Killing Time: How to make time to achieve what you want


Last month I went to a lecture by Sarah (not her real name) who is married with two children, works full-time as a consultant Paediatrician at our local children’s hospital, is doing a PhD and has just written two novels, both of which were accepted for publication by a major publishing house. The question on everyone’s lips was not about her lecture on writing but, ‘How does she do it?

Sarah’s example set me thinking about time. How do you find the time in order to do all the things you want to do? If you have or create a career that has flexible hours that’s one solution, but what if you are like Sarah who loves her career, and has fairly fixed hours- what do you do about time?

I find clients are constantly juggling between their career and home life. Between creating and growing business; managing school runs, drop-offs and pick-ups… they often they sacrifice their own dreams just in order to survive. A child becoming sick can often be the last straw in a long chain of events. They become stressed and life becomes overwhelming. Anxiety sets in as deadlines loom. Time is a factor in stress as people often feel they don’t have enough of it.

I’m as a guilty as the next person at saying yes to everything that I want to do and then finding I have a credit crunch in time department.  In the past I would get up earlier and go to bed later to get everything done.

It’s not a sustainable method.

What difference it would make if you could expand the time you have?

Here are few tips I have found helpful to expand time do the things I wanted to do:


1. Be present.

Stop thinking about the next job and focus on the thing you are doing. True concentration gets the job done. Time often becomes meaningless if you are totally focused on what you are doing.


2. Make an action plan.

Get the jumble of thoughts out of your head and down on paper.  Write down your problems perceived or otherwise then write down all the possible solutions to your problems. Writing down all of your worries will diminish your stress.  Reducing the amount of time you spend on worrying will claw back some of your time.


3. Act as if it is impossible to fail.

Dorothea Brande said in her wonderful book ‘Wake Up and Live’, that approaching life with this mindset had changed her life and allowed her to increase her productivity.   This book is oldie but a goodie, and well worth tracking down and reading. Ms Brande writes about the Will to Fail as a significant factor in our approach to creating what we want.



4. Remind yourself that ‘Done is good enough’.

Perfectionists often don’t create and share their gifts because they spend too much time worrying about imperfection. That’s a big time waster. Their focus on detail means they are unable to see the overall picture and when the job is done.


5. Anxiety, stress and overwhelm consumes time.

Explore where your mental and emotional time is consumed.  Do you struggle to make choices, decisions, or the commitment itself?


6. Question more and prioritize.

People often spend more time worrying about what they have to do instead of doing what they want. Decide what is true for you only then will you fully connect and commit to the job ahead. This is like treating your time like your money. Ask yourself whether you would you really spend your money this way.



7. Learn to say ‘No.’

Learning to say ‘No’ is a powerful way of managing your time. It’s often hard to say no the person who feels another meeting would be helpful, or the friend who pops over for a cuppa who wants to discuss their problems.  It’s a life lesson to learn how to say  ‘No’ in order to say ‘Yes’ to what is important to you.


8. Experience freedom from time by using meditation.

Meditation enables the brain to move from the analytical time based thinking to a relaxed state that is time free.

Experience true freedom by not holding back from the experiences you want.

Make a list of all of the things you want to do and slot a time in for them.  NOW.

When people feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, time can often be one of key factors that play a part in their stress.

Lucille Henry PhD.