All the time in the world - just like everyone else

Entrepreneurial Quote of the Day:

“Don’t say that you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” -- H. Jackson Brown, JR.


Hello Fabulous Women!

How many times a day do you say – or think – “I don’t have the time,” or “There’s not enough time!” ?

When I ask women entrepreneurs what their biggest obstacles are, not having enough time is always right up there at or near the top of their lists.

Several years ago, I had a huge breakthrough in how I relate to time, to my time. One day someone asked me to do something, and I found myself saying that I didn’t have the time. I was suddenly struck by the fact that that wasn’t true.

This realization challenged me at a very deep level and forced me to be honest about myself and my life in an uncomfortable but very powerful way.

Now, I don’t mean that I suddenly remembered that I had hours of unplanned time available to me. What I mean is that I realized I had plenty of time, all the time there is, in fact, all the time anyone has ever had, BUT I was going to be doing something else with that time.

That realization made me see that if I say that I can’t do something because there isn’t enough time, then I am the victim of a circumstance called “not enough time.” And since there is no way I or anyone else can ever create more time, then I am the victim of a circumstance that is insurmountable and can never be changed, which is about as much of a victim as I or you can ever be.

On the other hand, I can choose to get real about the fact that I do have “the time” – I have all the time anyone else has, all the time anyone has ever had. Being honest about that, rather than hiding behind the idea of not having the time, means that I can be responsible for what I choose to do with my time. In fact, it means that I have to be responsible for those choices.

This does not mean that I no longer struggle with finding the time to do all the things I want to do and am committed to doing. I wish! Between being a mom and a wife and an entrepreneur and a friend and so on, I am challenged with time every day, believe me.

However, I truly no longer say “I don’t have the time.” If I am saying no to something, I say that I am already committed to doing something else with that time instead. Instead of “I don’t have time to write another blog post,” it’s “I’m going to help my daughter with her homework now.”

And more importantly, if I don’t get something done that I had on my list that day, I don’t bemoan that I didn’t have the time. Instead, I acknowledge to myself that I did something else with that time.

This is not only being honest with myself, it also helps me to acknowledge how I used my time that day, and every day, and that is POWERFUL.

Here’s the difference:

If I am coming from a context of “not enough time,” all I can see is what I didn’t accomplish because I “didn’t have the time.” This leaves me feeling like someone who never gets enough done because I am a victim of something I can never overcome, the demon called “not enough time.”

BUT, if I am coming from a context of “how did I spend my time,” I can see what I did accomplish and also see how I might have made different choices and how that would have led to different results. This leaves me the victim of nothing.

It leaves me the master of my life, the one who is responsible for using her time wisely and well, and for dealing with the consequences when I don’t.

That is not always comfortable, but for me, it beats being a victim any way you look at it!

Here’s my challenge for you:

I invite you to take the phrase “I don’t have the time” out of your vocabulary entirely. Take it on that you are not allowed to use that, and see what else you find yourself saying in its place, how else you can look at and make choices about all the opportunities/demands/desires/commitments in your life.

Then let me know what happens! All you powerful women entrepreneurs, suddenly making even more powerful choices about how you spend your time? Watch out world!

--Ann


On Track and On Purpose, Business Coaching for Women Entrepreneurs, Business Woman Coach

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Tags: business, entrepreneurs, management, time, women

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