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Can You tell me, Where Does the Time Go?

I sat down this morning determined to get a lot of work done. I even got up an hour early so I would have time to do my regular morning routine, then get started on writing this series of blogs. One of the people I admire says he sets his timer for two fifty-minute sessions every morning. He does that essential work first; then the rest of the day can be spent doing the routine office work, that needs to be done, but that does not really move his business forward. So I decided last night to try this; and this morning I got ready to get started. Can you just imagine the diversions my mind created? First, I wanted to spend extra time chatting with my daughter, then I needed to clean out the refrigerator, then I needed to check in with my secretary, then the phone rang, then I could not decide which blog to start with, then the text went off; then I got distracted by something typed 13 years ago………………………………………….. and I wonder why the important stuff isn’t getting done.

This happens a lot with my clients too. They tell me they do not have time enough to go to a meeting, say their prayers, make a phone call, do the step work, and they got so busy that then they had to get a fast food lunch. And a white chocolate mocha cappuccino of course.

But what were we busy with? I don’t know about you, but I was busy with avoiding the things that need to done first and most important. I can get distracted by things that need to be done but are not the essentials.

I hate to write letters to clients to tell them about their bills. I hate to add up the dollars for taxes. I hate to clean up and organize paperwork. It’s more important to me to call the client who is having trouble than to do the taxes. The IRS is not likely to agree with that philosophy.

So how do we balance our time? How do we fit in time for the food, food planning and preparation, and the things that are really important to us, with the daily essentials?

One of the things to realize here is that making a change in your goals is going to disrupt your time schedule and make changes in your schedule necessary. If I want to do a blog, I need to put something else aside, don’t I?

Have you ever seen Dr Lerner’s demonstration?  There are four eggs and a lot of rice. If he puts the rice in the bowl first, then adds the eggs on top, the bowl won’t close. If he puts the eggs in first, the rice will flow around them and the bowl will close easily.

Life is like this. I have to put the big and important stuff in first, then let the rest of the daily chaos fill in around it. If you are trying to get abstinent and stay abstinent, this becomes your priority. In the beginning, my blog writing has to be scheduled with determination; some day it may come easily.  When you have been abstinent a while, food shopping, organizing, and preparation will seem normal and easy. But at the beginning we have to focus and schedule and insist with ourselves that we do what is essential. And it may seem silly to have to do weird things like committing the food, like calling other people, like trying to pray when you don’t really know if you believe there is a God who will be willing to help you.

 So here are a few suggestions for handling this process and making the needed changes:

  1. Think about what you really want. Find a way to keep that thought foremost in your mind. Write down your three main goals and keep them in front of you. Get a bit arrogant and determined about this; you have the right to decide how you will live your life.
  2. Change something in your daily environment. If your nails are always done in a French manicure, choose a hot red. If you always use your phone, put a rubber band on it. Change your screensaver. Set an hourly alarm. Do whatever you must to interfere with your daily thought process and refocus on what you need to do to get and stay abstinent.
  3.   Now each time you notice the change, state an affirmation or prayer: “Thank you for getting me through this meal” Or “God, please get me abstinent.”
  4. Make a distinction between what’s important and what’s urgent. Ask yourself, “How will I be harmed if this does not get done now?” Notice I did not ask how others will be affected; it is time for you to look at how you will be affected.
  5.  Practice saying “NO” with grace and compassion. Seriously look at how you say yes to things you think you “ought” to do and no to the things that will really make your life better. Practice saying no and making it stick at least once a day. Practice saying “yes” to the things that lead you to what you want, lots of times each day.
  6. Give yourself a segment of uninterrupted time to do the one most important thing, which your heart wants to get done, today. Turn off the phone, shut down the email, and just focus on that one most important thing you need to do. Then notice how good it feels to accomplish the important, and how much more energy you have for the mundane.
  7.   Slow down. Give yourself a break during the day. Go outside for a ten-minute walk in the parking lot or down the block; watch something silly on you tube if your work allows, walk upstairs to the next employee’s cubicle instead of sending that email. You will come back to work with a clear head and feel more productive.
  8.  Be proud of yourself for every five minutes of abstinence you have in the day. Focus on doing what will work for you and your abstinence. The rest of your life will move over to make room.


Today I am starting again. I got up early, did my prayer, sent my family off, and rewrote this blog. It feels super! Won’t you please try one of these suggestions, just for one day?

Sending love and abstinence and what you want most, to you!

Please scroll down and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Blessings to you,


15 Responses to Can You tell me, Where Does the Time Go?

  1. Cindy L. Salsbury April 16, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

    Thank you, Theresa, for the awesome energy you share. Prayer, Focus, Prioritizing, worked for me last week. All odds seemed to suggest that I was going to have to file for an extension for both state and federal 2016 tax returns. I was way behind in gathering the information, and my calendar was filled with appointments and things to do. After prayer and meditation, and quietly listening to my Spiritual Board of Directors, I sat for a moment. I tried to physically imagine the anxiety that having to get a tax extension would cause me. I realized that it would likly have a similar affect as binging, and that it could set me off into a downward, negative spiral. I also imagined how freeing it would be to be able to file the tax returns on time. So, I made a decision, “no thank you!,”, with God’s help and my changed attitude, I chose the other path: I put myself on ‘house arrest’ for several days, cancelled appointments, put the meditation music on really loud, and figured out all that I needed to do. Then I jumped in, to follow what I believed to be God’s intention for me, to-wit: to be the very best Cindy I can be, and to do the next right thing, and then the next right thing after that. I worked at a surprisingly fast pace, prayed out-loud, took breaks, and finished in three days! I handed it in to my accountant last Thursday. Thank you God.

    • H. Theresa Wright April 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm #

      Congratulations, Cindy! That is great! Doing the taxes is one of the hardest things we ever have to do – for so many reasons! And I am so glad you enjoyed the weekend too!

  2. Jamie April 17, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    Always love what you have to say! It always resonates with me! Please keep blogging!!

    • H. Theresa Wright April 17, 2018 at 10:40 am #

      Thank you so much!

  3. Allison Brimmer April 17, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

    Hi Theresa-
    Thank you for the reminders. We say “no” with grace. So helpful!

    • H. Theresa Wright April 19, 2018 at 4:26 am #

      You’re welcome. Kindness and courtesy go a long way to making life better, don’t they?

  4. KBH April 18, 2018 at 10:51 am #

    This distraction and avoidance and procrastination problem is HUGE for me right now and in recent months. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that I am not alone. I know from experience that you’re right… the only answer is to pick what’s the eggs for now, and put them first. Everything else is the rice. What’s an egg today might be different than what’s an egg next month, and that’s okay. Right now, my eggs are a veggie omelet, oatmeal, and fruit for breakfast, followed by a written food plan for the rest of today. All else (ALL else… every overdue deliverable at work, every decision, every anxiety real or imagined) is rice today.

    • H. Theresa Wright April 19, 2018 at 4:25 am #

      Exactly! And following your food plan first is what will give you the power to do the rest of the things you want to do, in your life!

  5. Cari Heumann April 18, 2018 at 9:01 pm #

    Theresa, thank you so much for blogging about this! I have some really important writing I need to be doing. But instead, I decided today that I absolutely had to go to the grocery store for the third time this week, get my eyebrows waxed, clean out the refrigerator, reorganize the pantry shelves, call/text various people, and download some new music. But it’s really really important that I do this writing work. In fact, I should not even be checking my email at the moment, but reading your blog has encouraged me that I really need to go to put everything down right now and do my writing. So…thank you for reminding me what is most important!!!! Off I go to write…

    • H. Theresa Wright April 19, 2018 at 4:22 am #

      Yes, that is exactly what happens! We need to focus on doing what is important and leads us to what we really want, before doing the routine. The pantry shelves can wait!

  6. Grace Buchanan April 19, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    Thank you, Theresa. How I needed this timely help! Because of this encouragement, I can use the wakeful hours in the night to read and journal.

    • H. Theresa Wright April 24, 2018 at 1:31 am #

      Please do. Different timings work better for different people. Let me know how it works out.

  7. Lucille Donahue April 19, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

    This blog applies to me as well, I’m very good at doing all the other stuff. I will do anything to keep me from the paperwork that needs to be done. I like the idea of setting a 50 minute timer. And focusing on that one project at a time. And then set another timer to continue the project or begin another. So many of us are so much alike it gives me courage and inspiration to see that others are finding Solutions and I can follow in their footsteps. I enjoyed the weekend. I learned a lot. Thank you very much for this blog and for your commitment to managing your time.

    • H. Theresa Wright April 24, 2018 at 1:30 am #

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed the weekend. Let me know how it works out.

    • H. Theresa Wright April 30, 2018 at 1:42 am #

      You’re welcome. I am so grateful that this is helpful to you.

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