Use This Process of Elimination to Gain Your Time Back


The Practice of Addition

As an avid reader of self-care and self-improvement content, it seems to me that there is a heavy focus on things you should add to your days. Creators instruct us to add workout routines, walks, mediation, a new diet, and more — all of which will apparently provide a quick fix for the poor state we’re in.

While these suggestions can be healthy habits, trying to force yourself into doing them despite lacking a “why” will probably only make you feel worse. If you’re only doing something to meet an ideal (think: the #ThatGirl trend), you won’t be able to sustain it. You simply can’t keep up with something that’s exhausting you more than it’s benefiting you.

The Process of Elimination

For many embarking on a self-improvement journey, I’d argue it’s better to first, focus on what needs to be eliminated from one’s life. Perhaps that’s social media apps, a workout routine you hate, an unhealthy relationship with your diet, routinely making emotionally-driven impulse purchases, or becoming drained from giving more time to others than yourself.

If you’re unsure of where to start, try writing down everything you do in a day. Once you’ve made this list, note how that activity made you feel. If you notice something that made you feel negative, consider letting it go.

What can you let go of to free up your time? Then, what can you do with that time that serves you?

When you gain your time back, you are suddenly presented with the opportunity to replace it with activities you benefit from. This could mean you create a routine of journaling, cleaning, or exercising. Maybe you’ll spend this time with family or friends you had been struggling to meet up with before.

Gain Time For Rest

Don’t forget that the extra time you’ve gained does not always have to be “productive.” I find that I and others feel it’s difficult to rest when we have the time for it because we think we should be getting stuff done.

However, resting is actually quite productive too. Once we have it, we can use our newfound energy to participate in the activities and creative outlets that serve us.

What have you eliminated from your routines before? If you haven’t done it yet, what do you think you will let go of? Feel free to respond!

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