Time Scarcity

by Ann deBruyn

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you are in a really busy season right now? Maybe you feel like there’s not enough time in the day, or that you just don’t have time to do everything you need to do. Thoughts like these lead to feelings of overwhelm and a concept that I call Time Scarcity.

Time Scarcity is experienced when you look at your circumstances and believe that you do not have time to do what you want or need to do. But it all stems from your thinking, and you can choose to think and feel however you want to with respect to your time.

Join me this week and hear how Time Scarcity could be showing up in your life and how to decide on purpose to change the way you think about your time. I’m sharing some ways to check in with yourself about your thoughts on time, and giving you a simple shift you can make that will change your thoughts, experience, and relationship with Time Scarcity.

If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space for you to do the inner work and become more mindful. I can help you unbusy your time, reduce anxiety and overwhelm, and live every day a little more soulfully and purpose driven. And, if you want to take this work deeper, doors are open for my Grow You virtual life coaching program. Click here to learn more and join us. 

Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon, and I’m an advanced certified mindfulness life coach as well as a wife and mom. If you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.

Hello my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy to be here with you today. Before we get started talking about time scarcity, which is going to be an amazing episode, I want to talk with you about an opportunity that I have for you.

So if you are someone who is a podcast listener or maybe an Instagram follower, and you haven’t ever taken the next step and gotten coaching or joined a program like Grow You, I want to invite you to a mindfulness workshop. It is free. It takes about one hour of your time. It’s something that you can do to promote and benefit your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It will help you become a more mindful mom.

That mindfulness workshop is called Ask Natalie Anything. I’m going to be teaching you new tools. But more important than that I am going to coach any of you who volunteer to get coached live. Now, if you’ve never gotten coached, you don’t have to do anything to prepare. You don’t even have to volunteer if you don’t want to. Simply by being on the call and watching me coach other women will blow your mind.

One of my girlfriends is a Grow You member. She texted me the other day and said, “I’m just so blown away at how powerful watching the Grow You replays has been for me.” She said, “I thought that it was just my brain and my mind that was like this.” She’s been following me on Instagram for a while. She’s been my friend for a while, but it wasn’t until she really witnessed the power of coaching and watching coaching that she was able to benefit from it.

It’s amazing that you are here and listening to a mindfulness podcast in the first place, but there’s only so much that you can get from me teaching. The real transformation happens when you hear me coach someone live. If you’re feeling brave, you can volunteer to get coached yourself. There will be time.

How it works, I just like to mention this if you’ve never joined something like this before. When you join the Zoom link, no one can see you and no one can see your name and no one can see when you type in. So the way that I have Zoom setup is very different than you might have seen with your kids school or your work where you log in and everyone is there and on video. It’s not like that.

When you log in and you join the workshop on Zoom, you will only see me. You can type in the QA, and I only see those questions. Or you can raise your hand. Now if you raise your hand and you volunteer, you’ll come on live and yes everyone can see you. But I just like to mention that because a lot of times to take that next step from podcast listener to coming to something live like this, it takes some courage. I think the more prepared you are and the more that you know the details of it, the easier it is for you to take action.

So I want to encourage you to take action. Come to Ask Natalie Anything. It is happening in just about a week. It will just be an hour. It’s during the day. If you can’t come live, you need to register to get the replay. We will send the replay, but you must be registered. So all of the details are over at nataliebacon.com/asknatalie.

It won’t just be me coaching. I will be teaching a tool that will help you become a more mindful mom. Then I will coach and then I will answer questions. For those of you who are interested in learning about Grow You and asking me questions, I will stay on and answer any questions about it and talk with you about it. If you’re not interested, that’s okay. You should still come and get this free help. I’m really looking forward to this month’s mindfulness workshop.

Bonus points if you want to invite a friend to come along with you. I know that as a mom with a baby, going through this journey with others can be so powerful. So you’re more than welcome to share that link, the nataliebacon.com/asknatalie, all one word, with any of your girlfriends and invite them to come along with you.

All right, now let’s dive into today’s topic, which is time scarcity. Time scarcity is an idea that I came up with to describe what I see a lot of my clients going through, which is scarcity around time. It sounds like gosh, this is just a really busy season right now. I am so busy. I don’t have time for that. There’s just so little time. There’s not enough time in the day.

When you have thoughts like this, and it all stems from your thinking, but when you’re the one thinking it, you don’t see that it’s a thought pattern. So you’ll actually think that those thoughts are true. So someone will come to me and say, “Can you help me with having a more positive mindset around a really busy season?”

What I will show them is that it’s a really busy season is the thought. That’s why it feels so terrible. So you don’t want to add a positive thought on to a negative thought. What you want to do is see that it’s a really busy season is a thought, not a fact.

So as humans, our brains just interpret the world so quickly, and it’s to our benefit. We want to interpret it quickly. We want to see a car coming and stop very fast. But how this negatively affects us is when we don’t understand our thoughts create our feelings, we think that the reason we feel rushed and busy is because of what’s happening in our lives. But you’ll never feel a feeling because of your circumstances. You always feel a feeling because of what you’re making it mean.

I just want to say that I can relate to this. I used to think I was so busy, think it was a very busy season, and really struggle to feel abundant with time. I have to say that after doing this work, it has been the best gift I’ve given myself. I have time for self-care. I have time to meet with the people who I want to meet with. I have time to be the mom I want to be and show up in my marriage and family. I have time for walks. I have time really to live the life that I want to live.

I was doing that before, but from a place of time scarcity. So if you are in time scarcity, you will likely feel rushed. You will likely not give yourself breaks. You won’t have room for mistakes either. So if your kids are getting ready in the morning and they’re taking longer, you will feel really stressed and rushed. You will have the thought there’s not enough time for this. We’re going to be late. This is bad. This is a problem. It’s a really low vibration.

When I say vibration, all I mean is the feeling in your body. So whenever you have a feeling, it’s a vibration in your body. You will vibrate, you will feel really low, that urgency, that scarcity, that rushing when you’re having thoughts from time scarcity.

How I see this coming up specifically in motherhood is when you finally get a free minute, you will fill it with the next thing on your to do list instead of taking a break. This comes from the idea that there’s just not enough time. So you better go do the thing, the next thing, and the next thing because there’s probably not going to be more time for you to do it later. It’s simply a mindset.

I know this can kind of break your brain if you’ve never thought about it in this way, but I promise you stick with me here and do this work. It will change your life forever. Because notice that feeling busy never feels good.

So I was noticing recently that people have time scarcity about my time. So they’ll come at me with their time scarcity. They’ll say things like you must be so busy. I’m like no, actually I’m not. I don’t feel busy at all. I choose to reply that way. I choose to not feel busy. Because when I think the thought I’m so busy, I feel scarce. I feel rushed. It doesn’t feel open and expansive. It feels very tight and closed and bad.

So try on that thought. When you think the thought I’m so busy, how does that feel? For me when I say I have a really full life, that feels very purposeful, expansive, and good. So I like that thought instead of I’m so busy. To me, I’m so busy feels bad. Notice that other people will want to tell you how to feel and how to be, and we kind of connect over being busy. Oh, I know you have a lot going on right now.

Someone reached out to me not that long ago for a favor to do something for my sister. The whole message was laced with I’m sure you’re so busy. I’m sure you don’t have time for this, but I wanted to ask you anyway. It was fascinating because I don’t have any of those thoughts.

It would have been presented, I think, much more like competently from a place of hey, here’s this amazing opportunity to do something for your sister. Are you in? Because we all find time for the things that are most important to us. So just pay attention to if you’re filling your time with more to-do’s and you’re constantly thinking I don’t have time. There’s not enough time.

Another way to check in with yourself is how you feel when you’re in line somewhere. If you’re in line at the store, the Target line, the Starbucks line, the DMV line, whatever line you’re in, do you feel entitled to a faster checkout? If you are waiting for an appointment, do you feel entitled to be seen more quickly? Are you rushing? This is one I hear a lot from my clients who are moms with littles at home. You’re rushing around in the mornings stressing out about being late. It sounds like hurry up. Why aren’t you ready? Get in the car. This is time scarcity.

What I want you to do is just start to notice it and be curious about it. This is called becoming mindful of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. You have to practice it. Before we can change our thoughts and change our feelings, we have to become aware of what’s actually going on inside for us.

I know for me I cleaned up my money beliefs, and I realized that I hadn’t cleaned up my relationship with time. So, for example, I was really generous with money, but I was not generous with my time. I never wanted to give away my time. This was just my default automatic brain thinking I was busy, feeling really scarce with time.

When I brought awareness to this, I saw I was living in a way I didn’t want to live. I wanted to be generous with my time, just like I’m generous with my money. So I leave space in my day for nothing. Just for nothing. Just to be, to be with my family. I feel comfortable in that space.

Notice if you are in the habit of rushing, you have a lot of momentum for time scarcity. The path of least resistance is the path you’re already on. Right? That’s from Abraham Hicks. What this means is you have momentum to think in a certain way and to feel in a certain way. Those are highways.

So if you have a highway around time scarcity and around rushing, it’s actually going to be very uncomfortable for you to stop rushing. I say this because I want you to expect a little bit of uneasiness around this and still be willing to feel that discomfort to stop the momentum because that’s what’s required in order to transform into someone who really operates from a place of abundance with respect to time.

Another way to think about this is to think about there being 24 hours in a day for everyone. You get to decide how you want to use each hour. This is why I’m such a fan of calendaring. Not because I want to be rigid and block off every single day and to get more done, although calendaring does have the benefit of getting more done.

The main reason why I use it is so that I’m planning and making decisions from my highest self. Meaning if I am in the moment deciding what to do, it feels much more urgent and scarce than if I plan it ahead of time from my highest self, from my prefrontal cortex. So I look at my calendar and I see 24 hours over seven days and I decide how I want to use those, making sure I leave time for self-care, making sure I leave time for doing my own coaching, making sure I have time to give.

However you decide to use your time, you’re always using it. Every day you use the 24 hours. Notice how you’re thinking about each of those hours. Either way the hour is going by. Whether you think about it in a place of a higher vibration, meaning you feel good, or whether you think about it in a lower vibration is 100%, up to you. It solely has to do with what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.

So for me, when I was single, I don’t know 5/10 years ago, didn’t know about this work, I would rush around and be very hurried. My energy was in this state of busyness and go, go, go kind of energy. That was me as a single woman.

Now I am married, I have two dogs, and we have a baby. I’m not in that energy at all. It would be so easy to look at the circumstances and think oh, my goodness, you must be busier now. Your life must be crazier now. It’s not because of how I choose to think about it. I choose on purpose to think that I have plenty of time. I choose on purpose how I want to feel. I show up on purpose.

Of course, I am not perfect. Please do not take this to mean that there is some a place of perfection that you want to get to with respect to time. All you want to do is just start noticing. Think about time as if it was a human and you were in a relationship with it. If time could talk, what would it say about your relationship? Would it say you’re always putting it down? Would it say you’re always comparing it to others? Would it say you sort of criticize it for never being enough? This little exercise can help you see how your thinking affects your relationship with time.

Another concept that I teach my clients is there’s no such thing as wasted time. When you think gosh, that was such a waste of time. How does that feel? It will always feel bad. Some level of discomfort, some level of lower vibration. So why would you ever tell yourself you wasted time? All that’s going to do is make you more skeptical about how you decide to use your time in the future from this place of wanting to use it perfectly.

So in life, things are going to happen that you didn’t plan for. How do you want to think about that with respect to time? So for example, let’s say you go to a doctor’s appointment, and it takes twice as long as you thought it would, right? How do you want to think about that? Or in the mornings when your kids aren’t ready on time. How do you want to think about that?

So we all want our time to be used in the way that we would prefer. But we know that by having other humans in our lives, that’s not always going to happen. When your husband works late or comes home late from work, how do you want to think about that? When you go to your son’s baseball game and there’s a rain delay, or when bedtime takes twice as long. It is so easy to compare it to what we thought it would be. Meaning we thought the baseball game would be three hours and now it’s six hours. So we think there is a problem and that this is bad.

This will keep coming up for you. So you want to decide on purpose how do you want to think? Are you going to think this isn’t supposed to happen? I’m not going to get done what I needed to do. Bad things are happening. This shouldn’t be happening. That is lack. That is scarcity. That’s when you end up exhausted.

So you want to shift that to of course things get messy sometimes. Of course baseball games have a rain delay. Of course, bedtime takes twice as long. That’s okay. This is part of it. This is happening exactly how it’s supposed to happen. Everything that I want to get done, I will be able to do. There is no rush. I’m telling you, you have to convince yourself of this. Meaning you have to train your brain and remind your brain there is no rush. There is no rush.

Another mindset practice that I like to teach is what do you have time for? So there’s this low grade time scarcity running in the background of our minds without doing this work. It sounds like I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to give. I don’t have time to do X, Y, Z. There’s not enough time. I’m so busy.

So what you can do is this simple shift and ask yourself what do you have time for. Only describe what’s happening with respect to time in the positive. So it would sound like I have time to be busy. I have time to worry. I have time to scroll on social media.

Of course, you can also include the things that you want to be doing that you have time for. So I have time to shower and get ready in the morning. I have time to work. I have time to go to the grocery store and do laundry. You just always want to be answering it in the positive instead of I don’t have time for that. What do I have time for?

So if you’re not taking time for your own self-care. Let’s say you are a Grow You member, and you didn’t watch this month’s course. It would sound like I have time for scrolling on social media. I have time for Netflix. My brain is telling me I don’t have time for self-care. Huh.

So you don’t want to beat yourself up over it. You just want to be curious. Huh, I wonder why that is? Well, it’s because your brain would prefer to get the dopamine hit and get the sugar and have the cake all day, which is the Netflix and the scrolling and all of that over kind of doing some hard things which might be sometimes looking at what’s going on in your mind and changing your mindset or getting coached.

So it makes sense what’s happening. But instead of being at the effect of it when you do this mindset shift and focus on what you have time for, you will very clearly see from a positive place if you are spending those 24 hours the way that you want to from your highest self.

Often when I’m coaching and teaching on time scarcity, my clients will think that the solution is that they need to just get over there. They need to just get past this season or they need to do less. Other people need to listen. The kids need to listen. People need to move faster. The appointments need to be on time. The rain delays need to never happen. So we think that the solution is that the world needs to be perfect. That we need to be able to control the world and control other people.

But when you think that you will act crazy. You will try to control other people and control the world. It doesn’t work because you can’t. So the real solution is to shift your mindset and change how you think about time. This will change how you feel about time.

So if you start practicing there’s no rush. I have plenty of time. There’s no such thing as wasted time. I always have enough time for what’s important to me. I have the same amount of time I’ve always had and that everyone else has, which is 24 hours in a day. I’m always in control of my time.

When you start practicing these thoughts, when you start seeing an extra hour waiting in the waiting room or stuck in traffic, that wait, when you start viewing it as a gift, you really start to see your time as happening for you. It’s such a more positive way to experience the world.

Because guess what? Either way, you’re going to be waiting an hour in the office. You’re going to be waiting in traffic. We can’t control other people. We can’t control the world, but we can choose to think and feel however we want with respect to our time.

So be open to the idea that time is happening for you. That this busy season for you is actually just a season at home with your little ones. Being busy, not required. Feeling busy, not required. You could feel calm and playful, and you could still do everything that you’re doing. It just takes thinking about what you’re thinking about, watching your thoughts.

Once you’re aware of what you’re thinking, then you can change it. All right my friends, head on over to nataliebacon.com/asknatalie, and I will see you at the free mindfulness workshop happening next week. Take care.

If you loved this podcast I invite you to check out Grow You, my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to nataliebacon.com/coaching to learn more.