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Making Time for What's Important Exercise


“I have so much to do and so little time. How can I make change in my life?”  Sound familiar? As a hypnotherapist, I hear this frequently. People are barely able to make themselves a priority and create the time for a session, let alone make healthy changes in their lives and lifestyles.
When facilitating leadership development courses or other workshops, I often hear this as well. It’s hard to make changes when you don’t have enough time. But there is a great tool I’ve come across that can really ‘create’ time. So if you're just not finding enough time in the day, with too many tasks and no way to introduce more activities to reach your goals, you have to create time, and you can. Here's how. 
Step 1:         Assess the value of ‘busy-ness’
If you think about it, society is addicted to a busy schedule. If you and your family are not running flat out from event to event, activity to activity, you're not 'normal'. As a society we seem to value and reward activity, regardless of whether the activity is of high value or low value. You just have to be busy to be somebody. It is the continuous activity that is important, not the quality of the activity.
Not only are we being influenced by society, we are influenced by our work environments. We are paid to perform. We are expected to do more than required. We are rewarded for turning our life over to the company. Balance is not encouraged. Family is often not encouraged. Of course there is always the exception to every rule and if you've found that, you're very lucky.
I believe there is a time for activity and there is a time for rest, and that both are desirable, both are needed, physically and emotionally. I don't know about you, but I know I am a nicer person when I have balance. I am less stressed out, I feel better about life, and my ability to cope is improved. 
Can you create a new belief about busy-ness? Should you? Do you want to? I think those are important considerations when thinking about making more time. If busy-ness and activity add to your feelings of happiness or satisfaction, then please, stay busy; some people must be busy to be happy. But if the busy-ness is being used as a distraction for issues that are undesirable to face, then reconsider why you are doing the things you are doing. Are they important, for you, or are they only in response to an old belief, another person’s or society’s expectations?
Being busy is not always productive, especially when it is not in line with your values. Do your activities support what you value? They certainly reflect what you value! When you’re really serious about making time, use the following process.
Step 2:        Assess the urgency and importance of your ‘busy-ness’
1.  Take a piece of paper, split it into four, and label as follows:
              Important & Urgent
 Important & Non-urgent
 Unimportant & Urgent 
Unimportant & Non-urgent

2. Identify what’s keeping you busy. Consider each task and assess its urgency and importance. Put each task in the appropriate category.
3.  It will be visually apparent which activities are of lowest value. Get rid of them somehow, as appropriate, by using the following strategies:
   §     Eliminate:  Do I REALLY need to do this activity? Does it provide a positive impact?
   §     Delegate:  Is there someone else who could do this? Who should do this?
   §     Reduce:    Can I reduce the time spent in the activity or do it more efficiently?
4. Make a plan based on the results of this activity and take action.

5. Sit back and admire how much time you are creating!

Now that you have more time, identify the activities you value and would like to do, that you didn’t have time for previously, and allow them to take their rightful place in your life. 
Enjoy your life and this magic tool! Fill your days with life enhancing activities, for yourself and for those you care about.