how to make time for everything you want to do?
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Is 24 hours too less for all the things you want to do? Do you want to make time for everything but somehow you just can’t take action, and know how to do it?
Time management is something we all suck at.
In my 2020 annual review I had said that I didn’t do well in managing my time, and when I found a way to do it well, I am going to share in my blog. So now that I have finally, here is this post.
Even though there is still space for progress, I can finally say that I more or less am able to do everything I want to do in my day.
I am now able to make time for
- writing in my diary
- putting up 2 blog posts in a week along with other blogging tasks
- taking my online classes
- going out for a walk
- taking an afternoon nap
- spending time with my loved ones
- going out with my friends
- have free time with myself
- and even have time to watch series on netlix! (Currently watching Gilmore Girls and loving it)
After years of struggling to make time for everything I wanted to do, many times even being frustrated for not being able to do it all, and after getting constantly on track and off track, there are somethings I have learned now that have helped me manage my time better.
And in this post I want to share about the things I follow that helps me make time for everything and how you too can make time for everything without getting stressed.
P.S Affiliate disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. If you purchase from my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
How to make time for everything without getting stressed
P.S These are simple practices, but it needs to be deliberately practiced and intented (Plus written down) if you actually want to make time for everything.
You might feel it’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. When you make time for this, you are actually making time to work on yourself.
Even as you make time to read this article in full, you are making time to work on yourself.
So without further delay, lets start.
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1. Shift your mindset
First things First- What I want you to do first is first shift your mindset.
And here are some mindset shifts I want you to have before you start trying to make time for everything.
- If you keep waiting to find time for the things you want to do, you will always be waiting for the rest of your life.
If you keep waiting when your ‘other tasks’ will finish so you can read, exercise or have that ‘me-time’, you will never have it.
You have to deliberately create and make time for it, and schedule it!!
- Done is better than perfect. Something done is better than nothing done, so be kind when you can’t do it all.
- Even 10 minutes of making time is worth it/
- Patience is a virtue to cultivate.
2.Make a list of what you want to make time for
Next, if you want to make time for everything, you have to first get clear on what you mean by ‘everything’.
What is it that you wish to do in your day?
For me when I was just starting out, I would be highly optimistic thinking I would do it all, and write a long list of things I wanted to do in my day.
But the truth is, you can only do so much in your 24 hours, and there will always be many things that come up unexpectedly in your day. And you also need to make time for yourself.
Nevertheless you may make a list of everything you want to do in your ideal day.
If you want to include new habits you want to make time for, include it in your list, but only start with one new habit at a time and follow the next step.
3. Make a quarterly, Monthly and weekly plan
Like I said, there is only so much you can do in your day, but if you simply do a little bit of planning, there are many things you will be able to do in your months and in your weeks.
Here, a quarterly, monthly and a weekly plan comes in handy.
3 months is a perfect amount of time to focus on one thing at a time, or at most 3 things at a time.
At the start of the year I always divide my year into 4 quarters and set down 1-3 things I want to focus on in each quarter.
I have come to know that a LOT can happen in 3 months with just a simple focus and planning.
You can do the same. If there are many good habits you want to start this year, focus on just 1-2 habits or areas of focus for that one quarter.
Say to yourself, that no matter how many times you fall (which is obvious that you will) get back at it again for that quarter.
When you’ve finally learned to make time for it, you can then move on to another in the next quarter.
New year enthusiasm wanes out easily, but if you’re just intentional with your months, the enthusiasm keeps up.
At the start of the month I like to note down what I want to do in my month.
And in this post, I’ve written about it- 12 major things to do at the beginning of new month.
Similarly, at the start of the week, write down what you absolutely want to get done in the week.
There are also other things which you want to do at least sometime in your week.
So note them down and schedule when you want to do it.
For me putting up 2 blog posts every week on Monday and Thursday is something I want to stick with this year.
But I don’t write in my journal everyday. I try to write once or twice every week to fill up with how I am feeling, and what happened lately in my life.
So set up a weekly plan for what you want to do in your week and when.
Here is a weekly planner you can check out
P.S But if you’re starting a new habit, you have to do it everyday, or at least try your best to not miss it more than 2 days in a row.
Here are my tips on how to make new habits stick easily
4.Divide your day into 3 parts
Now here comes the main part- what you actually do in your day and how to make time for everything you want to do in your day.
I divide my day into three parts:
- Afternoon and
At the start of the day, I write down in my to-do list what I want to do in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Earlier it used to be a whole bunch of things, but now I am taking things slow, and make sure to do only the absolutely important few.
- Mornings are for myself and my main important tasks.
- Afternoons are left free for me
- Evenings are for other small tasks, going out for walk and spending time with loved ones.
So this way, simply divide your day into these 3 parts and from your list add 1-3 things you want to make time for in the different parts of your day.
This way, even if your morning doesn’t go as great or as planned, you can still make up for it in the afternoon and evening part of your day 🙂
A to-do list is very handy. I recently bought one, and as I go from one task to another, I like the feeling of striking it off.
5. Manage your energy
It’s not just about managing time, but actually about managing our energy.
Depending upon what tasks require how much of your energy, divide the things you want to do in in your mornings, afternoons and evenings.
- Since I became a morning person, my energy is high in the morning and I can work on my important tasks with focus better in the morning.
Plus there is no distraction and new things don’t crop up in the morning.
So I get my most important tasks (M.I.T) done and time out solely for myself for reading, exercise, prayer etc, early in the morning.
Here is my morning routine before 8 am. It helps me be intentional with how I want to start my day, and have a good rest of the day.
But here I would mention that even if you’re not an early morning person, a little intentional time in the morning without phone is a must.
- I need to re-fill my energy in the afternoon, so after watching one episode of series, I take an afternoon nap.
But you can add 1-2 things from your list if you want to depending on your energy.
- In the evenings I don’t have high energy to work on things that require mental strength or even physical strength, so my evenings are for small tasks that doesn’t require much thinking, some pending tasks, going out for a walk, going out with friends and just spending time with myself.
6. Schedule when you want to do what you want to do
Now that you’ve made a list of what 1-3 tasks you want to do in your mornings, afternoons and evenings, its not just enough to keep it in your mind and simply say,
‘In the morning I will read and exercise’, in the afternoon I will do this and that.
If you simply keep it in your head, 99% chance is you won’t stick with it.
You need to WRITE.IT.DOWN and schedule a specific time for it in your morning, afternoon and evening.
Be very clear about this ‘when’ part.
- Want to exercise in the morning? Set a time for it in the morning
- Want to start reading in the evening? Set a time for it in the evening or you can try habit stacking.
Set new habits before and after something you already do.
For example, read every evening after doing something you already do. For example, if you always go out for a walk or out with your friends in the evening, after you walk, make that time for reading.
7. Cut down distraction
- In 2 minutes, you can get into your workout clothes and get ready for a workout.
- In 5 minutes you can do a simple stretch exercise.
- In 10 minutes you can read 3 pages in a book.
- In 10 minutes you can walk 1000 steps.
But we think these 2-5-10-20 minutes are too less time to do anything, and so we open Instagram to check something and there goes a good 20-30 minutes just scrolling.
We get a notification on our phone, tap on it and all of a sudden we’re busy checking out something we don’t even need for another good 20-30 minutes.
These small 5-10-20-30 minutes keep adding up to big numbers, and we end up wasting a ton of time which could be better spent in other things.
If you complain about not finding time for everything you want to do, then you also need to step back and asses the time killers that are unknowingly eating up your time.
Cut down on distraction. Turn off your net. Turn off your notifications on your phone. Here are some more things you can do to cut down distraction.
8. Do one thing at a time
By saying that you need to cut down on distraction I do not mean to say that you shouldn’t ever be distracted.
Distraction is good too as long as it is happening at the right time. It refreshes the mind. Using social media intentionally is fun.
But when you are up with your main task, simply do that one task and don’t let any other thing steal your attention.
If you’re writing, simply write and do nothing else. Multitasking is a myth and leaves us feeling stressed.
If you remember something that needs to be done while you’re up with your main task (as it happens so commonly) note that down in your ‘distraction list’ and come back to it after finishing your task.
A book I would like to mention here is, ‘One Thing’ by Garry Keller. It’s highly recommended if you want to cut down on distraction and bring your focus to your One thing.
9. Utilise your waiting time and commute time
Next, if you still find yourself short of time to get certain things done, perhaps you can utilise your waiting time and your commute times.
You can listen to audiobooks or podcasts easily while travelling, while waiting, while taking a shower, while exercising or while doing other chores that don’t require much of your mental focus.
I keep certain articles and blog posts I want to read ready in my reading list, YouTube videos saved for later, so I can easily find them while waiting some where.
This way you can utilise these times to make time for certain tasks.
10. Make space in between tasks
Lastly, my little advice for you is to try and make space in between your tasks. See each task as a whole and treat them as a whole. Do them slowly and move on to another task holding some space in between.
Don’t do one thing after another restlessly. Hold space. Breathe a little. Slow down, and have fun.
A simple shift of energy helps a lot to get things done without feeling stressed. I have found that its easier to make time for everything when you first let things go.
Here are some posts to help you:
- 8 simple practices to slow things down.
- Go slow if you want to grow
- What happens when you embrace slow growth
Final thoughts on how to make time for everything
So these were my tips on how to make time for everything. I hope you found them helpful.
You can definitely make time for everything, but know that in the process of trying to make time for everything, there will inevitably happen countless errors and too many changes till you can do it all.
To repeat the steps, here they are:
- Shift your mindset to stop waiting for when you will find ‘the time’.
- Make a list of what you want to make time for
- Make a quarterly, monthly, and weekly plan
- Divide your day into mornings, afternoons and evenings
- Manage your energy for the tasks that fit into mornings, afternoons and evenings
- Schedule when you want to do what you want to do
- Cut down distraction
- Do one thing at a time and do it slowly
- Utilise your waiting time and commute time
- Make space in between tasks
So take it slow, and follow these tips.
Don’t go all in, but do it one at a time.
Also, don’t take everything too seriously, but remember to have fun as you go about your to-dos and take everything as a part of your sacred dance.
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