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  • Allie Eldridge

"I don't have time"

According to my research (I did a google search okay), the #2 excuse used in the United States is "I don't have time". I bet every single one of you has used this excuse whether it applied to reading a book someone recommended, going to the gym, spending time with friends, dating, meal prepping, getting adequate sleep, you know who you are right? Time is our most powerful tool. We can never get it back, we can get a refund from a store if the shoes didn't fit right but we can't get those two hours back after sitting through a movie we didn't enjoy. Now I don't exactly believe in 'wasted time', but I definitely believe we all could be using our limited time better. 'Better' doesn't necessarily mean that we need to pack every second of every day with things that our society deems to be productive, but are you spending your time doing what is right for you?


A few months ago I used "I don't have time", when talking about exercise. I knew as I was saying it that it was complete bullshit, but I think that's just the easiest way to give yourself an out. But 2020 has been very different for most of us, a whole lot of us ended up spending a lot more of our time at home with almost nothing to do. A lot of people turned to Netflix, because of course we did, but a lot of people suddenly became engrossed in their hobbies, developing more talents, enriching relationships, reading more books, and a whole lot of other things they probably would have said they didn't have time for before the COVID-19 pandemic.


But what if they always did have enough time? What if, even before you had a crazy amount of unexpected time off, you already had enough time to learn to make the perfect loaf of bread, knit a sweater, or get really good at roller-blading? The secret is, you most likely did then and you still do now.


One of the things I work on most with my life coaching clients is time tracking. I give them a giant stack of tracking sheets broken down into 24-hour slots. I have them all write down what they did throughout the day and see how they spent their time. This isn't an exercise used to shame my clients, its just for them to have a visual representation of how they are spending their time and if it seems like it's in line with how they would ideally like to be spending it. That's really what life coaching is about, getting from where you are to where you want to be. When you know you are going to have to write down how you spent an hour out of your day you are so much more likely to spend it in a way that feels better. The real trick is that I don't ever read my clients' time tracking sheets. It's all for them to see and to judge how they want to change it.


I had a college professor who gave us a great object lesson one day about prioritizing our time. He put a giant jar up on the desk and filled it with golf balls. He asked us if the jar was full and we all said yes. He said no, and poured a bunch of marbles into the jar that filled the space between the golf balls. He asked again if the jar was full and again we said yes. He then added little plastic BB's, then sand, then water. Most of us think our jar of time is full, but really we just have to work around the golf balls.


When you start tracking your time, you start to realize you have more than you thought you did. So here's some tough love: you have time to learn to paint, you have time to exercise, you have time to meditate, you have time to read, and you have time to rest. If you'd like access to my time tracking sheets or you want to schedule a consultation call to learn more about my time management consulting you can send me a message on Instagram or follow the link in the Life Coaching section on my website.


Hope to hear from you soon,

XO

Allie


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