed
- Sleep in
- Spend time arguing with someone why you don’t have time
Who am I kidding…
We all do this.
Well at least I used to a lot more oftn…
Just wasting minutes thinking about what I don’t have time for and justifying every minute spent wasted.
I’m not going to say I, or most other people don’t live time-poor lifestyles. We certainly DO need to take time to chill out and remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle to re-set the mind.
But, there’s no denying we could all be ‘killing it at life’ much better.
Here’s a more recent example of myself.
Last semester I was all over the place. I was studying five subjects full-time (24 hours of lecture/tutorial time), working between 6-15 hours/week at my retail job, (barely) running my website, proof-reading magazine articles, freelancing recipes for other businesses, and making herbal teas. On top of that, I had a quiz or assignment due just about every second week.
Try to tell me that I need to go to the gym and I would probably bite your head off.
Tell me to read a book and I’d direct you to my pile of seven ($600 worth) text books for that semester.
Ask me to catch up for breakfast and it was the same answer every time; “sorry I have this due tomorrow,” “sorry I’ve got work,” “sorry I have no life at the moment unless we’re quizzing each other on pathologies of the digestive system”.
One day I had a mother of two who studies part-time ask me how I managed to find time to do everything.
Of course I still managed to watch Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries, David Attenborough, and whatever else the boyfriend was about to watch that would help me procrastinate a little longer. I also always found time to make raw chocolate if my assignment was due the following day.
I thought I dealt with stress pretty well until mid semester. Then I hit a wall.
Things started to go to shit. I started skipping classes to sleep in, or go home early so I could finish assignments, study for the next quiz, or take more hours at work.
I couldn’t think straight. My mind was constantly thinking fast and slow at the same time. I started getting head aches. I was moody. I was shit to be around unless I put on my exhausting confident front to show I’m “really good thanks, how about you”.
Boy was I ready for that last exam to be over.
One week, in one of my darkest moments of everything hitting the fan, a friend told me about the author Dr Joe Dispenza coming to Melbourne for a Progressive Meditation workshop. I wanted to jump at the opportunity but then I saw how much it was – $450. I had almost finished his book ‘You are the Placebo’, which reports on placebo studies around the world. The main message of the book was how the power of the mind can heal almost anything. The main part I hadn’t got to yet was the meditation.
I slept on the idea of this workshop wondering if I could afford it. I then came to the conclusion this was going to be an investment in my life. Because if the power of meditation could really help me to become less-stressed, more organised, and a newer self – as so many studies now reveal on the ancient art – then this would only make me wealthier in the long-run.
So I did it.
And I had a break through.
I finally let go of the excuses that were holding me back from; going to the gym, getting my dream-business started and being organised. One of my meditations in the workshop was so deep, so real in embodying a better future, that tears involuntarily streamed down my face (that experience to come in a later blog).
Fast-forward to now and I’m doing more than last semester, but with more time to spare.
Now I’m going to the gym, back to study with five subjects, working every other day of the week (bar 1 day off occasionally), running social media and blogging for another business, free-lancing recipes, setting up my online business, catching up with friends, taking every opportunity, meditating and still watching my favourite shows.
As cliché as it sounds, the secret really is meditation.
Even if it’s just for 10 minutes – just to rest the racing mind, restart and ground yourself, that 10 minutes will buy you an extra 1 hour of efficiency.
Now I’ve set myself a weekly planner, which includes daily time-limited goals. I now set the timer for 1 hour for each task, and if the timer goes off, I have to move on to the next task.
For example Monday:
- Uni: 11.30-6pm
- 1 hour pathology homework
- 1 hour sociology of food homework
- 30 minutes website
- Meditate before bed
Of course we’re not going to get it right every day. Life is spontaneous and unexpected; we don’t know who’s going to call or turn up at the door.
But the key is if we prepare our minds to deal with stress better, then the big life hurdles will only feel like small bumps in the road. Then our focus that would otherwise be spent worrying about ‘not getting this done’, can be spent better on ‘just getting it done’.
Just as life is spontaneous, so should we be spontaneous.