Time is a frustrating and magical thing. We are often told it’s our most precious possession but I’ve yet to figure out how to possess it.
When I’m binge watching Netflix or scrolling social media an hour only lasts 15 minutes.
When I’m doing a chore or job I don’t want to do (I’m looking at you tax return) then an hour lasts DAAAAAYYYSSSS.
There is a never ending list of “would like to”, “should do” and “could do” tasks and I find it so easy to become overwhelmed, throw my hands in the air and say
“I don’t have the time for that!”
And sure, today I probably don’t have time for ALL the things. But here’s two truth bombs that I need to explode in my brain.
Truth Bomb 1: A lot of that list is junk filler stuff because secretly I’m comfortable perpetuating the insurmountable to do list. Getting it done would be scary. What then?
Truth Bomb 2: I DO have time for the important things. Sorry, but admit it.
Let’s say my list has these things on it
- Write blog posts
- Edit client A’s video
- Book cute house for client B’s shoot
- Find a networking event
- Reply to enquiry email
- Make a cute email sign off
- Order frames for client C
- Phone gallery manager
- Email pdf guide and price list to client D
- Post on Instagram
- Redo my Calendly colours so it matches my brand
You may say that’s a really manageable list but I could easily look at that and EUGH declare to the sky that I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. Because, let’s face it, I’m also doing 3 loads of washing, picking up kids from school, phoning my sister, walking the dog, cleaning the bathroom and ordering a replacement charger for the laptop (4th one in the last year). Gender-based chore inequities aside, the foot stomping Rachel child who glances over that and says nope needs those truth bombs.
Truth Bomb 1: I would like to find a networking event for later in the year. I don’t actually have to do that today. Redoing Calendly colours isn’t really important is it Rach? Scratch it. Ditto for the email sign off.
That’s better already. So much of the to do list is a strange kind of “should” do list. But it’s not OUR shoulds – it’s someone else’s. Or, worse still, what we think someone else would say we should do.
Hello perfectionism? Everything must be perfect before I do this little task. Get my website EXACTLY right, have my funnel in place, redo the graphic here, tweak the image there. Get all that chatter in the bin if it’s stopping you from actually DOING the thing.
And that icky admission that my scary to do list validates me in some way? Put. It. In. The. Bin. I do not need to be overworked to feel like a professional.
I’m going to say that again a bit louder:
I do not need to be overworked to feel like a professional
Truth Bomb 2: You do have the time. Instead of saying “I don’t have time for editing client A’s video” try saying “I don’t prioritise editing client A’s video” and see how that lands. It’s not true is it? Really you’re saying the same thing but somehow we accept as a concrete truth that we just don’t have time. Cos today I found time to scroll Instagram. Tough love time, I prioritised scrolling Instagram over my client’s work. Ew.
Sometimes you really, truly don’t have the time. So what then? First, can you drop anything off the list or push it back? Second, If you are in the position of getting someone else to help with your work or personal load then yes, yes do that. Ask for help, allow people around you to ease your burden. If you can’t have others help in either a free-cos-they’re-related-to-you or paid basis then consider how much you’re taking on and if it can be adjusted. Something will have to give or you will burn out and that’s no fun for anyone. What are you willing to give? Please let the answer to that not be your mental, physical or emotional health.
Also, I’ve used Netflix and Social Media here as if they are “bad” ways to spend time. Our activities have no moral bearing on our goodness or otherwise. Netflix is a valid and awesome way to spend time. No judgement. No shame.
Does any part of this ring true for you? Try out “I don’t prioritise X,Y,Z” with your to do list and see if it changes the way you feel about your tasks and let me know.
Love you x