075 - why there's no such thing as "finding time"

”You don’t find the time to do something; you make the time to do things.”
- Debbie Millman: World-Class Designer

“Nick, what’s your most valuable asset? Money, time or knowledge”

The year was 2015. And that was the question I was pondering after it was posed to me by my then business coach

Back then, I was way more naive and idiotic than I am now, and my mind immediately jumped to money as the answer. And if you’ve read Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast & Slow” you’ll know that this was the fast and automatic thought pattern we have based on our experiences from life, our values and our beliefs, or as he refers to it, System 1 (when you reflect on this system and its answers, it’s quite irrational and idiotic)


But when my System 2, the slower, more rational and logical thinking kicks in, I really began to think about how money can buy more time and knowledge… so perhaps, in fact, one of those was the answer


Then, I did as I always do and over-analysed the situation - my brain raced and thoughts popped up


“If I had more knowledge & time I would have more money…”
“If I had more money I could buy more knowledge and time…”
“If I had more time I could gain more knowledge and in turn gain more money which would then gain me back more time…”


Then, drawn out of my own mental abyss, Drew said “Nick, stop thinking. What’s your gut say?”

My response was time. Time was my most valuable asset… And the smile on his face told me that my answer was more down the correct path


We all get the same 24 hours in a day - it’s a cliche, but cliches are true


It’s what we do with that time that matters most… it’s how you choose to spend or invest it. Do you choose to use your time to improve your knowledge and thus then possibly your money OR do you use it procrastinating, giving in to the resistance, making excuses, and wondering what could have been?


When you look at “success”, like most things in life, it’s quite simple. First, it’s defined by you - it’s whatever you decide for it to be


Then, as the great Jack Canfield says, it’s simply identifying and doing the right things the right way at the right time and in the right order… don’t run before you can walk and if you’re trying to fix a broken relationship per say, don’t neglect the painful conversations - as that’s not doing the right things in the right order


In this instance however, again, simplicity and asking the right questions is the answer - as where we get stuck here is identifying what it is we truly want and what’s required


What you need in this instance is better clarity, a better understanding of the direction you wish to head in

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable”
– Seneca

The first step is identifying where you want to go, as that defines what you should be doing with your time. Only you can answer this, as only you truly know what you desire for your life


Once you’ve sat with yourself for long enough and pondered some great questions, you can begin to search and identify that which is most essential to helping yourself head toward that destination


And for this, there’s an abundance of questions to ask or roads to take that we can adapt from some of the greatest thinkers and people of society today:

  • Tim Ferriss asks “what would this look like if it were simple/easy?”

  • Tom Bilyeu believes and says “do only that which moves you closer toward your goals”

  • Gary McKeown sums it up in his phenomenal book “Essentialism” with how it isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done…

  • Jack Canfield sums it up with this Rule of 5 - if I could do 5 things everyday that would move me closer toward my goal, what would they be?

  • And Gary Keller & Jay Papasan summed it up perfectly in their book “The One Thing” with the all-powerful question what’s the one thing that I can do, such that by doing it, all else becomes either easier or unnecessary


Success leaves clues, and this is where you begin to discover how you should be spending your time


Once done, there’s often another roadblock and obstacle that appears in front of us -  but I don’t have the time or I can’t find the time


And here’s the takeaway/breakthrough from all of this - you make the time


If “this” truly means something to you, you will not try and find the time to make it happen, you will make the time to make it happen


You’ll decide what’s most important…
You’ll showcase discipline and get up and hour earlier or go to bed a little later…
You’ll make sacrifices to not binge-watch the latest season of Stranger Things, regardless of how fucking good it is


The time is there for all of us, what’s not is you making the correct decisions on how to best use the time to move you closer toward the destination it is that you desire to reach


Actionable Tips + Questions:

  • Where in your sporting life can you make yourself more time to do the things that will help you develop yourself?

  • Where in your academic life can you make yourself more time?

  • Where in your life can you make more time for the relationships that matter most?

Nick Maier