If you think this is some 7 step list about waking up earlier and such, it isn’t. As a matter of fact, I somewhat despise those lists. Instead, this is a much simpler formula for making your days longer and subsequently gaining more time and getting more done.
The things we say to ourselves, both silently and out loud, matter. There are 1,000 little quotes that indicate the magnitude of our word choices like, “Say it, think it, feel it.” (I’ve rolled my eyes approximately 4,000 times when my husband has said this to me.) A training program that I’ve taken a few times is formed around the basis that our thoughts lead to our feelings, our feelings to our actions, our actions to our results, and our results to our programming. It’s a constant cycle, all resulting from the things we tell ourselves. In a nutshell, the things we say eventually become reality.
Our words have meaning. If you say, I’m a worthless pieces of shit, you’ll eventually (always) begin to believe it. Similarly, if you say this about your cousin, brother, uncle, sister, or co-worker, you’ll start to believe they’re a worthless piece of shit too. In addition to eventually seeing the things you say as truth, you’ll also begin to search for evidence to prove how true it is. If you think Becky is awful, you’ll only notice the awful things she does. While on the contrary, if you think she’s lovely, you’ll notice one wonderful deed after another. We gather evidence to support our beliefs (even when they’re wrong or not entirely accurate) and even worse, we look for others who will support the ideas we’ve generated. Hence the birth of every coffee pot conversation ever.
So what does this have to do with adding more time in your day? A lot, actually. What are a few common things we might say to ourselves or others regarding time? Maybe “I’m so busy” or “there just isn’t enough time in a day.” I’ve said these things myself many times. (I talked about doing away with “busy” here.) What’s wrong with saying things like this though? After all, you truly believe that there isn’t enough time to get everything done! Here’s what wrong with it:
If you’re constantly telling yourself how little time you have and that you simply can’t get everything done, that will become your reality whether it’s true or not.
What would happen if you said, “There’s plenty of time to get things done”? Wouldn’t you start to believe that too? When you feel yourself starting to get worked up about running out of time, tell yourself that there is enough time. Plenty of time. I first came across this idea from Elise last year. It didn’t resonate much then and only began to really stand out to me as we rolled into this new year. On my wonderful, fabulous day off I found myself thinking I was running out of time (followed by an internal panic) at noon. I still had 8+ hours left! My mood changed the second I had this thought and that was the first day I decided to do things differently. Instead of falling into the trap of scarcity, I told myself, “I have PLENTY of time.” Almost immediately I felt better. I got back on track and ended up finishing a wonderful, relaxing day. I got to do way more than I would have had I kept that scarcity mindset. By changing my words, I affected my own thoughts and ended up with a much better result. I didn’t wake up earlier. I didn’t take shortcuts or rush around like a crazy person. I simply changed my words, which changed my results.
This strategy works for practically every aspect of life. Stay mad at your husband? Stop telling yourself that he’s a jerk and looking for evidence of his jerk-ness. Instead, point or something you love about him and begin finding evidence of that thing. You can use this tactic at work, for your self-confidence, regarding what you accomplish – anything!
Another very important thing to note regarding time is that we simply must stop feeling like we need to do it all. If you feel like you’re not getting enough done even after changing the words you use, it’s probably because you’re intending to do too much. We are not meant to be on go 24 hours a day. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to do more. However, it is very likely that there are things on your list that are someone else’s job, someone else can help with, or you don’t need to do at all. If you find yourself struggling with this and procrastination, or if you have those pesky tasks that seem to stay on your to-do list forever, never getting done, check out this post. Again, you probably need to free yourself of that burden.
All in all, these are a few simple tricks to adjust your mindset around time and productivity. It’s our mindset and the things we constantly say up there that controls our results and output, after all. Whatever you want to do, whatever you want to accomplish, start swirling around positive thoughts about those things instead (like how great it will be when they’re a reality) and see how much more likely you are to head in that direction, instead of staying stagnant in the muck of a mindset that isn’t serving you.
Since my birthday, I’ve been using this trick almost daily. When I find myself drowning in passing time, I remind myself that I do indeed have plenty of time.