“Replace regrets with dreams. Whenever you start thinking about what you should have done, shift your focus to what you plan to do now. It’s far more empowering and a lot less draining.” – Lori Deschene
I used to think that I wanted more free time, but I discovered that what I really wanted was more time focused on my dreams. More to the point, working on those dreams.
It’s not so bad to be busy as it is to be busy doing thing which don’t move us in the direction we want.
Our time is often divided between doing something we hate (a job), and the time in between that where many people look to escapism for relief; maybe focusing on other people’s lives or things that “pass the time”.
With finite time to do everything we’ve ever dreamed of, how could we simply “pass the time” instead of doing something with it?
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar
The time we pass frivolously is the time we could use to create a compelling future and an exciting present.
Imagine never being bored again.
Imagine a fire deep inside that compels you to get up early not because you have to, but because you can’t wait to get back at it.
Imagine if you could live every day without, “Blegh, it’s Monday” or “I can’t wait for the weekend!”
Being fully engaged in your work, something big that you’re creating which makes you excited is the best way to eliminate the idea of free time. Instead, we can replace it more accurately with just time.
Why Free Time Is An Illusion
If more people dedicated their so-called free time to something worthwhile, they could soon eliminate the need to segment their time artificially. Instead, time is wasted frivolously, and the pattern continues.
Here are some suggestions to get the most out of every day, and eliminate “free time”.
1) Being Present
I’m a highly driven man, but I don’t let time pass without enjoying every moment in the present, including my work.
It’s important to keep an eye on the prize but never forget the here and now. Experience it and enjoy it.
Better quality experiences = fulfillment
Working on something big is not only motivating, but it will create the most intense experiences and lessons in our lives.
The end result of dedicating every available moment to our passion is a deep sense of fulfillment, and that’s before receiving the end prize. As long as we’re progressing, we’ll feel alive.
It’s not all going to be fun.
In fact, working on creating something you don’t already have will require you to grow into another person. The biggest factor that will determine how you grow, and the outcome you get from that growth, will be your ability to stick to it even when it sucks.
That’s grit, that’s fortitude and that’s mental toughness.
3) New Habits
Our habits can often work against our own desires, that is until we decide which habits to adopt. Making the best use of time means letting go of bad habits which drain our days.
Training ourselves to do what we need to do when we need to do it will move us towards our goals faster. Make a habit of it.
“How we do one thing is how we do everything.”
4) Work Hard, But Enjoy Your Breaks
When it’s go-time, it’s time to work, but when you’re eating, spending time with family, or taking some quiet time, then it’s time to let everything else go.
This is one reason why it’s so important to put everything we’ve got into the work we’re doing to achieve our goals at every possible moment; when we take a break we’ll enjoy it that much more because we can rest satisfied that we did everything we could do.
Work hard and the mind will rest well.
5) Eliminate Small Barriers
It’s often the small things that can get in the way of doing what we want.
A simple personal development concept called “activation energy” could help you become much more productive when used strategically. The principle is that anything that makes any given task just a little more time consuming or difficult can be all it takes to stop the task altogether.
For example, from the book the Happiness Advantage: The author wanted to play his guitar but he put it in the closet, only twenty seconds from the couch he would sit on every night. It wasn’t a big deal to get up and grab the guitar from the couch, but it just wasn’t happening.
One day he got a guitar stand which he placed conveniently right beside the couch, and immediately the difference was apparent. Every night after work when he went to relax the guitar was right there, and it was natural to grab it and start playing.
Making something just a little more convenient can be the difference between doing it and forgetting about it.
6) Get More Hours Out of Every Day
Personally, my day starts with a workout at 5:30 AM and then I work all day until till 10 pm.
I never thought I would enjoy working such long hours, but it’s made me much more satisfied than I’ve ever been before. I know that every hour spent on my goals moves the needle a little more.
It wasn’t like that before… I used to work hard, I thought, but I was always spinning my tires and getting nowhere. It turns out that I wasn’t dedicating nearly enough time to make anything substantial happen. I had way too much “free time” because I would call it a day when I got tired.
Usually, the effort required to make big goals a reality is far higher than most of us anticipate, and this will turn to frustration and eventually give up when we decide, “It doesn’t work”.
More work is the cure. If your tires are spinning and you feel like your efforts are going nowhere then you might not be doing enough.
The easiest way to assess this is to look at what you actually do with your time.
Facebook? Sitting in a bar with buddies? Watching cat videos on YouTube in the evening?
If you haven’t “made it” then you’re throwing this time away. What un-fulfilling activity could you eliminate from the day to get more quality time?
7) The Concept of Segmented Time
There’s no such thing as free time, only time. At every given moment we have to choose what we do with it.
It’s important to change our mindset about time if we ever really want to do great things. If we look at time as something that is dispensable, we’ll waste it. It’s a lack of foresight into our mortality that leads us to squander our most precious resource.
Boredom is a product of the wrong focus. I couldn’t imagine being bored because I’m always engaged, focuses on my ambition.
To eliminate boredom first look at what you’re thinking about. If it’s not compelling or inspiring then it’s time to change your focus to something that gets you excited, then do it.
Anything that doesn’t move you forward will leave you behind.
- There is no free time, only time
- Every moment we can choose how to spend our time
- Experience the present moment to get the most out of it
- Choose quality experiences over escapism
- Work hard
- Take satisfying breaks to recharge
- Develop grit (mental toughness)
- If you’re not reaching your goals you may be focusing time on the wrong things
- Create habits that help you move forward
- Eliminate small barriers to prevent procrastination
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