Time Permitting Versus Time Permission

Published on July 4th, 2019

There is a world of difference between a time permitting and a time permission mindset.

Take a few seconds and think about one of your most important goals or dreams. It could be something related to your family, your health, your finances, your career, a hobby, etc. If you have multiple options, just pick the first one because this mental exercise will work equally well for all of them.

Time Permitting

Imagine you start your day by saying or thinking, “Time permitting, I will get to X today.”

Already, you are adopting an approach that allows external factors (requests, distractions, interruptions) to take precedence over your inner desires. The reality is that many people already live busy, over-scheduled lives. And everything from social media to TV is vying to take up our attention and time. Time permitting puts our goal at the bottom of the todo list after everyone, and everything else that shows up gets dealt with first.

Time Permission

Imagine you start your day by saying or thinking, “I give myself permission today to do X at place Y at time Z.”

Already, you are adopting an empowered approach. REGARDLESS OF ALL EXTERNAL FACTORS, you have already given yourself permission to pause or ignore them so that you get to what’s most important. Sure, you will still have to deal with some of that other stuff. However, you will significantly increase your odds that the most important thing stays the most important thing.

Where Can You Give Yourself Permission?

Writing to me is a big damn deal for reasons I can’t explain. It makes me feel alive, empowered, helpful, like I’m learning, like I’m growing, etc. However, for years, I approached as something I could do “when I had the time.” Unfortunately, that day seldom came because there is always something else that could be done.

To that end, I made a crucial switch in my life. I now give myself permission to write for 30 minutes before my workday starts. That one shift has improved my writing quantity from approximately 500 words every few weeks to 500 words a day. Yes, quality is more important than quantity, but the practice is essential for me to improve my overall habit and skill.

To that end, I challenge you. Where and when can you give yourself permission to spend even just 5 minutes on one thing that is important to you? Yes, this is simple in theory but can be hard in practice, particularly for fellow workaholics with a packed schedule. Yet, it’s even MORE important for these individuals because it’s the only way they will ever get to it.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: CXO of Atomic Form. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.