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Episode 2 - Why You Don't Have Enough Time


In today's episode, we're gonna talk about your time and why you don't have enough of it.

It's not why you think.

I'll share my tool for matching your priorities to your calendar and help you deal with those feelings of busyness and overwhelm that can suck the energy out of all of us.


Thanks so much for coming back to the podcast. I'm so excited to be continuing with this next episode. One of the big things is, as you saw in the last episode that I teach, is the importance of really prioritizing your marriage, especially in the beginning, that it's really a learning process from the beginning and you really need to take the time to focus with each other and focus on each other and focus on the marriage. There are a couple of objections that I get a lot. I'd say the most common one that I get is that we're newly married and money is an issue. So, we're definitely going to be talking about money, but not today. The other objection that I get is what about time? We're so busy. Isn't everyone's so busy these days? Have you noticed that everyone's busy? Like it's embarrassing to say that you're not busy.

It's amazing. We've created such an amazingly strong value about business and being busy and you must be very important, how busy you are. So, I'm fascinated by this idea. And we hadn't really amazing experience, my husband and I recently, about our business. And it created a system that I want to share with you and it's all about scheduling. So, that's what we're going to be talking about today, time and scheduling, and how it works, and how a lot of it's in our minds. So let me just tell you the story of what happened. Basically, my husband and I both work. We have four young children. These are all great things by the way, don't think that I'm complaining because I'm very aware of how blessed we are, but we both work. We both have four young children. His job is particularly demanding. I do not work a nine to five, but I am homeschooling one of our children right now and starting this business.

And in addition, he teaches professional development at night and we have a lot of community obligations, and I teach a nightly ... or weekly class at night. So, we're not really ever both home normally at bedtime. And we often feel like our schedule has just run away from us, and we we're just racing after it, trying to keep up. Have you ever had that feeling like, "Oh my gosh, this is all my commitments and I'm just trying not to drown in behind them all. How many cups of coffee do I need to make it through this day?"

That's kind of where we were holding. And what would happen is that things that we really prioritized were falling off the list because of all the things that were urgent, spending time with our kids that was focused and relaxed and enjoyable, especially on Sunday. That's the day we really try and go out and do something with them. And it's an opportunity to kind of connect whether it's my husband taking someone on a date or all of us going somewhere as a family or whatever it is.

We just try and have a little space each week to really check in with, with our kids. Obviously, we're doing that on a daily basis also, but it's nice to have that focus time. And we kind of felt like those really high value things were falling by the wayside, and instead we were just dealing with all these urgent and very energy consuming projects and tasks and deadlines that were coming up for us. And something came up that we really wanted to work on and we wanted to see if it was possible. And we were kind of just looking at our schedule and I think I said something like, "You know, it's just not possible. We're just too busy."

And my husband looked at me and he said, "You know what, let's just see. Let's just see what it would look like for us to get in the most important stuff." So he gave me a piece of paper and he said, "I want you to write down everything you want to accomplish in a normal week. And include all the obligations, the classes you teach, prepping for those classes, homeschooling Edina, all the different things that you're doing throughout your week and how long each thing would take."

And then I turned the paper over so he couldn't really see my answers and I had him right, on the other side, his. So first, we were just kind of looking at the numbers and you know, that there was a very long list and lots of time and it just looked, you know, okay, great, all we've done so far is confirm. But I actually ... I had us add in things. So for instance, I added in that I wanted to be able to get eight hours of sleep a night. I read at night, so sometimes I'll read instead of go straight to sleep. But I wanted the opportunity. I did not want to plan my day that I, by default, was going to be getting less than eight hours of sleep.

He had things like he wanted to work out three times a week. Right? So we weren't ... It wasn't just the things that were like absolutely the most urgent. It was also quality of life things. I wrote that I wanted unstructured time every week, and I wanted time to stay on top of the housework. Okay. So, he filled his out. I filled mine out. And really it included all the things that we really wanted in a given week, that if that week were to happen, we would look back and be like, "Whoa! We hit it all. What a great week we just had." Right? For me, that was my yoga class that I never go to. Right"

It's like, if my yoga classes on there, it's an A-plus week, no matter what else happens. We did that and then we're kind of looking at all these numbers and he sort of starts drawing out a chart on his piece of paper, and I'm like, "No, no, no, no, no. That's going to be way too complicated."

So, what I did is I actually went into Google calendar. And I created two new calendars. Okay? So if you use Google calendar, this will make sense to you. But I think this is gonna make sense either way. Basically, you have lots of different calendars that layer. So if you have a calendar for national holidays, then you might have a calendar for work with that has all your meetings. And then you might have a calendar for personal things.

I added in dream cow for Kayla and dream cow for Noah. Okay? This, again, goes on top of the things that are already scheduled on there. There's a dentist appointment. That's on a different calendar. Okay? In this calendar, because I liked the idea of using Google because it's already all charted out for you, right? You know it's in 15 minute increments and everything's all set. So if you put it in there, you'll be able to have a very good visual of what your calendar looks like. And so I went in and I went, "Okay, well what things have to happen at certain times?" So, the number one thing was his job. What are the ideal times for you to be at your job, that you're not leaving, you're not getting there too late, you're not leaving too early, you really feel like you're able to do a great job? This is the number of hours you should be working.

So he went and he put and we put those in for every day of the week. And I went in and I said, "Okay. Well, I'm always homeschooling during these times and I'm always working during these times, so we go ahead and schedule those." And then, we just keep adding things in. Oh, I put in my bedtime I need to go to bed at this time because the baby always wakes me up at that time. And we just started adding, adding, adding, adding, adding. And there were a couple of things that needed to be shifted. There was one thing that came up that it was very clear that there wasn't any time where I was alone and able to really just catch up on whatever the needs of the family were that fell on me. So whether that means just getting a room organized that had gotten sort of into disarray or if that meant working on our budget or whatever the thing was that I needed to catch up on, that was something that we needed.

But as soon as that was seen on the calendar, he immediately figured out a solution, and then we just went with the solution. And that worked out. Som it was very clear as soon as we identified that. And then that was the only conflict. Now, we went into this exercise thinking, "Let's go see how many of the things on our list we can possibly achieve." And what we ended up doing is fitting all of it on our list. All of it. And I'm very influenced by Dave Ramsey, not influenced enough, I wish I was more influenced by Dave Ramsey. But I'm very influenced by his concept of zero based budgeting. And the idea for zero based budgeting in a nutshell, is that you don't plan to spend whatever your expenses are and then have leftover at the end of the month. You make a plan for that leftover money.

So, let's say that you can cover all your expenses for $200 less than what you make. So you actually say, "I'll take 100 of that and I'll put it into a spending account for fun money and I'll take 100 of it and I'll put it into longterm savings or whatever it is." Right? But you actually name what's going to happen with every dollar of your budget. So I thought, "Well, if zero based budgeting makes so much sense. What about zero based scheduling?" Now, the reason zero based budgeting is so amazing is that when you know that at the end of the month you have $100 of spending money. Then when you want to buy something, I'm sure you've experienced this if you're human, you want to buy something and it's just $40, a little $40 extra at Target, and you know you have some extra money at the end of every month, so you buy the thing at Target for $40.

But then you do that twice a week every week of the month and you've gone over your 200 and it doesn't make sense. Where did my money go? Because I know I have extra money left over. But since you're not being really clear with it, even though you know you have that extra money, nothing is going towards savings. It just is impossible to kind of conceptualize what choice you're making when you go spend that money. Right? But if you know I have $100 of spending money and you go to Target and you buy something for $40, automatically your brain ...

Well, he actually uses cash envelope system. So, you would literally be taking $40 cash out of your wallet. But, at the very least, your brain can now say, "Okay, now I'm down to $60." Right? And now, you're not going twice a week every week. Or, if you are, you know that you're already going over that amount. And since every dollar is budgeted for, if you're going over that amount, that means it's coming out of somewhere else. That really resonated with me that when you're going, you're really able to be much more conscious of the fact that when you're spending that money, you are taking it from somewhere else. And so this is why I think the scheduling system went to the next level, right?

So the first level was just that we went and we had this exercise of just write down what would you love to have happen in your week? We wrote it down and we were shocked to find out that it could fit, first, that we were able to so easily diagnose the problem when it came up and second that we were very easy to solve, because now we knew exactly what the problem was, and then finally that it all fit, which was such a shock. Part A of this whole experience was realizing, the only reason, other than this one little chunk of time, right? For everything else in our schedule, the only reason that it wasn't getting done wasn't because there wasn't enough time. The only reason it wasn't getting done was that we both were convinced that there wasn't enough time. There was no objective reality of there not being enough time. But we both thought and believed that there wasn't enough time.

What happens when you don't have enough time? Usually you spin your wheels or you try and do things too quickly, and you make mistakes and you have to go back, or you get frantic, or it's very hard to pick one thing because who cares? You don't have enough time to get it all done anyway. And no one thing is designated as this is the time to focus on it because it's just all this big jumble of there's just not enough time. There's just so much on my schedule. But the truth is that I would have been performing at such a higher level if all I had done would've been to just go back and look at that thought, "I don't have enough time."

And even though, no, it wouldn't have been as organized as when we really got it down on the calendar and figure it out when things should fit in and all that. No, that was definitely better. But even if I had just worked on that thought that I don't have enough time, I would have been miles ahead. That thought had me spinning my wheels, feeling anxious, getting nothing done. And it was amazing to see that I was completely wrong the whole time. I think if you had asked me, "Is that an objective truth, you don't have enough time?" Actually I was going to say no. I would have realized it was just a thought. And I hope that's true. But now I'm actually worried that maybe I wouldn't have said that. Maybe I actually would have argued with you that it was basic math and there wasn't enough time.

I cannot tell you how shocked we were that there was actually enough time in our schedule. Okay. So part two is the whole zero based scheduling part. Alright? So the first thing I want you to do is if you feel like you don't have enough time, I really want to encourage you to do this exercise. Write down what do you want to have happen in your week? What are your obligations in your week? How much does each thing take? And just put it down and see, on a calendar. Okay? We ended up going back and making all those events repeating. But again, because it's like a dream calendar, so it's an extra calendar on top of our normal obligations, so here's what happens. So last week, my kids had dentist appointments.

So, those dentist appointments layered onto the time where I work on basic housework, right? Getting the laundry through, getting things tidy it up, whatever it is. So there was no surprise at the end of the day that that didn't happen. Was I living my dream calendar life that week, that day? No, I wasn't. Because the time that I thought I'd be doing something else ended up going to the dentist appointment. But the reason this was so much better for me than what I had before is that, instead of feeling like, "Oh, those things still need to get done," I was able to look at the simple math. I was going to spend this time doing laundry, but now I'm spending it taking my child to the dentist. I either needed to give up on the laundry getting done or I need to move something else.

This is a really great thing for anybody who has trouble with saying no to people that want their time. Do a zero based calendar. And again, what I mean by a zero based calendar is you put on a calendar where there is no time that is just open. If it's just open time, you mark it off, from six to 9:00 PM, available time, available for scheduling. But you actually put it down as a chunk of time that is available. And then when someone asks you to do something at 1:00 in the afternoon, you just bump it and say, "Okay. Well, at 1:00 I was supposed to be researching for this report. I'm not going to be able to work on that research project at 1:00 if I say yes to you, I'm going to have to move it into my available time slot for tonight." Yes or no? Am I willing to do that to go out and get coffee with you or to go help you with this thing that you need?

But now you are making an objective decision, instead of dealing with this sort of like open ended amount of time that sort of exists out there in the ether that may or may not fit to your whim, right? If you're very clear about where your time is intentionally going, then you can make those adjustments and you're doing with so much more clarity. Now, another part of this that I thought was really helpful for me, because I'm not somebody who loves to do lists. I love writing them. I just don't do them. I don't love a lot of scheduling. I don't like a lot of structure. I like things to feel spontaneous and fun. And I think that the moment of genius that I kinda claim credit for, I'm sure it just came to me, was the idea of the naming it, of labeling at Dream Calendar. Because what it shows me, every time I look at it, is that I was able to put in ,for this phase in my life right now, my dream schedule.

And what I mean by dream is, it is a dream to me to be able to get done all the things that I want to be able to get done, and to be able to have some sleep so that I can function well, and to be able to spend some time alone that's unstructured, where I can focus on whatever things come up, and to have some time that's focused on my kids, and have time with my husband and all of those things. Those things being down on the calendar aren't there to confine me or to tell me that I'm wrong if I'm not doing them, they're just there to allow me to make a choice. If I choose to do something else, know what you're not doing during that time.

You can't expect the laundry to get done if you're at a dentist appointment. Right? I know this sounds so simple, but for us this was just totally amazing. And it's really funny that I'm recording this podcast today of all days, because today is the anniversary ... not the anniversary. It is the very first time that I totally blew it with Dream Calendar. This morning, I had this was my morning that was my open time. I'm not homeschooling this morning, someone else is in charge of my daughter's education on Monday mornings. And on Monday mornings, that is my time to just collect the pieces. So, whether that means that Sunday we were doing so many crazy things with the family that the house is totally trashed, then I can fix the house. If that means that I need to get myself to a doctor's appointment, that would be my time. And this morning I had planned to spend the time just cleaning up, getting laundry put away, getting things moved along, putting away the dishes from breakfast. There wasn't anything really major.

There were a couple ideas that I have in my mind of podcasts I'd listen to while I was doing this, all that. And what I did instead is I sat down and I had like a two hour google video date with my mom, right? We each made our own Little cup of tea, and we sat down together, and we caught up after a very long time not talking. And the only reason I say I blew it is that I didn't really let myself make that very clear choice. When we sort of were like talking about if this was a good time to do this, I didn't say to myself, "If I talk to her now, I'm not going to get those things done until blank." Like look at my calendar. When can those things happen? When am I moving all those expectations to?

Because of that, then later, even though that is the choice I would have made, for sure, that was the perfect time to talk to her. It was a lovely time. We really enjoyed it and it was great. I still came back feeling frustrated with myself that other things hadn't gotten done too. It really just sort of helped me see how important it is for me to just stay rooted in this. For the most part, it's been totally effortless. Because it just seems like I was just putting the math on the paper. This is sort of where my week is going every week, but now where is it going intentionally? This was kind of a funny day to be doing the podcast, because it was the day that I really realized there is no benefit of just ignoring the situation, right?

There's no benefit of just sort of pretending like I'm not making a choice when I add something to my calendar, I am. I can't sit down for two hours and do something outside my schedule without expecting two hours of something else to now disappear. And again, that's fine. It's totally fine. But once you make that allowance for it, then all of a sudden you're not also feeling frustrated that something else doesn't happen. It's like, "Oh no, I totally made the right call." Right? That was the thing to do. One of the things that's hardest for me is the feeling of there's constantly things around the house to do. There's constantly another load of laundry. There's constantly a counter needs to be cleaned off or a dishwasher to unload. Having specific chunks of time in my day where I do deal with that allows me the rest of the day to kind of silence all of that right now.

So here I am. This is my time for work. Recording this podcast is part of my work. And I'm sitting at a counter with dirty breakfast dishes. Now, normally that would drive me bonkers, but I didn't do it during my cleaning time. So I have to wait now until my next opportunity and somehow that's okay with me. Somehow, that's working in my brain. So I really, again, want to encourage you. Step one of this process is to put down the activities you want to get done, how long they're going to take, and then to see if you can fit them into a calendar. And again, if you can't fit them, then what you're doing is you then go and you make choices. You do troubleshooting. If there's more than you can fit into a regular week, so don't expect to get all that done.

And that's when it becomes really clear what things you're going to prioritize over others. Notice any thoughts that you're having about how busy you are, how you don't have enough time. And just ask yourself if that's an objective reality or even if that thought is helping you. Does feeling busy help me be the person I want to be right now? Does feeling busy help me get more things done? Or does it just sort of make me feel frantic? What other things do I want to feel? What about feeling present? How about focused? Maybe I want to feel committed.

So just focusing on what are your thoughts about time, what do you think about time? And then I want to encourage you to take that calendar, and if you do have time that's empty, that's left over, I want you to make it a zero based calendar. And actually schedule that time as available time. So that instead of, "Oh, I have some leftover time at the end of my day. So if someone tells me to stay for an extra four hours, I'm sure it'll be fine." Now you know you actually have two and a half hours at the end of every day that's available. So you know that if you're going to watch all of season one of Grey's Anatomy, you're not getting to bed on time.

And yes, that's obvious, but sometimes maybe it's just four or five episodes, right? Whatever it is, you're just being much more clear with yourself about what the decision is actually that you're making. Okay. So I hope this has been helpful for you. I was really blown away by this whole experience and it has definitely been a major game changer in how we approach our time and how we approach our priorities and how I've really tuned into my own thoughts about time and sort of what I want to be thinking about it, what I want to be thinking about busyness.

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the First Year Married podcast. I really, really hope that you would subscribe to the podcast and even rate it on iTunes if you're ready to do so, would love to hear your comments and your feedback and your questions. You can put questions in there for me and I'm happy to answer those on future podcast episodes. Getting ratings and reviews in the very beginning of a podcast makes a huge difference in terms of other people being able to find this podcast, so I really appreciate it. I know sometimes it's just annoying and you don't want to do it.

It would mean a lot to me if you were to be able to take the time to go and to do a quick subscribe, and maybe even a quick review. If you want to connect with me. I'm on Instagram @firstyearmarried.

I'm available. You can ask any questions there. You can follow me there. Communicate. Just say hi. Let me know you listen to the podcast. I'd love to connect with you over there. And if you do want to take this work further, I do have a free class on my website which teaches the number one tool that I use with all my clients to create big transformations in their lives and their marriages. It's totally free, and you can get it at firstyearmarried.com.

Thanks again for listening in. Bye bye.

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