I have luckily created a life where I have control over my own time. I am a student and a freelance worker. I can mostly decide what I choose to do with my time.

I therefore have the gift (and curse) to completely manage my own time.

I should be able to do all of what I want to do with my day.

However, like many of us, I only have 24 hours in a day. 

Yeah, I know, shocking!

I am a so-called time optimist. I tend to think that I have more time than I actually have.

I also say yes, a lot.

Since I was a child, I have been saying yes to everyone that ask for my assistance on anything.

I realized the other day that I have never said yes to work because I needed the money, just because I have this sense of duty that pushes me to fill others (but actually just my) expectations.

The only times I would say no was when I had something else planned at the same time. And by something else, I mean I was doing something for someone else at the same time.

What I rarely said yes to was myself. I would put the things that only my heart desired somewhere in the back of my mind, while I worked on my to-do list, created by saying yes to others.

Slowly, I started saying no. Or saying yes on my own terms, adjusting the task to fit me.

I have however, only recently taken a whole shift in the right direction.

I realized that “normal people” usually work about 8 hours a day, so that my work day should also be finished around that time. That I needed to say no when my work day was finished, instead of saying yes until my whole day was filled up with tasks.

That I can create the life I want, by managing my time every single day so it suits my goals.

Mel Robbins, author of The Five Second Rule, says that assignments will suspend to the time that they are given. Therefore, you should set yourself a time you will stop working each day.

If I give myself the entire day to work for other people, it will soon be time for bed and I have done nothing of what I need for myself. Perhaps, because it was never on the to-do list. Perhaps, because there was nobody else waiting for me to finish that task or keeping me accountable.

I realized that I should respect myself enough to put me first. I realized that I should include everything I want to do in a day on the to-do list, and then I could fill in the gap with work.

So, I wrote down a list of what I want to achieve in a day, for myself. 

  • 8 hours sleep (sleep is sooo important!)
  • 2 hours yoga (including my morning meditation, pranayama, handstand practice and more)
  • 1 hour writing (like this article right here)
  • 1 hour self-learning (Udemy and other amazing things)
  • 2 hours cooking, eating, cleaning and so on (home-cooked meals are my favorite)
  • 30 minutes working on my side hustle a.k.a. my yoga business
  • 30 minutes reading (right before bed)
  • 1 hour for whatever else my heart desires (taking a walk, watching movie and so on)

That sums up to 16 hours, leaving me with exactly 8 hours of working, studying and teaching yoga each day.

This means that I will have time for everything that I actually want to focus on in my life.

In addition, on Sundays I am not allowed to do the things I get either paid or graded for.

8 hours, 6 days a week – that is more than working full-time. And that is enough.

Yes, honestly, I might get a little less work done than with my usual working 24/7. And that is completely okay!

Brian Tracy, author of Time Management, says that sometimes the best use of your time is to go to bed early and get a good night sleep.

I can actually say, that whenever I make time for yoga and meditation in my life, I feel that my time increases. Whenever I will make time for writing, my mind will be clear instead of full of unwritten articles.

I am sure that with this new time schedule, I will be able to do everything much better than before. When I take care of myself and my desires, I will be able to bring my energy and motivation to the tasks at hand.

And most importantly, I will be able to spend my days doing what I love. I will be able to create the life I always wanted to live.

What you choose to do with this particular day sets you up for the coming week, the coming month, the coming year.

So, set your priorities straight!

Because, what you choose to do with your time ends up being your life.

Like Josh Pyke sang so beautifully, “Time is like the ocean, you can only hold a little in your hand.”

OK, yogis, this is a tough one! How do you manage your time and make sure you’re prioritizing what’s important? Share your tips in the comments!