When I have enough money,
then I’ll treat myself to a nice holiday.
When I have done everything,
then I’ll take some time for myself.
When everything has calmed down a bit,
then I’ll do some sports.
When I have finished the project,
then I’ll start meeting friends more often.
I can remember numerous situations where I talked about it being “a stressful phase right now”. And once it would be over…
… then the next one followed directly.
Or the phase didn’t end at all. Such a “phase” could last several months.
Meaning: everything that was mentioned in the “then-section” of my sentences always came up short.
And the older I got, the clearer it became to me:
If I don’t give the “thens” a different priority, they will never happen.
Because: if I don’t do something or don’t get to something, then something else was simply more important.
You don’t have time, you have to make time.
It may sound a bit harsh, but that’s the way it is. If something is really important to us, we make time for it. And we don’t have a bad conscience if we take this time away from something else. (No, you can’t have everything).
I often had the discussion during manager training sessions that there is no time for so many things. At this point I usually brought up an – admittedly somewhat provocative – example:
If you get a call today that someone close to you has died or is dying, would you have the time to go and see them?
And suddenly it becomes clear: it is not so much about time, but about priorities. About clarity about what is important to us, our values, our needs.
What are the “thens” in your life?
Are they really important to you?
Then stop attaching conditions to them or making them dependent on external circumstances.
Give them the time and place they deserve.
Don’t waist time.