Dear Running out of Time,
How do you fit all of your life into your life? You don’t. You have a full time job, a girlfriend, you are trying to start your own business, family, friends, dogs, me time, etc, etc. There is no time for the time you need to have time for the things that are demanding your time.
I am right there with you. I have so much going on in my life and there are those days where I just want to throw my hands up and be done with whole thing. No work, no commitments, no stress NOTHING. Just me and my dog and perhaps some tea with a binge marathon of my favorite TV show. Ahhh bliss.
But ‘aint nobody got time for that.
The first thing I noticed when I read your question, is that the people in your life don’t respect your time. You didn’t say that outright, but when you mentioned that the people in your life are demanding of your time, then you have a real problem. You need to first learn how to manage your relationships.
No one should be demanding of anyone’s time.
Lets start with your family: I understand that every family is different. Some are close, some want nothing to do with each other, some you love, some you hate, others you only get that obnoxious Christmas letter from once a year. But, they are yours and you feel a certain obligation towards them. You may even love them and would do anything for them. Maybe they know that and want to and DO take advantage of your devotion. They demand your attention and you give it to them freely. You should have a good relationship with your family, no question there, but there are limits to what you can do. They should be the first to understand that you need to take some time for yourself. Tell them you need to focus on yourself and your dreams. Make sure they know you love them, but you just won’t be available for their every beck and call for a while.
Now for your friends: Are these friends of yours that demand your time your TRUE friends? Or are they just your beer drinkin buddies? My best friend and I have an understanding. When we are busy, we know that we still care about each other even though we may not be able to see each other or even talk as much as we would like to. She is my true friend. I have several friends who understand busy, and they don’t stop being my friend because I don’t have time. If they did then I would say ‘fuck em’ because they are not worth it in the end. It is OK to say no to your friends, your real friends will understand. The rest are not worth your time.
You don’t have time to eat right? That is why the good Lord invented Subway. I understand being on the go all the time, I went to college too and I have two jobs. We are lucky to have evolved into the “not just Mc Donald’s” era of fast food. There are plenty of healthy options of eating on the go (you should check out Feasting Fort Collins for suggestions). The other good way to manage healthy eating is to set aside some time to make all your meals in one fell swoop and refrigerate or freeze your meals for the week. Put them in separate containers and have your own versions of a TV dinner.
FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY, SPEND TIME WITH YOUR DOG! Once you have set aside time by not giving in to your demanding friends and family, you will have time to spend with your dog. This is so important for you and for your dog. Dogs are proven stress-reducers. Your exercise will come with walking your dog. Get up early and walk your dog and then immediately when you get home. This way it will get your day going, and you wont have to take your shoes off when you get home (No ‘but I just took my shoes off’ excuse!!).
You see your girlfriend less and less? Once you have prioritized the major things in your life, you can incorporate her into several niches. Have her go on walks with you and your dog. The two of you can cook the meals for the week together and then enjoy a romantic homemade meal after you have finished. Have her help you make a business plan. And when you need to take time for yourself, she should be the most understanding person in your life. Just don’t forget to continue to make an effort in your relationship with her. Do not sweep her under the rug. If you feel like she is not going to be someone who can support you OR if you think you can’t even give her the time that I have suggested, then do yourself a favor and break up with her. It will save the both of you a lot of heartache and stress in the end.
Once you have managed your time efficiently by making a few small changes, you will find the time you need for moving forward in your business plan. The key word here is ‘prioritize.’ It will save your sanity and help you make your dreams come true before you know it. This is a life lesson, there will always be time where you have no time. It is what you make of the time you have in order to make the most of the time you are given.