Why You do have Enough Time

“But I don’t have enough time!”

“You just aren’t as busy as I am!”

“If I had as much time as you, I would also be able to do that.”

 

These are just a few of the excuses I hear from people telling me why they don’t have enough time to tackle something like learning a new language, learning a musical instrument or some other skill they are interested in learning.  We all like to brag about how busy we are all, even though most people who complain about being busy are the ones who usually have the most time (I know this isn’t always the case, but it amazes me how many people say they are busy when the only real responsibility they have is going to school for 12 hours a week).

 

The truth is, most people are just wasting their time doing things they don’t need to do. Seriously, so many of my classmates that I talk to complain about not having enough time for the 12 credits of classes they are taking. Other people complain that they have no time with their 40 hour a week job. Yet these same people will be some of the first to talk about how they streamed an entire season of a TV show in 1-2 days. What amazes me is when I ask “Since you don’t have time to learn [insert skill they said they really wanted to learn], how do you have time to watch 9-18 hours (depending on the TV show) of TV in so few days?”

 

The response is always an “Uh… well, I um…..”

 

The reason isn’t that you don’t have enough time. It’s either you spend your time doing things that help you get ahead, or you spend time doing things that don’t. Simple enough.

 

Learn to prioritize your time.

 

If you truly want to accomplish something, get it done first and foremost. If you waste 4 hours a day on Facebook or Youtube, spend that first hour doing what you should be doing, then spend the other 3 hours on other activities. Most of the time spending just one hour a day is a good enough pace for you to make good progress on whatever you want to learn.

 

Want to start working out but “don’t have the time?” Don’t go to bed so late, wake up an hour earlier and hit the gym or go on a run.

 

Want to get that certification? Study for an hour after dinner everyday.

 

If you are just starting out with your goal, don’t worry about fully jumping into “I have to study this for 2 hours everyday” or “I have to workout everyday for 90 minutes.” Start small. Try starting with just 30 minutes everyday or going to the gym three times a week. If that still sounds bad, try breaking it up into two 15 minute chunks. Maybe once in the morning and then once at night. Right now, you just want to get into the habit of actually working towards your goal. Once you are consistently working on your goal for a week or two (depending on if you think you can handle it), bump up the time you spend doing it. This could be done either by extending the time of one session, or adding another session per day. Try experimenting with both and see what works for you.

 

The key takeaway is that you have more time than you think. Once you start spending time on tasks that matter, you will begin to see much more progress.

One Reason to Meditate

Has this ever happened to you? You decided you were going to sit down and start working on an important project. You opened your laptop and went on the internet to find a song to play in the background. While you were selecting a song, you noticed that you got an email from a friend sending you a link to an article. So you go and read the article. After that, you noticed another article that has a title or picture you like and so you open that one too. Within a couple of minutes, you have several tabs open in your browser for many articles/videos/whatever to look at. Next thing you know, you are hungry and when you look at the clock, you realize that you spent 2 hours doing absolutely nothing but looking at useless internet junk.

Let’s face it, this happens to a lot of us. We have so many distractions nowadays, the internet, our phones, social media, and email to name a few. Unfortunately these do nothing to help us actually do what we are supposed to. How can we help alleviate this problem?

Enter meditation. When some people hear of mediation, they think of some Buddhist monk repeating a one syllable mantra for a religious purpose. While this is certainly one use of mediation, there are several others that can help us with getting what needs to be done.

So how do we do meditation? Simply put, breathe. Okay, so maybe you need a little more of an explanation than that. Find a quiet place where you won’t be bothered, make sure your phone and anything else that might distract you is turned off. Sit down in a position that is comfortable for you. The next thing to do is breathe. You want to focus on your breathe. Try not to think of anything else. If a thought comes up, you can pay attention to it and let it fade away. It’s really that simple.

That is the explanation that you get in so many how-to meditate articles. Some people might not like the idea of just sitting there. So another type of mediation you can do is focusing on the duration of breath. This type of meditation has several names, which isn’t that important. The point is that you inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, and hold for a count of 4. Rinse, repeat. I don’t think the exact count of 4 is important, I think the most important thing is that you try to keep every part equal in duration. Doing so gives your mind one job to think about: counting, which can make it easier to realize when your mind has wandered because you are no longer hearing numbers in your head.

Some people, when they meditate, get really frustrated with the fact that they can never keep their head free of thoughts for so long. This is where people are missing the point. Each time you realize your mind has wandered and you bring it back, you have won. Yes, the overall goal is to have your mind be distracted less as you go on, but each time you realize you have strayed, you have won. Why? Because it trains you to realize when you are distracted. The sooner you realize you are distracted or wandered from your main task in your daily life, the sooner you can get back to it. So in a way, meditation is like training your mind to catch itself in the midst of distraction. As much as I don’t like wasting anytime, I’d prefer to realize after 2 articles that I got sidetracked rather than realize after my 10th article. It saves so much time.

Now some people will say they are too busy to meditate, but actually spending 5-10 minutes a day meditating can help give you more time because you won’t be getting distracted as much. Actually, the busier my schedule gets, the more time I give myself to meditate. It’s what gives me that extra edge to stay focused. I highly recommend starting out doing just 5-10minutes a day. If that still seems like too much, just start off with 2 minutes to help build the habit, and then slowly increase the time. You can try any of the two ways listed above. See which one works best for you.

Happy breathing!

Introduction and Motivation

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. This is my first time blogging so hopefully anyone reading will find some use out of my experiences.

Why is learning effectively and efficiently so important? Because it can help you have a higher quality of life. Learning a foreign language allows you to talk to people of different cultures very easily and opens up a lot of doors for adventures. Learning a musical instrument can allow you to meet new people and have opportunities to appreciate more kinds of music. Learning about history can help give you more of an understanding as to what is going on in the world today. Learning just about any topic will give you more to talk about with anyone you meet, as well as give you the opportunity to give back and teach others.

Learning isn’t just about books either. You can learn how to get a healthier body. You can learn how to gain muscle and get stronger. Or maybe how to make sure you are feeling your best by not eating certain foods. Maybe you want to run faster. All these require learning of some sorts as well as goal setting.

Maybe right now though you have a specific goal you want to reach. It could be you are trying to learn a foreign language to fluency in two years, but you are unsure of where to start. Or maybe you want to take an intensive summer course, but you also need to balance the school work with your job?

My goal is to be able to help you with that. What I have done that proves it? To list a few:

-In high school I skipped 3 levels of French and went on to be one of the top French students in my class.

-After studying Japanese for a year, I placed into the highest course the local community college would allow and but was 2 textbooks ahead of the class and knew way more kanji (the funny looking Chinese characters).

-I studied Russian for 6 months and was able to have intermediate level conversations with my Russian friend.

-After a year of studying Chinese I am able to carry conversations with Taiwanese and Chinese friends about a variety of topics.

-In one semester I gained 16lbs of muscle in 16weeks

-I have completed all my college course work in 3 years keeping a 3.8GPA, working throughout college to allow me to graduate without student debt (while becoming a supervisor at my work as well as writing an employee training manual).

I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging. My point is that anyone can get similar results. So then how did I manage to do all of this? I kept myself motivated. The key in order to attain whatever goal you are trying to attain is to be consistent. If your motivation fluctuates constantly, causing you to skip workouts or study sessions, then you won’t be able to quickly reach your goals.

So before you try to set out to complete your task, you need to ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” If you can’t answer this question, then it’ll be much easier for you to quit midway through your goal, when it’s so easy to give up. Knowing why you are doing something gives you the fuel you need to keep going, even when you don’t want to. If you are trying to lose weight, your why might be “because its healthy for my body and I will feel fantastic at a healthy weight” or maybe “because I want to look good.”

Find a “why” that gets you wanting to achieve your goals. Write it down on a piece of paper and look at it every time before you work out or study, look at it when you aren’t feeling motivated, look at it when every fiber in your body is telling you to be lazy and take the day off. Think about how awesome it will be once you finally achieve that goal that is inside your head.

Find your “why” and you are on your first step to doing whatever it is that you desire to accomplish.