Don't Take Any Time for Yourself?
We live in a BUSY world, people! We do not live in an era where you can kick back and enjoy your life, or reap the rewards of your hard work over the years. There is too much to do! No matter what happens, keep your nose to the grindstone, keep charging forward with everything that you've got, and never, EVER, take any time for yourself!
There are many responsibilities that each of us has, and just to make sure that we have our priorities straight, let's go over some of the big ones:
• Your Job - You fill a position at work that couldn't possibly be filled by anyone else! The company that you work for was barely getting by before you came along, and it is very likely that they will collapse immediately if you don't drop everything and tend to every single situation that arises there.
Disregard the fact that work-related stress, commute time, and other job-related issues are the cause of countless emotional and physical problems in our society, and that you would be much happier if you backed off on your resolve to be "the best" at work. In fact, try working MORE hours each week!
• Your Family - You have a spouse or significant other, and responsibility for the children under your roof. Forget the fact that your spouse or significant other is perfectly capable of handling just as much responsibility as you are, and that you should be teaching the kids from DAY ONE to do as much as they possibly can for themselves.
If you don't take care of these people, who will? Heaven forbid they should actually have to lift a finger to help themselves, or they should have to deal with life's many issues without you there to coddle them and "make it all okay". Give up your own needs completely, and ask your family if there is MORE that you can do to make their life just a little bit easier!
• Housework - Oh, here is a good one! I once heard that if you got out of bed in the morning and didn't make that bed up nice and tight that the Bed Clothes Monster would get in there and gobble you up the next night while you were sleeping.
I also heard that - when left unchecked - Dust Bunnies can grow to the size of small predatory animals, and that your own cats, dogs, goldfish and parakeets would certainly meet an untimely demise if those pesky Dust Bunnies weren't eradicated AT LEAST once a week!
In fact, go ahead and hire a maid, but then follow the maid around to make sure the work gets done properly. Then you are spending more money, but still not saving yourself any time.
• Yard Work - Again, if you leave these types of tasks for too long without tending to them, it could be pure anarchy! The grass might grow 2 whole inches because you didn't mow it on Sunday, the dandelions would most certainly stage an organized revolt, and going one week without weeding your garden will spell disaster for everything that you are growing there.
Try cutting your lawn with a pair of scissors instead of a lawn mower. That way you will make sure the job is getting done right, and you can get face to face with those rebellious dandelions and let them know that YOU are in charge!
• Social Events - Everyone needs friends, right? You are no different, and you should feel 100% obligated to attend every single social event suggested by every person in your circle of influence. Whether it be a mixer with the people at work, drinks with your closest buddies at the local tavern, a wine and cheese picnic with the latest girl/guy you are courting, or a full-blown "run naked in the streets" party, you MUST attend!
After all, if you don't attend every single social event that comes across your calendar, you might be labeled as a person who actually has a life and a personality, and who doesn't have to spend all of their free time with other people. In fact, you might - GASP! - attract MORE people to your circle by such individualistic behavior!
So, the moral of the story - DON'T YOU DARE TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! As you can see from the above examples, doing so will surely cause the sky to fall, reverse the laws of physics, and cause a huge rift in the space/time continuum - all because of you!
Trust me, you don't want that kind of madness on your conscious...
Too Busy Staying Alive to Truly Enjoy Living?
You’ve got to go for your goals, be the best that you can be, live your dreams, follow your heart, and somewhere in between all of that you have to live your life, pay your bills, look after your children and build your relationships – is it any wonder that attempting to go for our goals ends up low down on our list of “things to do”
When the decision is made to look into changing your old programming it is not only making the transition from old to new that could stop you, although this has the potential to be a major stumbling block. You are also “battling” with running the parts of your daily life. The desire to change and improve our life will be in competition with taking care of the needs of you, your family, and your work.
Staying alive in order to pay the bills and take care of life eats up a large portion of our time and energy without having to then focus on what goals we want to achieve. When you have been working 12 hours, to motivate yourself to build your network marketing business so that you can eventually leave work and work from home can seem like a real effort.
We are so busy taking care of staying alive that sometimes there can be little energy left to work on the one thing that could possibly make all of the other things work better. And that’s how it is for many of us who have made the decision to return to learning, or who are working 2 jobs, raising a family or involved in community activities. The busy-ness of life can easily provide us with an opportunity to put our dreams on hold and to stop living.
Will your dreams be buried with you because you lost all hope of ever achieving them when you became tied down with earning a living, taking on a mortgage and working to pay the bills?
Ultimately I had to make a decision; I had to decide how much I really wanted to run my own business, have my own dream home, and drive my own great car. When I decided it was time to go for it I had to not only come up with a strategy to keep me focused, but also to accept that everyday living had the potential to crush my dreams and leave me stuck in a life I was unhappy with – but only because I had made the choice to make that happen.
Instead I made a different choice. I made the choice to wake up 30 minutes before my children to write out my goals, I made the choice to start small and build up to leaving employment so that I could work from home. I made the choice to keep going when the network marketing business I joined didn’t work out and to try something new. I made the choice to switch off the television an hour early and spend the time before going to bed reviewing my day, taking part in self-reflection and listening to a motivational audio CD.
I made and continue to make those choices because there is a desire to succeed that outweighs any feelings of inertia I may have. I was and still am driven by a desire for my children to see the world and enjoy the best that life offers.
In life there is “stuff” to do, no one is disputing that fact, but when the “stuff” overtakes and becomes more urgent than our dreams and aspirations then that is where finding your drive for something more becomes the motivating force that compels you forward, one step and one day at a time.
If right now you find yourself to busy staying alive to truly enjoy time for yourself, then stop and decide whether you are satisfied with that or you want something different for yourself. Making that decision is the first step.
Optimize the Tiny Little Fragments of Free Time That You Have
You have most probably heard of this quotation that goes something like, "If you want to know the value of one second, ask the athlete who came in second place; If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the worker who missed his train to work."
I have not the memory nor the space nor the time to quote it here fully, but I wish to acknowledge the fact that we do get that occasional amount of precious free time, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes (depending upon your level of productivity and efficiency in whatever it is that mostly occupies your day).
While we're waiting for the bus, train or taxi, we get some free waiting time. Whether we're singing or cursing as we're trapped in heavy traffic, we get free time. When we queue to pay for those Aspirin (Panadol) tablets at the pharmacy, we get free time.
Hey, even when we're answering nature's call in the bathroom, we get some free time (some people may prefer to spend it reading magazines or practising breath-holding exercises)!
What is time optimisation? It is the best possible use of the time - whatever amount it is - that we have been accorded. In other words, time optimisation is the most effective use of time, no matter how short or long that duration is.
You see, there are several ways, an infinite myriad of ways, we can spend the time that is given to us. The number of ways and what we can do itself are both determined by the length of free time accorded to us.
This article concerns tiny little fragments of free time. I'm dealing with anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. It's usually not productive to battle your procrastination problem by getting started on - or continuing with - that enterprise you're intending to accomplish within a window of only a few seconds or minutes.
What I mean to say is that you can do nothing much in only a few seconds or minutes of free time - you can do nothing physical much, that is. But what you can do is some constructive mind work. Some thinking. Some reflecting. Some mental sharpening.
Since thoughts are the seeds of actions; actions the seeds of effectiveness, if we positively affect our thoughts, we are actually contributing to the effectiveness of our actions later, even if but a little bit. If you have a few seconds of free time, say, while you're waiting for a very resource-intensive computer application to load (especially on a slow system), you can mentally determine what it is you want to do with that application beforehand; that is, if it involves your work-related stuff.
If you have a window of a few minutes of free time, for instance, while you're in the bathroom (under the shower or on the toilet seat), you can do some mental relaxation and focusing exercises to un-clutter your thoughts and clear your mind for that day.
Believe it or not, the bathroom is one of the best places to relax yourself both physically and mentally (not spiritually), next to your bed!
The key here is to find a way - always find a way - to productively and fruitfully spend the few seconds or minutes of spare time that we get - no matter how short it is.
If you're in the middle of a mental re-programming routine; perhaps using affirmations, self-talk, or best, Meta-Questions, you may find that a brief session of self-talk, affirmations or Effective Meta-Questioning during that period is very useful. Squeeze that in.
Do you, like thousands, or perhaps, millions of people all over the world, often get not only good ideas - but brilliant ones - when in the shower?
Do yourself a favour. Get a cassette and tape recorder, place it somewhere in your bathroom where water cannot touch it, and press ‘Record' as you begin to shower. Make sure the microphone is sensitive enough to detect your voice while showering. When you get any brilliant ideas (about your business, schoolwork, a song, a story idea, whatever), just shout it out into the recorder.
You'll find that your most useful tool is your notebook, tape recorder, PDA or other idea-recording devices. Find those which are portable and convenient to carry around, even to the bathroom. You never know when a great idea strikes you or when you just need to think on paper (tape or tablet).
In the queue? Have a conversation with your IRD (idea-recording device)! If you don't know what to write, record or type, just write, record or type anything.
In the lift? Fish out your IRD! This will be more productive than trying to guess who was responsible for the sudden change of smell in the lift.
Waiting for the movie to start while in the theatre? Take out your IRD! Just make sure to stop when the movie begins.
Here are some Effective Questions you can apply with regards to optimizing time:
Before you take on the day, you may want to ask,
Then, every night, before you retire, get your journal, or your IRD, and start asking and answering these questions:
Think up some more questions of your own. That's the beauty of this Effective Questioning technique. You have the power and the independence to create your own Meta-Questions, rather than be spoon-fed by a "guru" or motivational "expert" who might not practise what he's preaching in the first place.
Next time, if you catch yourself or your friends saying something along the lines of, "So much to do, so little time!", stop, and ask (aloud or to yourself), "Oh really?"
However, you may need to balance this new habit of time optimization from time to time. If you find that you're being increasingly stressed out by the piles upon piles of tasks, things and activities that you have for a day, stop and give yourself a breather or two.
Even the act of pausing and giving yourself a break is in itself an act of optimizing the time that you have. But, like on the other hand, don't do this (relaxing) too much either!