This is the final part of my five-part series on how to deal with low motivation and stuckness.
- Distraction Actions
- Fixed Mindset
Today is about the DIY distraction, “Not Enough Time.”
You can read all the books and take all the courses about productivity and time management, but if you don’t have the proper mindset around time, you will go right back to your default ways of thinking. Or worse, you can do all the time management things and come out the other side feeling burnt out and left with a lack of joy in your life because of how you think about time.
We end up sacrificing all the things that are important to us to be more productive. Our physical health and mental health suffer. We get lots done…but we end up with high anxiety levels and doing “time-saving” strategies that are not sustainable. It ultimately results in a routine that can’t last, leaving you to crash and burn.
We tend to look at being busy as a badge of honor or we play the victim to it. When we think about time, we need to stop thinking of it as something we’re racing against or something that has control over us and instead look at it through the lens of intentional thinking and self-care.
This is your one life here on earth.
Before diving into time-saving strategies and productivity methods, you want to shift the way you think about time to be more intentional.
Here’s what intentional thinking about time looks like.
We want to go from:
- Busy to flow
- Frazzled to aligned action
- Unproductive stress to control over our time
- Anxiety and overwhelm to creating the results you want in your life
- Barely holding it all together to more time for yourself
That’s the first part. To start thinking in alignment with those intentions, we also need to change our default thoughts about time. There are time-shrinking thoughts and time-expanding thoughts.
Time-shrinking thoughts sound like this:
- There’s too much to do.
- I don’t have time.
- I wish I had more time.
- I’ll never get it all done.
- My time is not my own.
- There’s so much on my plate.
- Time keeps flying by.
- I don’t have control of my time.
- If only there were more hours in the day.
- I can’t keep up.
Take notice of when these thoughts creep in. For me, a lot of these thoughts automatically come up when I’m trying to balance my work with other things in life, like self-care and relationships.
Where are they familiar to you? Having an awareness of where these thoughts are coming from is key to developing a healthy relationship with time. They are just thoughts; they may seem accurate, but they’re not. Even if you do feel like you’re all over the place, it’s not serving you to identify with these time-shrinking thoughts.
Take control of what you do have control over. You have options, and you can choose.
So, here are some time-expanding thoughts:
- There is no hurry.
- I get to choose what is important to me.
- I am worthy of down time.
- I am a person who focuses and gets it done.
- I have all the time I need.
- I don’t have to do it all.
- I trust the way my life is unfolding.
- Just one thing and one moment at a time.
- I’m exactly where I need to be right now.
- I’ve got this.
- Time is just math.
- I make decisions and go all-in.
These are the kinds of thoughts that will promote a healthy relationship with time, and they’re intentional, not victim-y. You have to open up your mind to a different way and gently bring it back to the truth. These time-expansive thoughts are always available to you.
We all have the same 24 hours each day. Purposely lean toward what makes you feel more expansive, more in flow, and tell yourself the truth about what you choose to do or not do with your time.
Pick a few new time-expansive thoughts to become your default thoughts and practice them. Just knowing these things is not going to help you; you have to practice and retrain your brain or three days from now, you will go back to default thinking.
Here’s a couple of tips to help you do just that:
- Write down your new time-expansive thoughts, perspective, or approach you want to practice today.
- Remind yourself of them again at lunch or before you go to bed.
- Set a pop-up reminder on your phone so that you can be reminded of these new intentions in the middle of the day.
This is how you are going to switch out your time-shrinking thoughts with time-expansive thoughts. Stay in your own lane and brain. Don’t buy into the anxiety around you.
How do you want to think about time?
The more factual you are with your words, the less drama you’re going to have around time. “I value my time. I make good decisions. The important things will get done.”
When you really get this, productivity and time management can work for you, not the other way around; you’re not trying to be the perfect productivity machine. Your goal is not to create more time so you can fill it up with more items on your to-do list. No, it’s about making more time for you.
We fall into a trap around time and many other mindset obstacles because we want things to change outside before we agree to think differently. It never works that way.
You need to think differently now, and when you do, you will find that options will appear when it comes to time management that you were never able to see before or that were not available to you because of how you were specifically thinking about time.
There is no shortage of time management and productivity advice. But without this mindset piece, none of them are sustainable for long.
And that’s what I wanted to share with you about this DIY obstacle “Not Enough Time.”
I hope you enjoyed this five-part series on how we can overcome low motivation and that feeling of “stuckness” caused by obstacles that come up anywhere between starting and finishing a goal or project.
Obstacles don’t ever go away. You just get better at dealing with them. Focus on your wins, not the fact that more obstacles are coming. Don’t let yourself indulge in thinking that gets you nowhere.
As I said in part one of this series, we often surrender to obstacles because it’s much easier than managing our minds and our brains around them.
If you would like some coaching around motivation and getting unstuck, I can help you with that.
Shoot me an email or book a free consult and let’s chat about how you can take the next steps to get your work out into the world where it belongs and, most importantly, how to stay happy and healthy in the process.
Bye for now!
PS. The last day to enroll in the final quarter of my 2021 one-on-one coaching/mentorship program is September 1st. Sign up before that to get your hand-curated welcome package, inspired by your project! Make yourself proud and get it done in 2021. Get more details and sign up here.