Mainly because I’m terrible at guarding my time. I love to sleep in and take naps, binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix, go out and have fun at comedy clubs and Dave and Busters, and cuddle with my boyfriend for hours at a time if he’ll let me. All things that steal massive amounts of time I could be spending on accomplishing my dreams and life goals, things that will last long after I’m gone from this earth.
And I know I’m not alone.
“So much to do, so little time” has become a mantra of mine. But the reality is I have the same amount of time as anyone else. And if people like Oprah, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates can make time to build their empires and accomplish their goals, so can I. But I bet they don’t let themselves binge watch ANYTHING, except for maybe on long flights to whatever important meeting they have coming up. And even that is questionable.
To be successful in life you must be willing to sacrifice, which will be another post later. But the first is the willingness to sacrifice some time to yourself, being lazy and just having fun in order to free up time to focus and work on the goal at hand. Which is soo hard to do. At least for me.
Now there’s nothing wrong with relaxing in front of the TV or taking a nap to recharge. Sometimes we need it. It’s healthy. But I know for myself, I can do it too much. Which probably has more to do with my lack of self-control and inclination toward procrastination than anything else. But I know I can’t keep doing that if I ever want to have a chance at accomplishing anything worth while in life. And neither should you.
So I think I should start sticking the TV in the closet. I can’t just turn it off, because I justify having it on for background noise when I’m by myself. But the reality is I’m still half watching and therefore accomplishing half (and usually less than half) of what I could be during that same amount of time.
I’ve figured out some ways I can still do frivolous things and be productive. By multitasking. Like if I feel like goofing off on my phone for a while, instead of sitting in my recliner doing it, I climb on my elliptical and do it at the same time. The same goes for TV watching. If I want to catch up on my shows then I make myself work out at the same time.
Getting myself to buckle down and write is often a challenge these days. So, I have had to start making myself physically GO somewhere to write, like the library or a park when the weather is nice. No matter how much I’d rather just sit and write in my recliner or in my tiny home office, I know that’s just not always the most productive. I have too many things to distract me at home. And if I want writing and this business to really be a career then I have to treat it like it’s a career. Get up at a reasonable hour, get showered and dressed as if I’m going into the office, and turn my phone and TV off wherever I decide to work so I can actually get things done efficiently. Just like I would if I were working for someone else.
The biggest challenge with trying to build my own business is I don’t have anyone else to try to please than myself. I don’t have anyone else setting deadlines for me to get projects done or telling me which tasks to focus on first. I have to decide all that and then implement it myself. Keep myself motivated and focused every day. And that is difficult.
But I know learning to guard my time is one of the most important steps to doing it. Without it, it will be very long journey to creating the life I want. And although I’m a big advocate of taking baby steps and being patient with your progress (as long as you keep moving forward, that’s all that matters) I know I want to do so much more. And I want to help other people believe for and do so much more with their lives as well.
You’re not alone in your struggle, but you will have to make a decision one day of what kind of life you want to live and the kind of legacy you want to leave behind. And to accomplish that you’ll have to figure out what you might need to cut back on or modify in order to guard your time more effectively. It won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it. So, learn to guard your time. You only get one life and it goes fast. Make the most of it.