Episode #4: How to Find the Time When It Feels Like There’s None

change your mindset Mar 18, 2020

“I Don’t Have the Time!”

We’ve all made the excuse: “I’d love to do this, but I just don’t have the time.” You’ve said it about that side hustle you want to start, that organization you want to join, that book you want to read. There’s just no time for it!

I am no stranger to this excuse. As I talk about in this week’s podcast episode, I made this excuse for years, for many different things. But when Darren and I decided to dedicate ourselves to helping people run online businesses by working smarter, and not harder, I decided I would find that time.

Once I decided to find that time, more and more time just kept popping up! It seemed to magically appear. I found time to read more books, listen to more podcasts, and work out four times a week...not to mention put together this very podcast!

“But What About This?”

“I don’t have the time” is usually followed up by another excuse.

“I just don’t have the energy!”

Before I get into specific ways to find more time for yourself, I want to take a moment to address these common excuses—and show you why they’re not excuses at all!

Waking Up Earlier

The first step I took in finding more time was committing to waking up earlier every day. Setting an alarm for 5 a.m. was difficult at first, but now I often wake up even earlier than my alarm!

You’re probably thinking, “Seriously?! You wake up before 5 a.m.?!”

Yup. In the episode, I talk about how I get myself up before the sun each morning, using some handy advice from Mel Robbins.

One important component is never hitting the snooze button. If you fall back asleep for 10 or 20 minutes, you’ll start a new sleep cycle and wake up in the middle of it, resulting in feelings of grogginess and tiredness. Some research has shown that your brain can take 2-4 hours to recover from this groggy feeling!

If you’re still skeptical that waking up earlier is the answer, consider this: research shows that the most efficient time to use your brain is in the morning. You’ll be more focused and more productive if you put those morning hours toward your work instead of toward fighting off grogginess.

Now, I know there are some people—probably about 20% of you—who are genuinely more productive at night. If this is you, you’ll have to approach making time for yourself a little differently. There are more temptations and distractions from your work later in the day, so you’ll have to very purposefully protect that time and dedicate it to working on yourself.

Underlying your commitment to finding the time should be your hunger and drive to get things done, as we discussed in episode 3 of the podcast.

Lack of Energy

“I’m too tired to even think about doing this thing!”

This is another common excuse for not finding the time. And I know the feeling! But if you’re so busy that you feel exhausted, it’s time to take a step back and regain control of your life.

I like this quote from Jim Rohn: “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” Be purposeful about the things you do each day, and don’t let your energy be wasted on the wrong things.

The number one way to start building more energy is to eat healthier and exercise. I know—just the thought of those things can feel even more exhausting to begin with! But research (and my own experience) shows us that exercise doesn’t just boost your energy. It also: 

  • Boosts your mood
  • Helps you get better sleep
  • Improves your overall heart health

Getting started is the hardest part, but once it’s a habit, exercising can be as easy as brushing your teeth. It’s not something you think about, it’s just something you have to do.

In the episode, I share how I developed my exercise habit and found the time to add a fourth weekly workout to my routine. (Hint: I do it from home!)

Once you commit to finding the time, doing so becomes easier and easier!

How Do We Find The Time?

Now for the good stuff: real tools you can use to find time. Even with all the examples and insights I’ve shared so far, you still might be struggling to put it into action and truly commit to finding time.

Here are three key strategies I use to find the time.

Set an Alarm for 30 Minutes Earlier Than Normal

You don’t have to jump right into a pre-dawn wake up time if you’re used to rolling out of bed around 8 a.m. Start by setting an alarm just a little bit earlier—30 minutes is a good start—and make good use of that time.

Here are some ideas for what you can do with your extra 30 minutes: 

  • Read
  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Do yoga
  • Write

Do something for yourself that will set a positive and productive tone for your day. Do this every single day so it forms a habit. You will love the results!

One very important rule for these 30 minutes is staying away from the news and social media. This will suck away your precious personal time so quickly. And let’s be honest...checking Twitter isn’t really “you” time anyway!

Be Smart About Your NET Time

NET time—or No Extra Time—is a concept I learned from Tony Robbins. Instead of letting routine tasks like driving or house cleaning become wasted minutes, find ways to make those useful to you.

I like to listen to podcasts while doing these types of tasks. Whether I’m doing dishes or picking up my son from soccer practice, I learn and grow from podcasts related to my goals and interests.

In the episode, I also share my way of minimizing wasted time while waiting for soccer practice. Be creative with thinking through your NET time—it can be a gold mine for finding more time in your day!

Delegate Some of Your Duties

There are likely some things you do in a day that could be done by someone else. Make a list of these things and figure out who can do them for you or split the burden. Here are some things you might be able to delegate—and examples of how my family managed to split these duties. 

  • Grocery shopping: This is a great task to fit in during down time due to sports practice, dance classes, or other activities. I recruited my daughter Nya to do grocery shopping while she waits for her brother to get out of school. It makes the most of Nya’s NET time, and I give her $20 for the task to make it financially worth it too.
  • Driving to school or practice: Create a schedule among your household’s drivers to split the duty of taking non-drivers where they need to go. To further reduce the time spent on this kind of task, team up with other families going to the same place. With a strong carpooling schedule, you could spend only a fraction of your time on this task as you did previously!
  • Household chores: Recruit your kids to help with household tasks. I share stories from my upbringing about helping my family with various chores, and how I apply that to my family now.

Here are some ways our household splits up daily duties:

  • Everyone does their own laundry.
  • Whoever cooks doesn’t have to do dishes.
  • Everyone has their piece when cleaning the house.

If your budget allows, you can also hire help for certain tasks. This can range from one-time projects like painting the house or ongoing tasks like lawn-mowing and housekeeping.

Listen to Episode #4 and Find the Time!

We’ve given you everything you need to commit to finding the time to do things for yourself. We’ve explained away the excuses, given you real actions to take, and showed you a glimpse of all you can do once you commit to finding the time.

Whether you want to learn more, exercise more, or finally embark on that new project, it’s time to stop making excuses and commit to finding that time. As Andy Warhol once said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

So, are you ready? Will you commit to finding more time? Choose one tactic we discussed and start doing it—TODAY.

Starting with just one of these tools can make a huge difference in finding the time: 

  • Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier.
  • Be smart about your NET time.
  • Delegate some household or family duties.

We want to hear what tactic you’ve chosen, so visit the 20 Hour Work Week Facebook group and let us know! 

If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe and get updates on new episodes. If you know someone who would enjoy it, don’t forget to share! 

Listen to episode #4 Now!

Are you ready to learn about the reason behind the original 40 hour work week and why using technology, experts, and the internet to leverage your productivity to work less hours is so important?

Great! Go ahead and listen. Then leave a comment on our private 20 Hour Work Week Movement Facebook Group to help support everyone in this movement.

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