How to have fun when you have shit to do

We only have 24 hours in a day, and people often struggle to fit all the things they wanna do into this short time frame. On top of all the things that we all need to do e.g. Eat, Sleep, Hydrate & expell waste. 

So how do you do it?, Is it even possible? 

The answer is Yes, It is possible.

Im afraid theres no magic tool thats just going to magically solve your problems though, you cant rewind the clock just like you cant cheat sleep to get more done, it simply doesnt work. 

So what can you do? 

To start, it can help to focus on the things you know are in your control, what times of the day do you have power over how you spend your time?, maybe its your morning routine, your commute, maybe you take 30min to enjoy a coffee before work or maybe you dont want to mention the 4 hours you spend watching tv every night. 

Now im not telling you to stop watching tv or stop having your morning coffee, just notice what aspects of your day you have control over, this will help start to change your mindset from "I just dont have any time, and Im freaking out" towards "Im choosing to have a relaxed morning and I can spend 15 minutes working on that when Im home later". Consciously being aware of what you do during the day can allow you to more easily analyse what you can realistically accomplish. 

Whats great about having freedom in your life is that you can actually choose what you get to do, and take accountability for those choices. 

Lets say for example your friend Erin asks if you wanna go out clubbing tonight, but you really arent in the mood today, so you tell him no and try to come up with some lame made up excuse. But you dont have to come up with some lame excuse, you can make your own decisions and tell your friend outright that you just arent in the mood today & they'll accept that.

So what do I do when Im overwhelmed with responsibilities? 

The first step is to prioritize, and I know this sounds like the lamest and most overused advice, but theres a difference between saying you've prioritized, versus actually thinking "what are the 2 most important things I have to do today?" Then building your schedule around giving yourself time for those things. It's also important to be realistic, you probably dont have enough time to do all 10 things on your to-do list as well as go grocery shopping , watch your favorite show and go to that party tonight. So think about what things your okay with NOT happening today, and maybe move them over to tomorrows to-do list. 

Its important not to forget that you cant work for the whole day, so build time in your day so you can relax, have some quiet time or do something fun.  

Once you have a rough outline of your plan, stop worrying about it and be flexible, you might get distracted and not stay "on track" , and thats okay. As you do this sort of day outline more pay attention to what works for you and what doesn't and adjust accordingly. If you find that when you work with people you dont get as much done, adjust your timeframe and goals accordingly. 

Now one of the biggest time-sucks that can feel impossible to change is your habits. The actions you make everyday without consciously choosing it. When you get on the bus and automatically listen to your playlist, or when you go to the store to buy an energy drink every morning without even thinking about it.

These automatic routines can have a big impact in your life, they can take up valuable time within your day, every single day. It probably doesnt feel like those 20 minutes on the bus to work every day is valuable time, but imagine if you'd used those 20 minutes differently every day.

Those minutes can add up. 

Dont limit yourself to the made up short-list of possible activities/actions in a given scenario. When your at home and its after 9 pm, that doesn't mean you have to watch tv or scroll on your phone until you go to bed. Theres always other options for what you can do, besides just what youve done in the past. 

Heres an example: 

Neils is trying to learn a new skill, but he feels like he doesnt have any time within his day. Once he stopped to think about his day a little bit more clearly he realized that every day he spends roughly 2 hours not doing anything specific in his day, usually just mindless scrolling on his phone. ( Note that scrolling or watching tv is not a bad thing in your day, if its a purposeful way to relax. ) 

Neils finds that by limiting his screen time on those mindless apps he can change how he uses that time, in order to practice his new skill, if even just for a couple minutes every day. 

Considering that most of mindless scrolling time is in small chunks that can easily feel like times when its impossible to get work done. Usually this is when your on the move or waiting for something/someone.

Even purposeful thinking is productive.

Don't forget that even if you only have 5 minutes, or 2 for that matter, purposefully thinking about something can be extremely valuable. You might try to think how to organize your team next week, plan that trip your taking in your head, or come up with a new solution to that problem youve been dealing with recently whether its business,personal or creative. 

The 5 minute rule

If you have a task or chore that youve been dreading, ask yourself if you can do it in 5 minutes or less, if the answer is yes, dont wait any longer, as Nike says "Just do it". 

This little trick will save you hours of building up small activities in your head such as Laundry, cleaning your room, or sending that email. 

Little activites like making your bed can have a profound impact on how you go about your day, giving you a little sense of accomplishment that will build momentum for the rest of your day.


Now that you know my key tips for living a more balanced and productive life, go out and use them! 

Keep a watch on: 

What parts of your schedule your in control of
Prioritizing those must-do action
Watching & Evaluating your habits
Being conscious of your thinking time
The 5-Minute rule