There comes a point where the way you’re spending time doesn’t allow you to do the things that matter most to you. Most people respond to this situation by looking at certain kinds of time — especially work time — and trying to get more efficient with what they’re doing in those blocks of time. We focus on scrunching down work so we can get more work in but often leave our non-work time unexamined.
A more holistic option is to take a look at all of your time and see where you can steal time from. For instance, a common place where time can be stolen from is in media consumption habits. While I’m not advocating no TV for everyone at all times — it can be intentional connective or leisure time for some — what I am suggesting is that maybe your right amount of TV is two episodes of one of your favorite shows per night, rather than from dinner ’til going to bed too late.
Here are some places where I’m currently stealing time from:
With everything above combined, I’m able to steal at least three or four hours per day. Given that a lot of those hours come after work and I’ve reached my work limit, I’m spending more time exercising, hanging out with Angela, meeting with friends and colleagues in the evening, or just going to bed early. Going to bed earlier means I get more time to write in the morning, though I have to be careful because my meeting rhythms are such that I can accidentally overwork if I spend two to four hours writing before a full deck of three or four meetings and business management work.
Another reason I’m highlighting how I’m stealing time during my non-work time is because I realize that a lot of folks don’t have as much autonomy over their work hours as I do. It’s straight-up true that many people’s employers and bosses dictate their work schedules, though I’ve learned that a lot of people in our audience actually have far more autonomy in their schedules than they realize. That said, a notable difference is that Angela and I are intentionally childless, so our morning and evening don’t involve parenting children. Parents have considerably less time to steal and may not get to repurpose it in the same ways, but… there’s still time to steal.
Charlie Gilkey is an author, business advisor, and podcaster who teaches people how to start finishing what matters most. Click here to get more tools that’ll help you be a productive, flourishing co-creator of a better tomorrow.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com