Okay, so the title’s a little misleading. I’m neither going to tell you how to get a magical 25th hour in the day. I’m also not going to tell you how to prioritize your day, or expound upon the magic inherent in the word “no.”
I’m going to share with you something that happened to me.
When I’m not writing my weekly blog post or coaching clients, I contribute freelance articles to Deepak Chopra’s website, Seven Ponds, Fiverr, and other outlets. I love writing, and although the pen is an oar, it comes more easily to me than, say, mechanical engineering.
The other week, I found myself with three articles due on the same day (and, in classic writerly fashion, I hadn’t even started one).
Having been in many deadline-driven situations before, I’ve usually responded by silently freaking out. I pushed myself and unconsciously reiterated the phrase, “I have no time, I have no time, I have no time.”
Did I make these deadlines? Sure. But, when the weekend came, I usually had to oversleep to recover from my overexertion. The sleep I created caused me to have less time to live life.
You know what happens when you reiterate “I have no time, I have no time, I have no time”?
You receive no time.
Thoughts become things, and I created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure, sleeping is necessary, but doing too much of it causes me to miss out on living and, well, waste time.
Going back to the day when my three articles were due, I decided that I didn't want that..
Instead, I thought “I have plenty of time. I have lots of time. I have so much time to get these articles done.”
You know what happened?
My mind gave me spaciousness. I relaxed. I got the posts done with no drama or burnout, and I didn’t oversleep the next day.
I share this with you because the relief I created for myself was fantastic.
It was an antithesis to the scarcity mentality that the dominant marketing and media culture would have you believe. There always seems to be some sort of lack going on, and pushing this scarcity onto the consumer only creates more of it. (No wonder everyone feels burned out and tired and stressed and broke).
I write this knowing full well that always saying "I have the time" is not a panacea. Sometimes, in life, there won't be time. You will be rushing to the airport to make a plane in 15 minutes or be up against a tight deadline in which every second counts. Saying "I have time, I have time, I have plenty of time won't be accurate."
But, unless your priorities are way out of whack, these should be the exceptions, not the rules.
So, next time you feel stressed, check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Be careful about what you're story you're telling yourself because what you say to yourself quite likely will become your reality.