I so often hear clients say “I don’t have enough time” or ” being creative isn’t my problem my problem is time”. I always think when I hear this, really is that your problem. We all have the same amount of time in a day, we are all given 24hrs. So no-one can have more time than someone else or less for that matter. Yes some of us have kids 1, 2 maybe more. I have 4 and as much as I would like to blame my lack of time on them deep down I know it is not true. If we all have the same amount of time than how is it that some of us achieve so much and some of us achieve so little.
When I really think about it, really look inside myself I know that time is not the problem. The real problem here is not enough uninterrupted time. Uninterrupted time where you can really immerse yourself in whatever it is you are doing without any interruptions, no emails, no annoying text messages or phone calls. And definitely no interruptions from your children. If you can put aside uninterrupted time for your work you will be amazed at how much extra you get done in a day. So then it is not an issue of not having enough time it is actually a question of prioritizes. And I am not advocating ignoring any of your responsibilities or your children or spouse, there is enough time in every day to do everything you want to.
Every time you are interrupted it take a few minutes for you to focus again on what you were doing. 1 hour of uninterrupted time is equivalent to 3 hours of interrupted time. This means if you work for 8 hours a day totally uninterrupted you will get the same amount of work done that you could working for 24hrs with interruptions. This means that you can then give your kids, spouse or another activity your focus when you finish and have plenty of quality uninterrupted time with that activity. So not only will your achieve more at work you will also improve your relationships around you and be present in whatever it is you are doing.
We live in a world where most people think that they have direct access to you 24/7. While this is an exciting time to live, when you can be connected to anyone in the world anytime it does have its drawbacks. I believe we need to turn off our mobile devices sometimes and focus our energy on what we are doing. By having your mobile sitting within reach all day long we are never able to fully focus on the task at hand. We all suffer from this affliction in some form but the more we can teach ourselves to focus and work uninterrupted the happier we will be and the more meaningful our relationships will become.
You may have read recently about a mum in the US who gave her son an iphone for his birthday but made him sign a contract with a whole lot of conditions some of which a lot of adults should take note of. But the 2 I liked and wanted to share are;
“14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO – fear of missing out. “
“17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling. “
This is something we should all take note of. Try it sometime leave your phone at home and go out and have an experience with yourself, a friend or your kids without any interruptions. When you take your phone with you, you can be contacted by anyone but you will also find yourself checking emails, Facebook updates, Instagram or even filming or taking pictures of anything.
All these actions take you away from the moment the moment that you should be experiencing. It can be quite hard to do this to begin with but I find it so liberating being out and about living and not being constantly connected to the rest of the world. Whoever you are with especially your kids, will love having you just focused on them and having fun.
We are so scared someone might not be able to contact us or we will miss an important phone call. But really what is the worst that can happen we annoy someone who wanted to have instant access to us, that might annoy them but it won’t affect you because you are out living in the moment. If it is important they will call back and if it wasn’t then what have you missed.
We live at a time in history where it is possible to achieve so much yet most of us end up seemingly constantly busy while achieving very little and certainly not fulfilling our potential. We spend our days never getting thru our “to do lists” and also neglecting the relationships around us. We miss out on experiences that would enrich our lives.
When you look back on your life on your deathbed I can guarantee you, you will never regret spending time with the ones you love or taking that holiday or that walk in the park. John Lennon said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” So stop making plans to go on that holiday when you retire, stop saying I will spend more time with my kids when I get my next promotion. JUST STOP. Start today, start putting aside uninterrupted time to work, then you will have uninterrupted time to spend doing the things you should be doing to have a fulfilling life. And surprise surprise you will find yourself being more productive at work, which means you will have more money.