How to Find More Time in Life

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Setting goals is, arguably, the most over discussed subject in the world of coaching.  Do we have goals”? Of course, we do! Are we taking meaningful, impactful and sustainable steps towards achieving our goals?

Well, that’s where most of us feel challenged!  

Achieving our goals, or rather, not achieving them, is not due to lack of effort, preparation or good intention. In fact, there's one reason that rises above all else that prevents us from feeling like we’ve been productive and purposeful when putting our head on the pillow at night.  That reason is our perception that we don’t have enough time.

When my clients and I dive deep to uncover why they haven't achieved their stated goals, whether I’m working with a corporate CEO transitioning to becoming an entrepreneur, a Millennial moving into the workforce, or a divorced parent shifting to single parenthood, the complaint is the same, “I don’t have time!  I can’t get everything done that I need/want to get done!  I’m always behind!

One way we handle this is by creating “Life Buckets” that we make deposits into each and every day. When we live in alignment with these buckets, time seemingly appears and we are better able to accomplish our goals.

Here are 5 steps to creating your own “Life Buckets” and to find the time you never thought you had:

  1. Identify all the activities you take part in during the day, the week, and the month.  This part will take a bit of work. You need to literally write everything down on paper.  Include, eating, sleeping, running, calling your mother, listening to your mother- in- law complain endlessly, scroll Instagram, work, read, Netflix, etc...you get the message.

  2.  Now think about what values are most important to you in life and categorize them as your “Life Buckets”.  These are your priorities and you can have up to five of them. Choose from categories like Family, Relationships, Romance, Health/Wellness, Parenting, Fun/Enjoyment, Career/Profession, or any other area that is truly important to you. When it comes to your buckets, less is more.   This will help you prioritize and focus on what really matters to you. Be sure to name your buckets, so you can lovingly refer to them as you go about your day and “make deposits.”

  3.  Begin listing your activities, thoughtfully and consciously, under your bucket categories.  If “Relationships” is one of our life buckets and listening to your mother in law complain helps you develop that relationship, then do it, with the recognition that you are not only not wasting your  time, but are actually making a deposit in your Relationship Bucket.  If Fun/Enjoyment is one of your buckets, then you must make sure to plan fun activities and allow yourself to enjoy these activities, the same way you would enjoy making a guilt free deposit into your bank account.

  4. Develop the habit of always asking, at any given moment, “What am I doing?”.  You should be able to answer honestly, with confidence and clarity while saying, “I’m making a deposit in my __________ Bucket.”  If you cannot be certain that your action (whatever it may be) is not depositing in one of your Life Buckets, then it’s likely that you are escaping, numbing, procrastinating, people pleasing, and engaging in the behaviors that rob you of precious resources  and make you feel like there’s never enough.

  5. Practice saying no to activities that don’t make a deposit in any of your Life Buckets.  This action involves changing some potentially long standing habits, but like any practice, with repetition, you will master this art and give yourself the ultimate gift of time.

Our Life Buckets are meant to be full, even overflowing.  They need daily deposits (big or small) in order for us to have a sense of joy, purpose, and balance in our lives.  By creating awareness practices, and learning the tools and skills to only deposit in our chosen buckets, we find more than enough time for everything that is meaningful and important to us.

If you’re interested in exploring this concept more deeply, reach out and let’s have a conversation.  I’ll be happy to share with you my own Life Buckets and how this practice has changed my life for the better.

Carolyn MahboubiComment