WNA Blog

Fri 11 Jan 2019

Can You Afford To NOT Make The Time?


Health & Wellbeing
Is your time-based decisions costing your life, happiness, and relationship?

It’s the beginning of another calendar, and for many, planning and resolutions are a big part of the new year.

Fast forward a few weeks or, if you’re fairly disciplined a few months, and the plans have probably forgotten, and your positive intentions are dwindling.

Life is in full swing, and you don’t have enough time in the day to get it all done.

The kid’s activities, the housework, the animals, the work commitments, all vie for your attention, and already it feels like you need another holiday.

You wanted to commit to the yoga class, but it’s slipped off the radar because you’re too busy. Oh cut the crap, of course, you do.

It’s time to stop lying to yourself (and to me).

You DO have time to go to the gym, to start meditating or (heaven forbid) even spending quality time with your loved one.

The truth is, you’re putting other things ahead of your choices.

You are CHOOSING that something is more important and that the thing you WANT to do isn’t going to give you enough reward immediately. So, it’s not a priority right now.

Until it becomes one.

  • The dress you want to wear doesn’t fit – or isn’t clean, and a new dry cleaning priority kicks in
  • An argument takes place with your partner – that could have been avoided if a few minutes extra was made to connect and really ‘get’ one another and be on the same page about the subject yesterday
  • You have to put out a fire at work because you didn’t take enough time to put it ON your to-do list and ensure it was flagged appropriately, so it wasn’t missed.

All of which by-the-way, require MORE time to resolve than they would have IF you’d prioritise the VALUE of it sooner.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand you ARE busy, and there are lots to do, of course, there is, but I’m suggesting that you are stuck in the loop of OPP’s.

You know, letting other people’s priorities dictate what you should be doing, rather than allowing yourself the confidence to turn things down, set timeframes that suits YOU. Or do it after the important thing that YOU want to do is done.

Before you decide you hate me and want to throw your iPad at me in disgust, I want you to understand I am on your side, and am saying these things through love, and will now explain ‘how’ it happens.

You don’t want to disappoint, let down or lose face with those people. We get off on being ‘industrious’ (I wonder when that term was coined)…

We feel our status diminished if we don’t meet expectations and sometimes even demands of others.

I remember my corporate days as an Executive Assistant; I was BRILLIANT at meeting the needs of everybody else and to only do what I needed doing… after hours. I took great pride in getting everything done, working so very hard, and being acknowledged for my (unpaid) overtime.

What The Actual, was that about!

Instead of pushing back on the middle management to find their answers (which they were remunerated better than me to know), I would happily add it to my list to impress and ‘build relationships.’

I was great at prioritising – my bosses need first, then the influencers then the admin demands. The problem was, I was terrible at acknowledging what a push-over I was.

Being the lowest-ranked of the management team, I felt that I couldn’t say no, but what I could do – and did quite well – was negotiate. By telling them ‘why’ they had to wait (to complete my bosses task first), I was able to prioritise to keep everybody happy – but me.

Now I know this coaching stuff, I understand that I wasn’t valuing myself enough to say no, that’s not my job, or in today’s terms. No Mell, the lunch dishes can wait until you’ve stopped work for the day to prepare dinner.

You see, interrupting my flow in the middle of the day (other than for a walk or power-up meditation) is not the most important thing for me to do.

So I say STOP writing resolutions and actions plans until you’ve worked out WHY this thing you want, is such a priority.

Be the boss and architect of your own life and design your job description and priorities to meet those duties.

If investing in your relationship is a focus for 2019, what does it come ahead?

What are you prepared to CHANGE from last year for it to be identified as the priority? You might have to give up 45 minutes of Netflix to have a period of time being present with your husband. Isn’t he more important than Harvey from Suits (who, by the way, will still be available on-demand from this point forward)?

The decisions we make are often automatic and by default, and the reasons we give – on the surface – are sound ones. “I watch the show to unwind”. Sure, I agree to unwind IS essential, but how you choose to relax can be changed.

You might thoroughly enjoy the program and even laugh lots from the episode, but at what cost to yourself or your relationship?

The number of conversations I’ve had where the answer to ‘how did you get here’ is along the lines of ‘things just slowly shifted, over the last few months/years, we started to grow apart’. Booyah.

That right, there is the million-dollar answer.

Because you didn’t invest short incremental periods into connecting, talking, and continuous growth of your relationship, you didn’t notice the shift of their needs and wants.

Just like your front lawn, you don’t notice it growing, until one day, you saw it needed cutting.

You miss the subtle changes in each other’s behaviours. And because the important things aren’t discussed, it’s not until a big blow-up, fall out, or significant energy release happens, that the underlying issue comes to the surface.

Next time you hear or catch yourself saying ‘I don’t have time for that,’ I want you to rap yourself on the knuckles and follow up with, ‘can I afford NOT to do that’ and ‘what will it cost me if I don’t make time?

Perhaps spending 5-20 minutes on a meditation that doesn’t feel like it’s useful, is stopping you from having a petty argument. Maybe it’s allowing you to bring worry or concern to the front of mind so you can discuss it sooner rather than later.

Possibly spending 30 minutes to improve your health also improves your self-esteem and self-confidence. Say no to a couple of OPP’s that allows time for something more relevant to you – like your relationship.

I get you’re busy and have responsibilities, my invitation to you is to ask yourself.

“Is this thing I’m doing right now, truly moving me towards happiness and contentment in the areas I’ve decided are the MOST important for me”.

Only you can choose how to spend the time you have allocated to you every day.

Are you going to live life to your priorities or others and regret decisions on your death bed?

I invite you to check out the supporting blog I wrote that busts the 4 Time Myths we tell ourselves.

After all, I believe your relationship is worth more than spending time on the expectations through OPPs – but do you?

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL COPOLLA


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