I just can’t find the time.
In my work with women who are looking to redefine in some way on this side of 50, time (or lack thereof) is seemingly the number one barrier standing in their way.
But, as we dig further, in most cases, time is not the real issue. It typically goes deeper than that, and time is a great scapegoat for the women in our community.
Lack of time is an easy, believable cover up. To us and to those around us. Having the excuse of time can often prevent us from having to face the real mindset barriers that might be standing in the way of our growth.
As we consider redefinition in any aspect of our lives on this side of 50, we are likely considering change. But we are wired to fear change. There is a part of our brain called the amygdala which interprets change as an actual threat to our physical being and releases hormones that set off our fear, flight or fight response.
The evil we know is better than the evil we don’t. At least in our thinking. Our brains and our bodies prefer familiar routine and control.
In addition, many of us operate from a long-held core belief system that has been in place since we were children. These core beliefs can give us thoughts such as:
We often aren’t aware of these core beliefs and just how much effect they have on every decision we make or don’t make.
Negative core beliefs, along with our biological fear of change, can easily stop us in our tracks along the way. And staying “busy” with the people and roles we have in place becomes an easy excuse.
Many of us are legitimately very busy, continuing to juggle the various roles that we have in our lives. We often continue to caretake – now for aging parents, partners, and grandchildren – often while working. We wake up each morning and spend the day reacting to the needs of those around us.
And then we end the day wondering where time went!
Take a week and track how you spend your time. You will be amazed at the amount of time actually spent playing Candy Crush Saga, Words with Friends (I had to delete the game from my phone, finally), or aimlessly scrolling social media. It’s more than “just five minutes” for most of us.
Use those fun things as a reward for successfully completing a block of actual focus time.
Set aside some focus time each day to work on something for you. Whether it’s time to journal or do your reflections, time to walk or exercise, take steps towards your next project – schedule some “you time” and have a plan for it. Even if it’s 20-30 minutes.
Set your timer, put your phone away, and don’t allow any interruptions. You will be amazed at what you can get done in 20 minutes of focused time.
Treat this time each day as a priority. Put it on your calendar as you would a doctor appointment or a work call.
One of the coaches in my blogging mastermind, talked last year about how when we shift focus, it takes our brain 20 minutes to get back into full focus on the task we are working on.
Let’s say you’ve decided to journal for 20 minutes. But then you get a text. You answer that. And go back to journaling. And get an email which you answer. And go back to journaling.
Your 20 minute timer goes off. In that time, you’ve probably actually journaled for 10 minutes, if you’re lucky. And your brain never had a chance to really focus on the task at hand. Your reflecting and journaling wasn’t given the attention that it deserved at all during that 20 minutes.
In most cases, more time will not create more or different results. We tend to get done what we need to in the amount of time that we are given. When we give ourselves more time, we stretch out our deadline to obtain the same results.
Carve out that time in your day, each day, to do that thing for you. Whatever it might be. Don’t keep putting it off.
Do you have trouble finding time in the day to do something just for you? As you look at it, is it truly lack of time or something else coming into play?
Tags Reinventing Yourself