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How To Find Time To Better Yourself Even If You’re Super Busy · Primer

My tried-and-tested techniques for finding room to grow.

Real talk: I’m a self-improvement junkie.

I love working on myself. Reading, meditating, journaling, podcast-listening, and exercising are my daily bread and butter.

But I’ve also been running a business while traveling the world for three years.

What I’ve learned from that is no matter how busy you are, no matter what you have going on in your life, you can always find time to work on yourself.

I know it’s tough – especially if you have kids or want to keep your spouse happy.

That’s why I’ve collected the techniques and mindsets that I’ve found to be the most helpful from the last five years.

Apply them and you’ll thrive.

Avoid This Common Trap To Change How You Play The Game

Men often fall into the trap of “overserving.”

We thrive on providing and protecting our loved ones. We want to support our friends. We strive to make the people around us feel good.

But what about us?

I have many clients who feel selfish when they do something for themselves.

They learned that their only purpose is to serve others, so their self-worth depends on it.

But you need to serve yourself, too.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” — Katie Reed

Every Saturday morning, I have a few hours blocked for my self-improvement. I record affirmations, journal, write letters, work through courses, or read.

Every Sunday morning, I have at least an hour blocked for self-care. I get a tasty coffee, sit on my balcony to enjoy the sun, put on my favorite tunes, and spend time chillaxing with myself.

What exactly you do doesn’t matter much – as long as it serves and nurtures you.

You don’t have to be constantly available for others.

Work on yourself. Care for yourself. You deserve it. And so do your loved ones.

A Simple Trick Most People Dismiss (I Wish I Did It Earlier)

Chores can eat up time like the cookie monster a few packs of soft baked triple chocs.

Changing the tires, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, cooking, driving the kids around, making repairs, doing your taxes – the list goes on.

One of the biggest mental shifts I got through growing my business was that I didn’t have to do everything myself.

I hired a virtual assistant. At first, he just helped me with some admin work around the business. But then, I also outsourced personal things like research about the places I travel and looking for a suitable Airbnb.

Then, I hired a cleaner – right now, I’m looking into options for a private cook or at least someone to do the grocery shopping.

“Do what you do best and outsource the rest.” — Peter Drucker

The amount of time I’ve saved through this outsourcing is off the books.

I know that not everyone can afford a whole team of staff to look after their house, but most people outright reject the idea without ever looking into it.

If you save yourself two hours a week cleaning and shopping, that’s 100 hours a year you can get for fairly cheap. That’s more than enough to learn a few new skills, do a bunch of date nights, or spend more time with your kids or hobbies.

You don’t have to do everything yourself – focus on what you’re good at and enjoy doing.

Outsource the rest.

How To Start Taking Control Of Your Time

vintage illustration of a skeleton using a cell phonevintage illustration of a skeleton using a cell phone

Let’s be honest here.

If I held a gun to your head or told you I kidnapped your family and will force them to listen to Bruno Mars dubstep remixes for twelve hours a day, would you find time to get something done?

Thought so.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have time – it’s how we spend our 24 daily hours.

When I tracked my activities, I realized I scrolled through my phone for an hour almost every day. To combat it, I created a tech-free zone and used a second phone with only apps that added value to my life. If you’re on iPhone, check your own phone usage in your Screen Time reports.

If you don’t have enough time, be honest with yourself and see where your hours are going. Track how you spend your time by documenting everything for a week or two.

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” — Charles Buxton

I’m not saying you should be up and running every single waking minute. Give yourself a break to become still. But we all have a few things we know don’t serve us.

If you can’t get rid of them right now, try cutting the time spent on them in half every other week until they’re no longer part of your life.

Life’s too short to waste it.

Change Your Default Answer And Never Worry About Having Too Much On Your Plate Again

In the first “Matrix,” protagonist Neo gets beamed into an artificial world and walks through a crowd of Average Joe people, all dressed in the same dark grey suits on their way to work.

Suddenly, a woman in a red dress appears, distracting Neo. When he turns around and looks at her again, she has transformed into his arch-enemy Agent Smith, pointing a gun at him.

The Matrix is just a movie, but this scene is an amazing metaphor for our lives.

Every day, we walk past the woman in the red dress. Every day, we have things that distract us from what matters – our mission, our purpose, our values. Every day, we must ignore shiny objects and stay focused.

That’s why I made “no” my default.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” — Warren Buffett

If something wants to make it on my “yes” list, it has to actively convince me of being worth it.

Does it serve me? Does it bring me closer to my goals? Is it something I feel called to? Is it more important than spending time with myself, the people I love? Does it bring me joy?

If the answer is no, my answer is no.

This doesn’t mean you have to reject everything you encounter.

But defaulting to no will protect your time.

Only give a yes if it’s truly worth it.

www.primermagazine.com

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