Happiness – Be Ruthless with Your Time

I had an interesting conversation with my mother-in-law a few weeks ago. She was telling me about an article she had read (or maybe it was a documentary) where there was a massive survey done asking people something along the lines of “If you could have more of anything, what would it be?” Now, you might expect something like money or success to top that list, but the answer across the board and across race, class, nationality, and age was overwhelmingly… Time.


I was struck by that answer because how poignant and essentially true it rang for me. And it got me thinking about how I use my time. Am I spending my time or investing it? 


Because in the day-to-day madness of running two businesses, caring for a 5-month-old, making time for myself, and making time for the important people in my life, I sometimes feel like I’m living on a treadmill: moving but not going anywhere. And sometimes I feel spread thin, and frustrated, and guilty (oh god, the guilt!), and I have to catch myself from saying things like “If only there were 50 hours in a day…” because I feel that is a defeatist way of looking at things. 


So, I’ve decided to start being ruthless with my time. If something doesn’t further my health, wealth, or happiness (however I define it), then I am not going to do it. Full stop. No excuses. No apologies. (Well, maybe sometimes an apology, depending on the situation.) Because we can’t keep complaining about the same thing over and over and not do anything about it, can we? 


Social outings with pseudo-friends? Gone.

Multiple coffee/tea/snack breaks in the course of the day. No more.

Long, drawn out conversations with staff after we get business out of the way. Sorry. 


And while I may get called bitchy or anti-social or – perish the thought! – too driven for cutting these niceties out, I know that at the end of each day I would hate myself if I went to bed wishing for more time. 


So what am I doing? What am I prioritizing now that I am eliminating the fluff? Well, the things that fulfill me. Things that have a measurable impact on building my business. Things that give me quality time with my baby. Things that will make me a better person. Going for walks, working on my book, spending time in the gym, having a conversation with my husband when we’re not both staring at our phones. You know, things like that. 


Have I got it all figured out? Hell no, girls, not even close. But I do know that time is short, life even shorter, and I don’t want to waste another day wishing it had gone differently than it has. So, I’m being ruthless with my time and making sure each day has as little fluff as possible.


Saying no to people and to things and to distractions is not easy, but for me it is essential. Because as someone else said before “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.” 


So I say we go out there and be decisive about how we’re going to spend our days, and then be ruthless about investing our time. 


We’d love to hear what you’re doing to give yourself the gift of time, so join the conversation on our Facebook group: www.facebook/groups/professionalspring