"No such thing as spare time,
no such thing as free time,
no such thing as down time.
All you got is life time.
- Henry Rollins
How we spend most of our days says a lot about what we believe about ourselves. Do you go from one project to the next without a thought to how what you are doing leads back to your why? Do you wait for someone else to tell you what needs to be done? Do you take on all manner of meaningless tasks and activities because you don't know what else to do?
One of the best ways to take control of your stress and live better is to say no to any projects, people or activities that do not move you forward toward your goals. This not only because of the waste of time but also the waste of energy, the waste of focus and the erosion of your will to stay on task.
As James Altucher writes in Choose Yourself:
“Every time you say yes to something you don’t want to do, this will happen: you will resent people, you will do a bad job, you will have less energy for the things you were doing a good job on, you will make less money, and yet another small percentage of your life will be used up, burned up, a smoke signal to the future saying, “I did it again.”
“Only think about the people you enjoy. Only read the books you enjoy, that make you happy to be human. Only go to the events that actually make you laugh or fall in love. Only deal with the people who love you back, who are winners and want you to win too.”
Obviously, we all have obligations that must be met that may not be pleasant however if we can tie those tasks to our why then the whole feel of your daily obligations will change. For instance, do you go to the gym because your doctor told you should, you need to lose weight or you just think it's a good thing to do? Or do you go to the gym so you can live a better life, as Frank Forencich points out:
"The question forces us to examine our most basic motivations. Are we running away from obesity and disease or towards vitality? Are we running away from insignificance or towards a sense of integration? Are we fleeing a gnawing sense of insecurity and impermanence or moving towards a life of balance and equanimity? Even if we never lace up a pair of running shoes, it’s essential that we recognize and understand the difference."