Finding Time versus Making Time

watch showing time

How many times a day are you thinking or saying out loud, “I don’t have enough time!”?

If you’re like me, the answer is, “A lot.”

I am always trying to find time. I look for it early in the morning. I try to find it during my lunch breaks. And I rummage through every nook and cranny in the evening seeking the elusive time treasure.

I can’t figure out where the hell it goes! Even on weekends or when I take vacations with the sole purpose of having more time, I still can’t find it. It’s worse than trying to locate where I put my phone.

During a podcast I was listening to, I heard one of the interviewees saying, “You don’t find time, you make time.”

Of course! I know this. You set a day and time aside when you are going to do the thing you can’t get done (for me it’s writing) and you stick to it — come hell or high water. I know this! And yet the day and time I set aside for myself still manages to slip away.

It happens like this…

  • I plan to meditate or write but the morning distraction of clearing the dishes and kitchen mess left over from the day before calls to me and before I know it, I have to leave for work
  • Just when I was about to take a lunch break and do some reading, there’s a phone call or email where something has to be fixed right away
  • I eat dinner while watching TV and pretty soon I’ve watched three episodes of “Black Lightning” on Netflix
  • I go to look up a recipe for rhubarb crisp and next thing I know, I’ve been sucked into the social media, email and internet worm hole

Then there are errands to run, bills to pay, housecleaning and gardening to catch up on, and, once in a while there is a bit of necessary fun, like walking the dogs or bicycling.

Life… that’s what happens.

 

having a bad day

Some of the things that steal time should be eliminated – the television, phone and computer distractions. But other things do need to be done.

I’ve come to the conclusion that making time is more than setting aside a date and time and sticking with it. It’s more than better managing your time and cutting down on distractions and time robbers. It’s more than setting priorities and doing those things first.

So what is the trick then?

Good question.

I don’t have an answer.

Which is why I decided to create a 100-day Time Treasure Hunt Challenge for myself.

It’s not like after a 100 days I’ll stop working on this, but that gives me a bracket of time to focus and learn to prioritize how I spend the hours available to me. It also gives me a deadline for expected outcomes, which are:

  1. I will break my habit of running off after the next “shiny” thing.
  2. I will stop being pulled off course by a sudden “To Do” that pops into my brain that I think I can knock off in just a few minutes. Two hours later, I am still working on it or it has led me off to another distraction.
  3. I will stop telling myself that I will just get this “little” thing out of the way so I can focus on the “big” thing unencumbered. The translation for this is, “I’m going to do this much easier thing rather than the difficult thing that I have been saying is so important to me because the important thing is kind of scary and uncertain and really hard.”

If my math skills haven’t failed me, if I start my 100 days on May 25, I’ll be working on this the entire summer – until September 2.

I wonder if I’ll have the second draft of my book done by then? Making steady progress on my second draft is the main reason I am doing this time challenge.

I won’t bore you with continual updates on Facebook or Instagram. But I will write about how things are going here as a way of keeping me accountable. Who knows, I may discover something that will be useful to someone else.

 

Written by Maery Rose