Don’t Have Time? Learn To Stretch Your Hours

If we wait to have time for some projects or personal goals, we may never realize them.

We often put off doing something. If we want to learn a new skill, develop a talent or undertake a personal project, we often appeal that our pace of life allows us a space for it. That is a naive hope: the time for our project will not come unless we squeeze it out of all our important activities.

My brother is a pianist, and he leads a children’s choir. He took classes from the age of six, and at thirteen he was already playing the piano in an adult choir. I do not remember a time when people did not approach him, my mother or me to ask if he would be willing to teach music to a young person or child. When he agreed to give private lessons, he would then ask the parents of the students if they agreed to see that the apprentices studied daily for a minimum of an hour. Sometimes they said that they could get young people or children to compromise, but that keeping an eye on them required giving up other things, like taking care of the house or doing business. “I don’t have time to watch him.”

I am also a semi-professional musician. I learned to play the guitar at eleven years old, and although I did not dedicate myself to music with professional studies, nor did I make it my main job, musical projects such as bands, choirs and orchestras have been part of my daily life. I do not remember a time in my life when there were not people who told me that they have always wanted to learn to play the guitar, and even asked me to be their teacher. So I say, “But are you going to study for an hour every day? Will you attend all classes without pretext? ”. Most stop and say, “I don’t think I have time.”

The funny thing about it is that I don’t have time to study the guitar either, and yet I do it. I am a husband and father of three children; the oldest of them is barely six years old. I am a professor of literature, editor and writer. I have very demanding responsibilities with my profession, with my family and with my religion, in which I volunteer. I really don’t have time to study guitar. But I play it every day, for about an hour, and I always try to learn something new, to get involved with new music projects or to generate them.

And how do I do it if I can’t abandon so many heavy responsibilities? Let me share three points that will change “I don’t have time” to “I don’t have time, but I do it anyway”:

1. Make up your mind

Whether it is learning to play an instrument, writing a book or studying a career that is not very popular or that does not seem in line with your way of life and with the expectations of your close ones, encouraging yourself to do so and fulfill it you will be a happier person. In other words, if you do, you will discover many new things about yourself and gain experiences; But if you don’t try, you will surely regret it : the worst feeling is regretting not having done something.

2. Get organized

You don’t need a detailed schedule. All you have to do is make your project a habit. If you want to learn a new language, choose to read or talk every day a certain amount of time in that language, in addition to completing the tasks that your teachers assign you. If you are going to grow a garden, decide the time and daily activities when you will do it. Completing a project or acquiring a talent is more about small habits than giant and dramatic isolated events. One thing that works well is evaluating the entertainment you have. Sometimes we spend a lot of time watching television series or with video games in hours that we call “dead”, and those lapses could well be valuable minutes of usable time in our projects.

3. Pay the price

For starters, don’t despair. Your most serious projects and your most cherished dreams will be fulfilled with the speed with which a piggy bank is filled. It is possible that at first you feel that you are not moving forward, but if you persevere, one good day you will take the pig and you will notice that it already weighs a lot. On the other hand, perhaps one day you will be tired, sad, or too happy to study, practice, write, or advance your project. Nothing should be a pretext to leave it for a single day: you must cover your daily quota, advance the stretch that will bring you closer to what you are after. Make no mistake: if you fail one day it will be easier to fail two days, and so your dreams will go with the wind.

Share your achievements and frustrations with your closest ones. They appreciate their patience if they hear you practice your first notes on a piano, for example, and when you already have pieces well assembled, play them for them. They may think that you have a lot of free time, but you know that it is not about that, but about having stretched the time to be able to advance in the achievement of your dreams.

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