Develop the habit of letting small bad things happen. If you don’t, you’ll never find time for the life-changing big things. — Tim Ferriss

A year ago, my life ran like clockwork. I faced the day on my own terms, largely in control of what happened and when. I was in the driver’s seat.

Now, we’ve got a six-month-old daughter. Parenting is already incredibly rewarding, but I’m no longer really in the driver’s seat. Or, more accurately, I’m sharing the driver’s seat with a six-month-old, and she doesn’t negotiate.

So here’s my current situation (and you don’t have to be a parent to know this feeling): I’ve got more to do than I have time to do it, and that won’t change for a long time.

So how do we cope?

We adjust our mindset.

Letting Small Bad Things Happen

In a great blog post, Tim Ferriss talks about the importance of “letting small bad things happen.” I’m really bad at this—I have a hard time letting anything go—but here are some small bad things I’ve been allowing to happen:

  • socializing a bit less
  • mowing the lawn less than weekly
  • vacuuming less frequently (Except I’ve gone too far this time. Guys, our carpet is disgusting. I’m vacuuming right after I publish this post.)
  • exercising less regularly

By relaxing in the above areas, I’m conserving time and energy for things like this:

  • playing with my daughter
  • writing this blog
  • making music daily
  • taking time each morning to sit quietly with a cup of coffee

I’m not perfectly happy with these specific tradeoffs (exercise needs to make a comeback), but the principle is sound. You can’t do everything, so make peace with that and choose intentionally.

How could you implement this strategy? Where are you being rigid where you could be flexible? If you stopped doing [insert activity here], what would really happen?

Give it some thought. You might unlock more time, energy, and piece of mind.