On Making Time (whether for Explore or for something else entirely)

Time. It’s a beautiful gift—but sometimes it feels like the enemy, right?

I love how careful many of us are being with our time these days. But even though we guard it preciously, we still often feel like those minutes and hours are slipping through our fingers and we are left wondering where they went.

If time feels like a struggle for you right now (whether it’s holding you back from signing up for Explore—the last day to sign up is Thursday!—or it’s getting in the way of other big dreams), I want to offer a few suggestions:

Hop on over to Unroll.me, enter your email address, and start unsubscribing.

I'm sure you hear this advice a lot. But do you actually take it? It can make a huge difference.

Scroll through that list of things you're subscribed to, and be honest with yourself as each name comes up. Do you remember signing up for this newsletter? When was the last time you opened one of these emails? Is this something you need in your life right now?

If there are things you know you’ll want later on, make a document of them—you can always resubscribe later! But if you can reduce the number of emails coming at you each day, you might find you have a bit more breathing room.

Make friends with the filter feature in your email.

Now let’s go a step further. I don’t know about you, but the only emails I want in my inbox are the ones I need to read now. That doesn’t include newsletters (as much as I love the ones I subscribe to). Set up a folder (or several if you want to get all segment-y) for newsletters. Then as they come in, take a moment to filter them—so that they skip your inbox and go straight to one of your new folders. Then you can check them out when you have time and they’ll stop pulling on your attention. Do the same for any other updates that are important…but not urgent (I’m looking at you, social media notifications) and start breathing easier.

Make one big to-do list and then put things in order of importance.

My brain has been spinning with all the things I want to do to plan for the New Year—and it was making me crazy. Then I finally sat down, wrote them out, decided how much time I thought each would take, and then put them in the order I wanted to do them. I suddenly felt like I could handle it—because I could see it. Do this with all your to-do’s or just one project, but either way, make sure you know what you’re committing to—and know you can do it!

Take a walk.

I know, this one seems like it would take time rather than make it. But the thing is, when you go out for a walk, you can use that time to make connections, see patterns, and all that good stuff—things you struggle to do when you’re sitting in front of your computer (there's just too much distraction). Whenever I feel stuck, I write about why I feel stuck (to make sure I feel clear on the details) and then take a lap around the block. Every single time, I come back with a decision made, an idea that feels a bit more solid, or a fresh perspective on something that previously had me feeling stuck. So try sitting down for ten or fifteen minutes and mapping out something you’re struggling with—and then taking a walk. You may just find you have a little breakthrough, and that you do it in less time.

So there you go! Four ways to give yourself the gift of time—and space, and freedom, and breathing room. (They all go hand in hand.)

And I’d be honored if you decided to spend a little of that time with me in January. You already know about Explore, so I’ll just remind you that Thursday, December 17 (at 5pm Central to be precise), is the last day to sign up. If you've already joined in, I'm super excited to do this with you!