Create More Time In Your Life With “And”

Articles, Systems for Growth — By on November 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

With all the advances in technology and infrastructure, you would think we’d be close to living more peaceful, simple, productive lives.

Yet everyone I talk to seems to be more overwhelmed than ever before.

Part of it comes from the stresses that we put on ourselves as entrepreneurs. We know that in order to get ahead, we need to put in those extra hours, otherwise our competition could win. Non-entrepreneurs feel similar pressures to perform and go the extra mile to reach that next milestone in their careers.

The Need for More Time

create-more-timeLast month, my wife and I welcomed our first child into the family – a beautiful baby girl named Lane. And while we’re incredibly proud and excited, bringing a new person into the world requires a significant shift in both time and resources.

In the weeks leading up to her birth, I mentally prepared myself for the sleepless nights, the crying, the changing of poopy diapers, and the countless bottles I would eventually feed her. Because I’m now responsible for another human being, some other aspect(s) of my life would need to take a back seat. Without a way to instantly create more time, it was just a matter of deciding what would suffer.

Would it be my friends? My hobbies? My blog?

But in a recent conversation with a mentor, I came to the realization that I had framed it all wrong.

Life doesn’t need to be a giant “EITHER/OR” equation. It can (and should) have “AND” statements as well.

Here’s what I mean…

I recently identified the major buckets of my life and mapped each onto a continuum: zero (0) for non-existent, one (1) for poor, two (2) for good, and three (3) for the ideal, best-case scenario.

Prior to this session, I had in my head that each aspect of my life was separate from the others. Work was work. Health was health. Family time was family time.

In order to move each aspect closer to the ideal (3) space, I would need to free up a nearly infinite amount of time to accomplish them all – or start trimming the number of goals I wanted to accomplish. But this thinking assumes that we must choose one aspect of our life over another; that we can’t chose both.

I’m here to tell you – we can. My goal for 2014, both in my business and personal life, is to create as many “AND” statements as possible.

Here are a few examples…

Health AND Philanthropy

This time last year, I executed a campaign that raised over $27,000 in three months for a breast cancer survivor while I trained for my first marathon. Rather than volunteer my time OR decide to work out, I set goals that supported both.

Travel AND Personal Growth

My wife and I love to travel, and we plan on showing our kids as much of the country as possible. So why not plan family trips to different cities when they coincide with the most inspirational conferences in the country to fulfill my annual goal of education and personal growth?

Family AND Business

What better way to bond with your kids than by explaining what you do, showing them how to manage money, and teaching them how to deliver value and make customers happy?

I know certain aspects of my life will require my undivided attention. But whenever possible, I’ll be double- and triple-dipping to maximize my day… and my year.

Tell me, what is most important in your life? And do you combine the most essential elements so they overlap and support one another?
Matthew Russo (4 Articles)

Matthew Russo is the author of Systems for Growth, a blog that helps business owners stop wasting time and start making impact. He is also the Vice President of Design & Product Development at 30 Lines and co-founder of ChatterJet. You can connect with him on Twitter.