Overcoming the Illusion of Not Having Enough Time

woman doing yoga at homeHave you ever heard yourself saying things like “I’m too busy to get to the gym today,” “It takes too much time to cook for myself,” or “My schedule is too jammed to train more seriously?”

The idea of not having enough time to take good care of yourself is both an excuse and an illusion. We may over-book ourselves, but we can reclaim our time with the right approach.

It’s interesting to think that we all begin with the same amount of time every single day. So why does it seem like some people are better able to fit it all in—work, family, fitness and fun? The bottom line is that it’s a matter of choices.

We each make our own set of choices about what to do with the time that we have—and when we want a certain outcome, it’s the decisions we make about the time we spend on our goals that make it happen. But if you believe that you don’t have enough time, then you won’t.

That’s not to say you can wave a wand, change your mind and suddenly begin living a carefree life with no pressures or responsibilities. But unless you make a commitment to your most precious personal commodities—your health and your time—you’ll be under the influence of the illusion of not having enough. And that means missing out on the opportunity to craft your own schedule and create your own lifestyle day by day.

Moving Past a Mindset of Scarcity

The idea that you have enough of anything, and in this case, enough time, is rooted in a feeling of natural abundance. It’s a sense of freedom that comes from a belief in your own control. The opposite mindset, one of scarcity or lack, can come from a variety of beliefs that you can reexamine and overturn. Do any of these beliefs sound familiar?

  • The belief that taking time for yourself comes at the expense of your family or career
  • The belief that you have to do whatever the company requests of you to succeed, at the expense of your quality of life
  • The belief that anyone who has achieved more of what you want has had an advantage you don’t have access to
  • The belief that great success typically comes with a great price, compromising things like relationships, hobbies and optimal health

Permission to Believe Something New

You want to overcome the illusion of not having enough time so you can fit in more of the rewarding and important activities that enrich your life. That includes healthy habits like home cooking, packing your lunch, getting to your favorite group fitness class, and even taking a day for rest and recovery. You’re unlikely to “find” the time for these things, but you can begin to make the time, with a few shifts in your beliefs:

  • You can stop giving your time to everyone else but you
  • You can realize that taking care of yourself lets you be there for others when they need you
  • You can clearly identify your priorities and what you’re willing to do to focus on them
  • You can recognize that you create your own definition of success

All in all, when it comes to mastering your time, you can remember that it’s not all or nothing:

  • You work hard, but you can plan to take a vacation—try to make time for the outdoors
  • You have a lot to do, but you can be creative—try running to the park with your dog
  • You feel good about your workouts and diet, and enjoy special occasions—dress your best
  • You can take small steps to make time for your personal goals—try 15 minutes!

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