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How to Be Intentional with Your Time and Energy

If you constantly find yourself saying, “I don’t have time” or “I’m too tired,” let’s take a look at where your time and energy are being spent.

Ready to change your life, babe?

I’m going to show you how to stop feeling overwhelmed by your life so you can do more of the things that bring you joy.

First, let’s get into the right mindset. Instead of saying “I don’t have,” try focusing on the things you do have.

You do have both time and energy.

If you feel like you don’t have enough, it simply means you’re spending your time and energy on thoughts, feelings, or activities that don’t serve you.

Today, we’re going to identify the unnecessary things you do each day so you can replace them with activities that are beneficial and fulfilling for you.

But let’s back up really quick—I want to make sure you know how valuable your time and energy really are.

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Why it’s important to spend time intentionally

Everyone has 24 hours in each day. No more, no fewer.

If you don’t like the way you’re spending your 24 hours, something needs to change.

For example:

  • If your job is working you 72 hours per week and you’re miserable, it’s time to look for a new one.
  • If you have a Netflix addiction and you spend your whole weekend bingeing the newest shows that come out, you’re wasting precious time (unless Netflix really, truly brings you joy.)
  • If your family member/friend/significant other doesn’t respect your time and constantly demands attention, you need to enforce some boundaries.

There are plenty of time-consuming scenarios that might eat up your 24 hours, but remember—you have the power to take control of your life.

When you live intentionally, you take ownership of your life and point it in the direction you want to go.

Instead of letting the days roll by with no purpose, intentional living keeps a grand life vision in mind. Your vision is the crystal clear picture of your dream life that is filled with abundance.

Here’s the thing—the way you spend your time now will affect whether that vision manifests or not. So, do more of the things that bring you joy!

And if you’re not happy, it’s time to cut those time-suckers out of your schedule.

I know what you’re thinking:

“Okay, Sam. I’ve gotten rid of all the B.S. in my life, and I STILL don’t have enough time!”

In that case, the exercise we’re going to do later in this post is going to help you. Keep reading!

Why managing your energy is also crucial

Time isn’t the only factor that goes into intentional living. In fact, managing your energy is more important.

Energy management is similar to time management—it means you focus on more of the things that do matter and less on the things that don’t.

Thoughts, feelings, and activities all take up energy.

That’s why stress can often make you feel powerless. The feeling of being stressed expends your energy.

You can learn all the time management hacks in the world, but if you don’t have a grip on where your energy is going, your days will feel unproductive and unfulfilling.

Willpower plays a big role in energy management.

It’s completely understandable if major problems bring forth negative feelings because you’re only human, and you will have trouble guiding your emotions at times.

However, you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Petty issues are not worth spending energy on. 

For example, I’ve gone through some bad breakups in the past, and I let those situations bother me far more than I should have. I ruminated on those relationships months after they ended.

There’s a saying that goes:

“If it isn’t going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes thinking about it.”Tweet that!

I love that rule because it helps me guide my energy back to the present moment, which is my most pivotal point of power.

If you’re still struggling to find the time and energy to do what you love, let’s examine your day on the micro-level.

Okay, we’ve talked about how you can guide your time and energy on the macro level… but sometimes, that isn’t enough.

Here’s a hard pill to swallow

The vast majority of humans spend their days doing random, pointless things that serve no purpose.

Do you feel attacked yet? (LOL)

In all seriousness, the journaling exercise below will help you identify actions that are not beneficial for you. Then, you’ll find fun, helpful, and fulfilling activities to replace them with.

I think you’ll be shocked at how much time and energy you can conserve once you cut the mindless B.S. out of your agenda.

Learn how to manage your time and energy more effectively with this journaling activity!

You can use a journal for this, or you can simply use a sheet of paper. Whatever works best for you!

time energy journal 1

1. Divide your sheet of paper into three columns.

I recommend folding it into thirds instead of drawing lines to make the columns.

time energy journal 2

2. Write activities that don’t serve you in the first column.

These can be big or small. I wrote several habitual things I do when I find a free pocket of time.

Here are some examples from my list:

  • Mindlessly scrolling through social media
  • Constantly checking my Google Analytics and social media stats
  • Watching random, irrelevant videos on YouTube and Snapchat
  • Wasting time being indecisive
  • Checking my phone in between sets at the gym

As you make your list, think about your personal and professional goals. 

If an activity isn’t making you feel good, helping you work toward your goals, or bringing positivity into the world, I would categorize it as unhelpful.

time energy journal 3

3. Fill the second column with a list of activities you want more of in your life.

If you’re not sure about this, I would recommend pausing this activity to meditate or journal on the following questions:

  • “What truly makes me happy?”
  • “What do I need more of in my day?”
  • “How can I nurture my mind, body, and spirit?”

Don’t be afraid to take some time to ponder these questions. If you want to use your time and energy intentionally, it really helps to understand what fulfills you in the first place!

Here are some examples from my list:

  • Listening to spiritual podcasts
  • Practicing self-care
  • Setting daily intentions
  • Reading personal growth books
  • Reading more marketing blogs
  • Cooking new recipes

4. Identify which new activities can replace the ones you want to get rid of.

This step is super important.

Sure, you can stop doing the unhelpful activities in the first column, but you’ll likely gravitate back to them over time if you don’t replace them with beneficial activities.

Look at your two columns and see which of the helpful and unhelpful activities match up the best.

time energy journal 4

5. Draw lines from the first column to the second one to visualize how you will replace the old, unhelpful activities.

I recommend trying to make the replacements as natural as possible for your lifestyle. This will help you stick with the new activities instead of reverting back to the old ones.

time energy journal 5

6. In the third column (next to each pairing), write the concrete action you will take instead of engaging in the unhelpful activity.

Now, we’re going to get really specific on how you will engage in the new activity. 

It’s crucial to be clear on this because concrete answers will help you understand exactly which actions to take when you feel like doing one of the non-beneficial activities in the first column.

Ambiguity leaves too much wiggle room. Clear and specific intentions will keep you on track.

Here are some examples from my list:

  • Listen to spiritual podcasts at the gym (instead of constantly checking my phone)
  • Trust my intuition to help me make decisions in 10 seconds or fewer (instead of wasting time being indecisive)
  • Make a “Watch Later” YouTube playlist full of inspiring and informative videos to watch when I’m bored (instead of watching random and irrelevant videos on social media)
  • Set a daily intention and guide my energy back to it whenever I get distracted (instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media)

See how simple it can be to shift your time and energy to helpful activities instead of taking unintentional actions?

Life is a gift, so honor it.

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Related reads!

1. How to Set Intentions + Which Intentions to Set for Your Life

2. 12 Ways to Get Unstuck in Life

3. How to Stop Being Lazy and Unproductive

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How will you live more intentionally today? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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