As several people have been asking about this topic lately, I wanted to share this again since it was (and still is) a very popular episode.
What you’ll learn in this episode:
How do you spend your time? Do you have free time? Do you schedule your free time?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself if you’re trying to grow a business that allows you to have more money, happiness, and freedom.
Today, I’m going to give you four things that you need to consider when starting on this journey to creating the success, time, money, and growth that you want.
Here’s a glance at this episode:
- Your thoughts about time are just a thought construct. You can change them.
- What you think about your time is the result that you’ll have in your business and your life.
- Managing your time is the best way to create more time.
- Schedule the things that you “have to do” after the things you want to do.
Mentioned in this episode:
Work/Connect with me:
[01:00] Jessica: Well, hello, everyone. Welcome to the practical mindset podcast. I’m Jess Miller and I’m so excited to have you here this week.
[01:08] Whether or not you notice it or believe it, or not, the way you spend your time is costing you money, happiness, and freedom to do the things that you want to be doing. Over the years of running my own business and coaching hundreds of people, I have seen that one of the biggest things that gets in the way of people creating the business and life they want is how they’re spending their time. One of the most pervasive thoughts that keeps them stuck in the push and pull with their time is that they think that managing and planning their time is going to result in less freedom and less free time. This is not only untrue but, actually, the exact opposite is true. The more you are intentional and schedule or plan your time, the more freedom and free time you will have. Interestingly enough, in my experience, the biggest offender is not so much what you’re spending your time on, which, of course, is a factor, but it’s actually what you’re not spending your time on that is costing you the most. So, if you’re ready to change the way you think and treat your time and stop spending it in a way that is costing you your money, happiness, and freedom, this episode is for you.
[02:27] Today, we’re going to talk about four things; that your relationship with time is a thought construct that results in how you are spending your time or not spending your time; that how you move through your day, week, year, life, as it relates to your time, and what you create from there, is a product of how you think about your time; how managing and planning your time is the most practical and efficient thing you can do to create more and spend more time on the things that you love, and have more free time immediately; and what you should be spending your time on. So, let’s jump right in.
[03:08] Your time as a thought construct. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The way that we think about those 24 hours is a thought construct, and when we think about our 24 hours in a day, even the fact that today is constructed into 24 hours, that is a thought construct that we have all bought into. The amount of time something takes or doesn’t take, or how much time we have or don’t have, and our experience of that whole thing, is based on what we think about it. Our thoughts and mental constructs about time are so ingrained in us, and so ever-present, that we often don’t even notice them, never mind question them. When we think of them, we think that we are thinking about these things as a fact.
[04:03] I want to share with you a story about what happened to me when I started my business. When I quit my corporate job to become an entrepreneur, the number one reason that I did that is because I wanted more time. I thought that I was going to have more freedom and more free time by becoming an entrepreneur than I did when I was in corporate, and that my freedom and my free time was going to come from this expansive place of not having a schedule and never planning my time. The idea of living by a calendar and scheduling things in was the worst thing I could ever think of. So, I moved into my days not planning them. I would show up on Monday morning, I would crash land into my weeks with no direction and no goal. I didn’t put things on my calendar. If I did, they were very vague, and I hardly even followed it. What happened is I literally created this structureless, crash-landed week where I didn’t have goals and I didn’t have direction, and I created that over and over again. I would come through these weeks always feeling like I was at the mercy of time, like I had no control over it, because, in reality, I wasn’t controlling or creating it from any intentional place for fear that if I did, I would have less of it. Because that was what I was thinking under the surface, that is what I created.
[05:42] As a side note, I want to mention to you all that our brains don’t like to be wrong. So, when we have a thought, we go out and take action from this place that ends up creating, in our life, the very thing that validates whatever it is that we are thinking. For me, when I left corporate thinking that a lack of structure and a lack of planning, and a lack of control, was going to be the thing that actually gave me more control over my life and more freedom, but yet, I was coming from this place where I was scarce and I was not having any control, I actually created that result in my business and in my life. Therefore, every week, I struggled in my business, always chasing the clock, always feeling like I never had enough time, because, in reality, I was creating a situation where I wasn’t intentional with managing my time. I wasn’t creating things intentionally from the space of having enough time, and, therefore, I was using up my time and essentially ending up with not enough of it, in creating this really haphazard and chaotic place, which brings me to point number two.
[06:59] How you enter into your day, your week, your year, and your life, and what you create from there, also known as how you spend your time and the results that you create, is a product of how you view your time. Here’s an unpopular opinion: many people say that time is a finite resource, that you only get so much of it to do the things that you want to do, and you can’t create more of it. However, I believe that you actually can create time, that it actually is a renewable resource, and you can create more of it. The key is: you have to be intentional with it, you have to leverage it, you have to bend it to meet your needs and to allow you to spend your time doing the things that you want with it, while using the same span of time for other things that need to get done.
[07:54] Side note: if any of you have not listened to my episode called “bending time,” I suggest that, after this podcast, you go and you check it out to hear about how you can become a time bender and create more time and start bending time for yourself right now. Now, I’m here to tell you that the thing underneath, your ability to bend time and create time, and to spend it in a way that you want to, is what you tell yourself about your time. Are you someone who is walking around telling yourself that you don’t have enough time, or that you need X amount of time or hours to get the thing done, or create something in your business you’ve always wanted to do? Are you someone who thinks that there’s never enough time to do the things you want, or to spend your time in the way that you want to? The actions we take and how we use our time is a direct result of what we’re thinking about it, down to what we put in our calendars, how we put it in our calendars, or even what we don’t let ourselves do or even dream to do or put in our calendars, is all fueled by these beliefs. If you are in the struggle of thinking you don’t have enough time, that there is never enough time, “if only I had time to do XYZ,” you need to get in there and clean up your thoughts around time, because, if you don’t, what you will end up doing is continuing to do all of the things from this underlying belief, or disbelief, about your time, and you will create these same exact things you are creating now. This is going back to what I was saying about how your brain will create the result from what it is you’re thinking to validate those thoughts, because that is what our brains do. They essentially go out there and really scan and filter our environment and our choices to uphold and validate the thoughts we have.
[10:02] I want to share with you how this played out for a client of mine. My client, Helen, started working with me when she had just started off her social media business. She had very few clients at the time, and she told me that she had started her business because she wanted more time to travel and do whatever she wanted. Over the course of our time together, we got really clear on her irresistible offer, what she was going to charge for it, and how many clients she was going to work with to hit her revenue goal. Within two and a half months, she had hit and exceeded her target revenue, and she had brought on the clients that she wanted to work with, her business was growing fast and furious, she was amazing, and her clients were getting success of their own and they wanted to work with her even more of course, because she was awesome, they wanted to work with her. She thought that the only way to get them results was to give them even more of her time, so she gave them even more hours and more of her time, and she continue to grow, but only at the expense of her own time. The more she did this, the more she believed that she didn’t have enough time, and the more action she took to literally create more scarcity of her time. Quickly, not only was her day maxed out with the clients that she had, but she started to cut into her after hours as well, because she thought she didn’t have enough time to help her clients during her business hours. Does this sound at all familiar to any of you? I hear it from my clients all the time that they don’t have enough time in their business hours to help their clients. Helen, all of a sudden, she started to cut into her boundaries, and her boundaries started to slip, and on the weekends and in the evenings, and all of a sudden, she had no time at all, literally. The reason that she had literally run out of time was because, under the surface, she believed that there was never enough time to help her clients get the results that they wanted, and, therefore, she created that exact same result in her life – not enough time or no time for her. After I helped her identify that this thought was driving her calendar and schedule, or lack of a schedule, we were able to create her new thoughts that were really in service of what she wanted: more time. From there, she reworked her calendar, set her boundaries, hired some help, and coached herself to honor her work hours, and also honor what she was not doing in her business, and to start doing more of the things she wanted – traveling, taking her weekends off, etc. Her business took a 180 degree turn, and not only is she experiencing a more balanced and happy life, but she’s making more money than ever because she’s cleaned up her thoughts around her time, leveraged different people and assets to help her produce more, and is running her business from a place of abundant thinking, not a time for money scarce place, and because of cleaning up her thoughts and scheduling her time, her business is more efficient than ever, turning around work so much more quickly, and making it even more valuable for her clients, thus driving up the prices of her offers on top of it.
[13:20] I can tell you that, in my 10K accelerator group, I also coach clients around this all the time. Many times, people come in, they have a very clear idea of what they want to do and how they want to be spending their time, they’re having trouble gaining traction and meaning making money, and gaining clients, and then they start to grow very quickly and they end up smacking into this limiting belief around their time, and then the real work, the real breakthrough, comes in really understanding how they’re using their time thinking about it, and what how they’re constructing their time is costing them. Once they get clear on that, they see it, they work through it, and we work through it together, and we support them as they take this next step in their business and up-level, they are unstoppable. So much comes out for them and bubbles up for them having more time and more time freedom. Sometimes, almost instantaneously.
[14:24] This brings me to point number three, which is: how managing and planning your time is the most practical and efficient thing you can do to create more time and spend it on the things you love and have more free time immediately. We have this disbelief that planning and scheduling robs us of our freedom. This is fundamentally flawed thinking. First, it comes from thinking we have a limited time and if we spend it in a certain way, that is somewhat out of our control, we won’t have anymore of it. Second, it assumes that we can’t schedule time to create freedom in our lives or have free time, which, if you just stop to think about it, makes absolutely no sense. Why can’t you schedule your free time? Why can’t it be a priority or a non-negotiable in your days? This goes back to the point above about our beliefs about our time. What comes up for you when you think that free time, and your freedom to choose whatever you want to do with your time, is the most valuable thing on your calendar, that it should be a priority for you? Do you think it’s not possible? Do you think it’s not true? Do you think it’s selfish or greedy, or self-serving? Do you think it’s a luxury?
[15:52] I have a hunch that most of you listening have many conflicting thoughts about your free time and your freedom that is affecting how it does or doesn’t end up on your calendar. Maybe you think you don’t deserve it. Maybe you don’t believe it’s possible to put it there. Well, guess what? I’m here to give you a $1,000,000 tip that one of the easiest ways for you to get more free time and freedom in your day is to choose it and to plan it, and to schedule it. Period. Let’s play this out. What if you plan your free time, or the things that you’re not doing right now that you actually want to be doing, first? You put it on your calendar, and you had to fit in all the other stuff. What if this wasn’t a choice? Let’s just pretend and take you and your free will out of the equation. What if you spending your time in any way you want was the answer to saving humanity or the world, or the people you loved, and you had to spend it that way, and fit in all the other stuff you needed to do. Could you do it? I’m going to tell you that you absolutely could, and would, do it. This is the beauty of being intentional about your time and constraining it and planning it. When you’re in the belief that you want to do it and it can work, or it has to work, we get super creative. We figure it out. This is what happens every time you are “pressed for time” or you’re about to leave on vacation for a day, or you need to get all the stuff done at work, or there’s something awesome you want to do like hang out with your kids or go to a concert with your best friends, or schedule time at the spa. We do it. Why? We have decided that we can, we give ourselves permission to believe it’s possible, and to do any and all the things with our time and make it happen, and we intentionally schedule it and utilize our time in a way to actually make it happen. Voila. We get it all done and we fill the time with all the things we want to put in our free time, and we feel awesome, which brings me to the last, and maybe the most important, point, which is: how and what you should be spending your time on.
[18:20] I believe, and many of you have heard me talk about this before, that success is an act of subtraction, not addition. Through these limiting beliefs about time, the lack of planning, and the crash-landing into our days on our calendars, and then totally blowing off the stuff we want and should be doing, we end up living a really lackluster life. It’s not that we’re not spending all of our time doing all the things and not working really hard, but we are choosing the things that don’t feel like freedom and are not what should be in our free time. By default, and unintentionally, we end up here. Our scarce thinking around our time takes the wheel, we think we don’t have enough time, and thus, we fill our time with the things that are not on the free time and freedom list. The free things become an afterthought and we put them in the “when we’re lucky” or “when we remember” bucket, or when we could fit them in. It should be the other way around. We need to schedule in the freedom first. We need to be intentional about the things that we should be spending our time on, the free stuff and the things that bring us a sense of living and freedom, and then we schedule in the other stuff. We get creative and figure out how we’re going to get the stuff we need to do.
[19:43] Side note: we all have this. There are always things that we “have to do or get done” in a day, but we schedule those in after the other stuff is locked in the calendar and on the list, and then we let all those beliefs about our time bubble up and we manage ourselves through that, and we commit to choosing our freedom first and getting it on the calendar, and then managing ourselves to the calendar. Hey, if you’re going to spend your time on anything, learning and getting good at managing your beliefs and thoughts around your time, and putting your freedom and your free time on the calendar, and making sure that you’re doing that intentionally, and getting your head straight when they come up, is one of the best things you can spend your time on. If this is not your thing, or you feel like you really struggle with this, know you’re not alone. We are not taught this. This was one of my biggest limiting beliefs in my business, and it still crops up from time to time. So, get yourself help from an expert or a coach that has been there and done that and can help you. It will pay off in dividends 10 times over, because not only will you move into your days and weeks with a whole new way of living, but the days and weeks turn into months, which turn into years, which turn into a lifetime, and not just any lifetime, but a lifetime that fills you up, is filled with freedom and free time and the things you want and is a life worth living.
[21:16] So, if you’re ready to change the way you think and shrink your time and stop spending it in a way that is costing you money, happiness, and freedom, I want you to go out right now, and I want you to, number one, examine your thought constructs around your time and how their resulting in how you’re spending and not spending your time. Number two, take inventory of how you’re moving through your day, your weeks, your year, and your life as it relates your time and what you’re creating from there. You can do this in a really easy way. Go and look at the past 24 hours. What did you actually do with your time? Then, look at the last week. How did you actually spend it? Compare that with your calendar. Was there even anything on there? Did you have a plan and not follow it? That is a really important thing to look at. Number three, I want you to take the practical step of scheduling and planning your time, especially your free time, so you can create more money and spend it on the things you love, and have more free time, immediately. I promise you, if you go out and you schedule your time, if you decide you’re going to become someone who takes control of their time, who is going to rein in that thought around your time, stop spending your time, and all the opportunity costs of your time, you will have more free time immediately by putting it on your calendar intentionally. Four, I want you to dial up the things that you should be spending your time on – your free times, the things that create freedom in your life, the things that turn into a thriving business, making more money, and that fill you up and create a life worth living. You’ve got this. I am cheering you on.