9 Ways to Make Time for What’s Important to You

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Many of us live the same day repeatedly. We get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. The next day is a re-run. We all have other things we’d like to accomplish, but it seems that we run out of day before we have time to work on the more meaningful parts of life.

How much time do you spend on the most important aspects of your life – those activities that fulfill your life purpose? Has your life changed considerably in the last year? The last 10 years? At your current rate of progress, where will you end up 10 years from today?

Try these timesaving activities to free up part of your day for more important matters:

1. Create a to-do list each day. Spend a few minutes each evening and make a list for the following day. Decide how you’re going to spend your time each day. Include tasks that address both short-term needs and long-term objectives.

2. List your focus for the next year. It might be to get a promotion, increase your skill on the piano, or become a more effective parent. It’s not possible to reliably create a fantastic life or accomplish amazing things without being aware of them beforehand.

* Knowing your purpose for the next 12 months will prevent you from wasting your time on less important tasks.

3. Focus on progress and forget perfection. Perfection takes too long. It’s also not much better than doing the job well. Perfection is often used as an excuse to spend too much time on a task. Do the task at the appropriate level and move on.

4. Take a moment several times each day to evaluate your progress and activity. Are you spending your time wisely? Is there a better action you could be taking? It’s easy to be caught up in meaningless tasks. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything meaningful.

5. Monotask. It’s time for everyone to give up the notion that multitasking is efficient. Studies repeatedly show that multitasking is less efficient. Just because you’re better at multitasking than everyone else doesn’t mean it’s the optimal solution. Do one thing and then move on.

6. Notice how you waste time. When you’re bored, how do you amuse yourself? What do you do when you procrastinate? Social media, television, web surfing, and texting are the more common activities. Notice how you waste time and recognize when it happens.

* The sooner you’re able to stop yourself, the better the odds of success.

7. Just say “no.” That simple word can be challenging to utter. We don’t like to disappoint others. Once you have a reputation for saying “yes,” the requests never stop. You’ll be driving your neighbor to the airport and get stuck baking the cake for every office celebration.

* Refusing requests is a way of respecting your time and goals. Avoid biting off more than you can chew. Be helpful, but not at the expense of your own life.

8. Schedule time for yourself. Outside of work, meals, and sleep, most of us fail to schedule adequately. If your dream is to author a novel, build time into your daily schedule to sit down and write.

9. Declutter your life. Sure, get rid of the extra junk on the shelves, but there’s more to a full decluttering. Drop the activities, people, thoughts, and ideas that take up time or energy without providing an acceptable level of return. Let go of the things that prevent you from focusing on your life purpose.

It’s easy to squander away your time. With much of our days filled with work and sleep, it can be challenging to find the time for other activities. Define your purpose and make it a priority. Your life will be enhanced immeasurably.

Glen James Murdoch

Glen Murdoch is the founder and CEO of The Life Coaching College. He has a long history of working with Athletes and Teams as a Performance Coach and Analyst and has developed Australia's number 1 Life Coaching Program - The Advanced Diploma in Coaching.