conscious-timeThis is something I constantly hear about writing and other endeavors. “I don’t have the time, or I would _______” You can fill in the blank with whatever you wish. For many people, there are a variety of things they could put in that space. But here is the reality I really find. People have the time for what they want to have the time for. You don’t make time: each of us only gets so much. You prioritize time.

“How?” you ask. “I have so many things to do.” We all do. Here are a few tips from my own experience as a freelancer and a workaholic.

Cut out the fluff. Social media, television, and other sedentary pursuits could fall into this category. Those things can be good, in moderation, and they do have a place. But if you find yourself short on time, the hours you spend on them are certainly things to consider.

Take care of yourself. A fellow workaholic told me once that every day you need to meet your own needs in three areas: spiritual, physical, and mental. If you do these things, other time crunches in your life will fall into place. These things all look different to each person. Spiritual needs are as varied as the colors in a bag of Skittles, but whatever that looks like to you, be sure you take time for them. Stretch your brain by learning something new every day, and don’t forget to walk, run, bike, or hit the gym, so your body does not wear out before the rest of you.

Set daily milestones. In addition to your long term goals (you do have those, right?) set daily ones that you can achieve. Check items off an actual to do list, and reward yourself for completing them. This way, you make sure you have accomplished what you need to do, before you go off on tangents of what you want to do. Rewards can include anything from a short break to a small snack.

Give yourself room to fail. Not every day will be the perfect blend of work and personal time. You will slip on one side or the other from time to time. Don’t worry about it, just get back on track when you can.

Balancing taking the time for what you need and what you want is not easy. But with a little reorganization, you can prioritize your time, so instead of saying I don’t have time for that, you can really say “Taking time for that is not a priority for me right now.”

Here’s hoping you find the time you need today and every day.