95. How to have enough time for everything you value (and stop saying "I don't have time for that")
Welcome to the Empowered brain, the only podcast using science, psychology, and coaching to help you rewire your brain and create a life you love with your host, Dr. Vanessa Calderon, a Harvard grad physician, master coach, and mother of two.
Hello friends, today we are talking about time, we are talking about how to have enough time for everything we value and how to stop using the excuse, I don't have time. The reason why I want to talk about this for various reasons.
Number one, this is one of the number one things I help people with I help women become more effective and get more done in less time. And not because I've created some wacko time hack that hardly you know those things hardly ever work, some productivity, kind of like, what I'm not trying to create these productivity machines by any means. But it's because I'm able to help women create alignment with what they value, and focus their time and energy on that. That is how you have time for everything that you value.
So I used to be, you know, somebody that would try to use up every second of my day, to the highest capacity. Why? Because like most Americans, I was socialized to believe that my worth was based on my productivity, that the more that I did, the more productive I was. And the meanest thing anybody could ever say to me is you are lazy. Wow, that created so much shame in me. So I never would let anyone see me rest, because I never would rest, I would always try to do more, do more, and do more. And I you know, I was blessed with this sort of gene of self-discipline. So I'm really good at doing what I say I'm going to do. And I was able to achieve a lot of stuff. But what else did that create, it created stress, and it created strained relationships with people that I loved. Because when I was so hyper-focused on checking things off boxes on productivity on doing more, I wasn't actually using my time intentionally. I was using my time productively, but not intentionally. And that my friends what we are going to talk about today is how to use your time aligned with your values intentionally. So that you can stop using the excuse, you don't have time and instead have enough time for everything that you actually care about in life.
Okay, so what we're going to do today is I'm going to talk a little bit about the concept of time. And then I'm going to walk you through an exercise to help you create your own values to help you make sure that you are aligning your time with your values. And then I'm going to refresh a few podcast episodes that I've done in the past that go deeper into this in case some of you want to follow up. Alright, so let's talk about time. Now time is so fascinating. And the truth is this, no one will ever have enough time to do absolutely everything. When you define everything as everything, do you know what I mean? It's like, are you going to have enough time in the social construct of those 24 hours that we've decided as a day to do a million things out there in the world to do? The truth is no. But who cares? It's not about doing everything in life. It's about doing what matters to you. So when people say I don't have enough time, I'm always wondering, how are you spending your time? And are you spending your time in a way that matters, I do a ton of stuff in life every day, and I have enough time for it. Because I intentionally use my time aligned with my values.
So when you have enough time to do what matters to you, and you're super clear about what you value, the most interesting things happen. Number one, you're able to be fully present at that moment in the day-to-day in what you're doing. And when you're fully present, guess what happens, time feels like it is expanding. Why? Because when you're present, you're more focused, and you're able to get more done in a shorter amount of time. And it does feel a little magical. It does feel like time expands when we're present. The opposite is also true. When you're not present. When you're thinking you should be doing something else. When you have feelings of the stress of guilt of being overwhelmed when you have FOMO for example and you feel like you're missing out on something bigger or better. It makes you less focused and it makes you less effective. So when you're doing things aligned with your vision will use again, you will have this time to do what matters. And you will notice that statement. I don't have time for that for what it actually is.
When people say I don't have time for that, which is the number one excuse I hear often when I ask somebody, what is it that they want to achieve. Why haven't they done X Y, Z yet? Why is it that they haven't run that race? Do they want it to run? Why haven't they given that talk they wanted to give? What I usually hear is I don't have time for that. And it is the most interesting excuse because it feels universal. And most people can be like, oh, yeah, I get it, I get why you don't have time for that. Yeah, you know, people are busy. But the truth is that we will always have time for what we value. And when we say I don't have time for that. What we actually mean is, I don't want to do that right now. Or I'm afraid to do that. I don't think I can do that. It really is an excuse. And what's really interesting is I want you to imagine, you know, sitting at the end of your workday, it's like 4:30 pm, you and your workdays at five, you're trying to finish up this presentation that you need to submit for work, and you're working really hard at it, and you're going for it and you're fully focused on the present, then your kid comes in, your kid comes in and says,
Hey, you want to play a game of cards with me? And you say sorry, I don't have time for that right now. I'll play with you later. And you think in your brain, Yep, totally valid, I don't have time for that I gotta finish this. But what I want you to notice is, if your child were to come in with a bloody nose, a scraped knee, or a broken bone, would you have time to stop and tend to that? Because the truth is, we have time for what matters. And that first example, when you said I don't have time for that, what you really meant is, I don't want to do that right now. And listen, sometimes that's okay, you just got to be honest with yourself. And you have to reframe that idea that I don't have time for that. Because the more you can stop using that as an excuse and get really raw and honest with yourself as to why you say that, the more you will be able to see where your fears are. And the more you will be able to notice that you actually do have time for what actually matters for the things you really want to do.
Alright, let's walk you through an exercise to help you better understand your values. So I teach this concept of me, we they. And what I mean by that is when you're truly thinking about what you value in life, I always start by asking my students, what they value, and usually start with family or relationship or something like that. And I think that that's beautiful. But I want to take one step back and make sure that you are thinking about yourself, when you think about what you value, your mental health, your spiritual health, you're well being your physical health, when you think that's why I include me first, what do you value, and I really want to invite all of you to also consider yourself as something that you value you wholly and truly and authentically. And then we mean you know the relationships around us that we care about, maybe it's your family, maybe it's a romantic relationship, maybe it's a group of close friends.
We matter because human connection mitigates trauma, it's good for our well-being, and it's important for us to have strong relationships in our lives. So I say me, we, and then there's anything outside of that. Maybe it's work, maybe it's financed, maybe it's whatever it is outside of that maybe it's tripping you want to take. So when you think about what you value, I like for you to think about it perhaps in this way. If it's helpful, me, we, and then anything outside of that they. So when you think about that, and if you were to create your own list about what you value, what is it that you value? Is it your marriage, your family, your mental health, your physical health, your career, or your finances? Is it vacations? Is it travel? Is it a business, you want to get off the ground? What is it that you value? And once you create your list of what you value? The next question I have for you is why? Why do those things matter to you? For some of them, it'll be really easy and you'll feel really aligned. Like my mental health matters because I matter.
My marriage matters because I love my husband and I'm creating a strong family unit. My family matters because they're my source of support and I want to be here for them. My career matters because I'm curious and I am passionate about what I'm doing. But for some of you when I asked you why you might not be aligned with your reason, maybe your reason is that I don't have enough money and you need to work harder, harder, harder to make more money. or I really want this title in my career, I need to continue to excel in my career until I'm the CEO. And if I keep asking you why, if it goes down to you think that's going to help you be worthy, or that's going to prove something to the outside world. Or you will finally be successful. When you do that, then I want you to really take time and pause. And notice, if that's a reason that you want to drive your values in life. If you love your reasons for your values, fantastic.
If you are starting to get curious, and you're questioning whether or not I like my reasons for my values, then take a moment to get curious, I invite you to really think about that. And if you want to help coach around that, join us in the journey, because those are the things that we do all of the time, I will personally help you create clarity around your values. So once you have your values listed, I want you to really look at them and be super clear. And then think, how am I going to prioritize these things? And really, your values are going to be a handful of things. Maybe they're three things or five things, whatever they are, how am I going to prioritize these things in my life? So for me, for example, the number one most important thing in my life is my physical, mental, and emotional health. How do I prioritize that? I plan for that every day, I get up every morning, and I meditate. And I journal and create time for exercise every day. And I plan for that before I plan for anything else because that really matters to me. And then after that, it's my family unit, my husband, and my children.
So I create time to connect, and I make sure that I'm present with my kids in the morning. And when they get home from school, I make sure that I make time to just fully be there when they're there. Because again, when you are fully present your time expands, it is the most beautiful thing, you create a quality connection. And then after that, for me, it's my career. And so I just make sure that when I am working on my career, when I am working on business stuff, that I'm fully focused because I don't want to spend a lot of extra hours doing things that are you know, working on my career when I could be focusing on the other things on me and we so when I am doing my business stuff, I'm fully focused and present because yes, that matters. But there are other things that matter to me also in life. And I want to focus on those things as well.
So if this is valuable to you, I taught an entire podcast episode on how to get out of your head when you're in that dilemma of always being busy. The busyness dilemma, I call it it's podcast episode number one, go back and listen to it. And on podcast episode number two, I walk you through an entire way to think about how to plan for your days and how to organize your calendar around your values. It's called Power planning. But this episode here is really created for all of you to start thinking about when you say I don't have time, and what you actually mean. And what I would like to invite all of you to do is to really stop and pause next time you use that excuse. I don't have time and really figure out what's underneath that. It's usually I don't want to I'm afraid to or I don't think I can really just notice that. Because once you stop using that as an excuse, you realize how much time you actually have during the day and you start doing things aligned with your values. Alright, sweet friends. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Go and seize the day and the moment and I will see you all next week.
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