Have you ever caught yourself saying that you can’t make time for the things you love? Perhaps you love music and you’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar, or maybe you feel like you never have time to cook, even though you love it.
If you’ve ever asked yourself this question I can assure you that you’re not alone. In fact, I can personally guarantee it because I’ve claimed on more than one occasion that I simply don’t have enough time to do the things I love. However, what I’ve typically found is that this feeling is more a product of my priorities, rather than my true reality.
To put things into perspective here’s a great quote I often find myself referring to when I complain about not having enough time.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
For me, this has always been humbling to read and it completely opened my eyes the first time I read it. The truth is that often times much of what drives the feeling of lack of time is how we choose to spend it.
As a result, a good exercise that I find myself doing from time to time is taking 10-15 minutes to sketch out a full 24 hours of my time in half an hour increments. Fill in all the times you are completely busy, i.e. sleep, work, etc… but make sure to be specific about what you tend to do outside of work in your free time. And be honest with yourself, no one’s going to see it.
If you’re like me you’ll likely be surprised at the free time you have and the amount of time you spend doing things that simply don’t matter.
Now here’s when you have to ask yourself the big question. Am I willing to stop doing the things that don’t matter, such as watching TV, browsing Facebook, and playing Xbox, to make time for the things I love?
After all “Modern Family” is pretty hilarious show, right? And you can’t miss out on the latest photos on Facebook of your aunts cats, can you?
For most people it’s a simple tradeoff, but at the same time it can be difficult to move past the desire to spend time doing things you love and actually commit.
One of the issues I’ve often found is that my habits are deeply engrained with my relationships. For example, my wife and I often sit down together to watch TV, which we enjoy, but at the same time can be a major time suck. So instead of pretending you’ll commit, write out a simple goal and if you think it will help, enlist the support of your significant other, roommate or family member to help remind you.
You might write, “Monday through Friday I will trade an hour of my evening TV time to practice playing the guitar.” Be as specific as possible and again share it, so the next time you sit down to watch TV you have someone to hold you accountable.
The fact is that most, if not all of us, have time to pursue the things we love, but we need to actively prioritize our time around what’s important to us.
Are you ready to start making time for the things you love?