What To Do When You Don’t Have Enough Time

I was talking to a friend yesterday about my projects.

He caught me saying: “I’m spending this much time here, that much time there, and now I have no time left to do any of this other stuff that I want to do.”

Yep. I said I didn’t have enough time.

Ouch.

That’s one of those “excuses” that’s not a good reason you can’t do something.

You’ve heard me talk about this a lot.

And it came out of MY mouth!!

It was time to face the truth.

“It’s not that I don’t have time, it’s that I haven’t been prioritizing the right stuff.”

Now here’s where it gets good:

Instead of just saying that I’d prioritize one project or that I’d just make the time, I got specific.

I said I will commit to 15 minutes per day of working only on my priority project. It will be right after I write my blog post, so I know I’ll have the time. You, friend, are my accountabilibuddy and you have permission to annoy the hell out of me if I don’t follow through.

What’s so special about being specific about all this?

1. I committed to a friend who will hold me accountable for the output. He’s watching.

2. Being specific about how much time and when I’ll work on this project sets expectations and makes it feasible with an aggressive schedule. (People who are specific about when and where have a 91% of following through.*)

3. I attached this task to an existing habit. This means it’s less likely I’ll forget or that I drop the ball by trying to create a habit from scratch.

2 Minute Action:

Whats something you’ve been meaning to get done recently?

Jot down the 1, 2, and 3 for this.

1. Who will hold you accountable?

2. What small amount of time can you commit to progress?

3. When will this happen and can you attach this to an existing habit?

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*In 2015, Fast Company published the results of a study on the effects of specificity on action.1 Researchers asked a control group to exercise once during the next week—29% of participants did. Researchers asked a second group to do the same, except this time they provided the group with detailed information about why exercising is necessary (e.g., “You’ll die if you don’t”)—39% exercised. Researchers asked a third group to commit to exercising at a specific time, on a specific date, at a specific location—91% exercised.

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