#154: When You Feel Like You Don’t Have Time, It’s Not Always What You Think [Podcast]

Does it feel like you don’t have time to do what you would love to do? If only there were more hours in the day you could fill life with the good stuff. 

Well maybe it’s nothing to do with time…

So far this year I’ve struggled to get consistent with publishing new episodes of the podcast. I put it down to the number of hours I’ve been working. I keep telling myself that it’s just a ‘busy season’ and that I don’t have time right now to do it properly.

…but earlier this week I caught myself thinking a thought that made me realise that it’s not quite as simple as I think I thought:

‘Oh no, I have to come up with another podcast…again’.

“Wo there!” I thought, “talking about HAVING to do this? After what you said last week about shoulds and coulds? Come on man, that’s a bit hypocritical”. And yes, I was right. It was hypocritical. And it was telling me something about my attitude towards the podcast.

Don't Have Time

Duty vs Privilege

Michael Hyatt recently published an article on his site. It’s a post about the language of duty vs the language of privilege and it spoke to me about my own attitude and language I was using to frame the podcast.

He uses the example of a phone call he had with a friend ahead of an out of town speaking engagement.

“Oh, I’m headed to San Jose. I have to speak at a convention.” I said it with a little resignation in my voice.

The moment I hung up, it hit me. I don’t have to speak. I get to speak. That instantly changed my attitude…

Too often we say it with a sigh, like it’s a sentence—or we’re a victim. It can easily become pessimistic, and nothing will kill your creativity, job performance, or relationships like going negative.”

I don’t HAVE to record a podcast. It makes no real difference if I jack it in right now. Some people might be a bit disappointed but it’s my choice. It was my choice to start it and it’s not now some prison sentence that I have to duly serve for the rest of my life.

And yet I was talking about it in my head like it is.

How often do we do this in other areas of life? We allow things we really love to do to become burdens. Things we choose to do, get to do, and had serious passion for become little more than habits that we dutifully obey.

Or worse, we just let them fizzle out entirely. Businesses, the novel you finally began to pen, hobbies, relationships, projects that we were excited about starting get overrun. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time. We get sloppy then we allow them to disappear into the long grass.

You Probably Do Have Time

But what if the it’s not that you don’t have time? What if it’s about something else? Motivation. I have identified 6 factors that have been clearly out of whack for me over the past few months:

  1. Clarity
  2. Vision
  3. Small Steps
  4. Boring Stuff
  5. Time in Your Head
  6. Energy

In this episode I look at each of these 6 factors that can impact our motivation and think about how we can turn them around so that we can get excited again about whatever it is we want to do.

Don’t let your passion fizzle out. It needs feeding. It won’t last forever if you’re expecting it to run on its own fuel, but there are some really simple, key things we can all do right now to re-kindle that motivation.

Over to You

Do you feel like you’ve got no time to do something you love doing? Do any of these 6 factors stand out to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment below.



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  1. I don’t have time for this podcast. I was hoping for a transcript. Make the time to make a transcript.

  2. Hi Andy! Another great session. It’s one of those days where the title of this grabbed me because this feels like my feeling for the last week or so. The section about the ‘boring stuff’ was particularly relevant – where I work I am doing the most mundane nonsense and because of it, I feel like I have no energy to do anything creative and nor do I care. I think ‘boring stuff’ is inextricably linked to energy as it can be just as leeching as eating bad food or not getting exercise. Also, recognising that when I said ‘yes’ to helping a friend out with making a video for them, and then suddenly feeling obliged a week later because I knew I was past the fresh ‘ideas’ phase and now into organising the shoot, working out logistics etc etc – which my body and mind just hates doing. So need to recognise that I have no interest/desire for that and perhaps getting in the necessary help to see that through so that ideas don’t just remain that – ideas. Cheers again! Good luck with all your work 🙂

    1. Yes, man I know that feeling that you’re experiencing with the video making. When you move beyond the excitement and into the details and logistics and actual doing. If we could somehow project ourselves into the future and experience how we’re going to feel in the middle of a project we would make better decisions now! I’ve done that many times. Recognising what we love and are good at is an important part of that. Fresh ideas, creativity, solving problems…and then finding ways to finish projects without having to do all of it ourselves. What a perfect world that would be!

      Thanks for this Koko! Hope the video project is going well and you’re getting to enjoy it at least a bit 🙂

  3. I love this episode Andy, especially your honesty. It’s such an important subject to talk about for artists and creative people and one I’m sure so many of us struggle with at times, certainly I do. Recently I’ve had this with a booklet for teaching the descant recorder in a creative way which I’ve been vowing to myself to complete these past few years (!!) but was too busy with other creative projects – especially writing illustrating and publishing two new book series I’ve started on.
    Now this last autumn I decided this will be my “must do” project no matter what else I’m doing, and when I journalled to myself trying to understand why I was finding it so hard to re-engage in the project, (which is a follow-up from the first booklet I already published several years ago, for pentatonic recorder), I realised it’s because in truth, it is a project that “belongs to my past”, in other words, one that in many ways should have been finished many, or at least several years ago. I taught recorder in this way when teaching in a Waldorf school in Ireland some 20 years ago, and the story, ideas and songs for the booklet were a result of that. Back then, the impulse was “alive”. Since then, yes, I taught again recorder a few years ago, and it re-kindled my passion for completing, illustrating and publishing the booklets, for which I see a definite need within a certain niche and it’s something I saw no-one around here or elsewhere do in such a way, i.e. present a complete illustrated story with little songs, for teaching playing the recorder to very young kids without having to resort to a lot of technical explanations but using instead their natural imagination.
    Yes, but… but it’s something I’d love to already have “done”, and plunging into it again out of sheer discipline is something that needs a lot of refocusing on my part along the way, because I do care a lot about the quality of the end result. It also needed a whole lot of breaking it down into doable steps, and doing a bit every day, or a few times a week at least…. So I completely understand how you feel, and I’m still in the midst of it.
    Julia Cameron writes in “the artist’s way” how important it is to keep your artistic freedom in the moment, rather than “over mortgaging” your future by over-committing your time in advance – even by planning too many projects which you don’t know for sure you’ll love doing a few years from now… she recommends to always keep a certain freedom as to your time and use of it, and yes – to make time free again if necessary, by whatever means… even turning down projects that you’re not truly passionate about, or your “artist child” within will wither and suffer….

    thanks for sharing so honestly !

    1. Thanks Tomer. Really appreciate you taking so much time to respond. It’s interesting what you say about this ‘must do’ project that you realised actually belongs in the past. Sometimes it can be so hard to acknowledge or come to terms with that. It’s like how we may keep putting the same goal or ‘to do’ item on our list every week, month, year. And in reality we will never get round to it. Also that thought of ‘I’d love to have already done this’. That is such an interesting thought – how do we use that motivation!? I’ve just started reading The Artist’s Way. So much great stuff to get my teeth into! Some liberating truths!

      Thanks again! 🙂

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