The Urban Monk's Top Hacks for Creating Time


Time is the most precious commodity we have. We can replenish money and energy but when we’re out of time, well... we’re done.

With more things to do each day there’s seemingly less time. Even with all of the labor saving devices we’ve invented, we seem to now be more overcommitted, overworked, and overwhelmed than ever.

WTF? What a bad deal.

So how can we optimize our experience of time and life knowing that the clock is ticking and the world keeps getting crazier?

The only way to get time back is to stop spending it wastefully. It’s all about boundaries and the proper use of the word “no.” This starts by doing a proper accounting of what your solid “yeses” are. This means looking at the things you value the most like family, health, passions, career, and travel and mapping out what’s most important.

From there, look at how much time is needed to adequately “water” each of these flowers in your “life garden.” Now, you know what you’ve got already committed — water going out. So how much is left?

Can you say yes to drinks with the boys or did you swear to yourself that you’d get to the gym three nights per week?

Can you afford to watch another episode of that show, or did you commit to reading that thing for work or spending more time with mom?

We’re all drowning in “time debt” in some ways. So how do you help someone with debt issues?

STOP THE SPENDING. That means cut up the cards.

Cards? Yeah — a credit card charges money we may not have and puts us in debt and interest commitments into the future. What about spending time you don’t have? It’ll make you crazy. It’ll make you anxious. It’ll give you insomnia and it’ll make you constantly stressed about how you’re going to get to things.

You want time for self care? Something’s gotta give.

We share something with our ancestors. We still have the same 24 hours a day, so how come they were chill and we’re so crazy? They had less options and less crap to say, “Yes” to. We have too many choices and distractions.

If you want to live a meaningful life, it’s on YOU to hold the line and say, “No,” so you can honor the things you’ve already said, “Yes” to.

For more on this concept, check out a talk I just did on it here.

Watch Pedram Shojai, “The Urban Monk” chat more about being present:


Pedram Shojai, OMD is a New York Times Best Selling author and filmmaker. He’s the founder of Urban Monk Nutrition and the most chilled out busy guy you’ll meet, so much so he’s perhaps most popularly known as “The Urban Monk.”

Be/WellSia Tmeditation, anxiety