“Everything that I do, every minute I spend is my choice.”
– Theresa Daytner, page 12 in 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
There are five words in the english language that can give you intense motivation, empower you to change your life and accomplish everything you ever wanted. Five words that I’ve heard uttered by champions, world leaders and thousands of heroes you may never hear about who are quietly going about changing the world.
And yet, these same five words can be used against you – to steal your life right away from you, and leave you wondering where things went wrong.
These five words are powerful: use them properly and you can accomplish anything you want, but fail to notice when you’re using them wrong, and you’ll find yourself at the mercy of whatever life throws at you.
These five words are …
“I Had To Do It”
We’ve all had moments where we simply had to do something.
- Speak up when nobody else would.
- Take a chance even if we weren’t sure it would work out
- Reclaim our dreams even if nobody else believed in us
However, one time I want you to really question your use of these words is when you spend your time on something you don’t want to do.
You Don’t “Have To” Spend Time On Anything
For years I cooked my own food, washed my own laundry, and spent time on a number of tasks I felt I just had to do. I kept commitments because I believed I had to, I agreed to help people because I felt I had to – and I answered every email, every phone call and every instant message right away, because I felt I had to.
The truth is, we don’t “have” to do anything. Every obligation we feel we have to keep is a choice we’re making, every moment we spend on something that we feel is involuntary is still a choice – you can do it, or not do it, and either way you live with the consequences.
And once you learn this secret of questioning spending your time on things you think you “have to” do, you’ll discover the same thing I did – you have more time than you think.
As just a small example, when I carefully tracked and monitored where I spent my time, I learned how much time I was spending buying groceries and preparing meals – and how much time I could save if I just outsourced my cooking on craig’s list. And that’s just the beginning – read on to find out a number of others have discovered how much time they have to live the way they want.
You Have More Time Than You Think – How To Find Those Missing Hours
Do you know the significance of 168 hours? It’s the number of hours each of us have in a week to spend however we choose. It’s also the title of a fantastic new book by Laura Vanderkam – 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.
I think that’s a good title, but I don’t think it does the book justice. I told Laura if I had to summarize the book I would tell people it’s about How Real People Chase Their Dreams With Only 7 Days a Week.
See, this is not just a time management book like the name implies. This really is a book about people living their dream lives and dream jobs and accomplishing their goals, and fundamental to all of that is first taking control of your time.
Laura has a number of people she interviewed for the book (including yours truly, heh), and includes case studies that demonstrate the techniques people use to find time to live the lives they desire. The book closes with real life examples of “time-makeovers” – showing you step by step how others have benefited from the strategies in the book, and how you can as well.
It just so happens that my story is in the book as well, and the book came out today. I already have my copy and I love it.
Check 168 Hours out on Amazon and pick up a copy – then email me and tell me what you think =)
- How To Actively Take Control of Your Time and Your Life
- A Powerful Time Management Strategy – The Time Budget
- More Important than Money – Paying Myself First With My Time
- Stop Wasting Time Online! Tips and Start Pages To Improve Concentration Online
- How To Instantly Make Time For Yourself – And Get More Accomplished
- How to Track Where You Spend Time With A Time Log
- Free Time Is Never Free