We buy cars with as much horsepower as possible without asking how much horsepower is needed for the roads that we have, but we definitely want to minimise the time spent from point A to B. We pay for high speed internet as much as it is needed just to avoid any delays from the virtual life or, worse than that, to destroy our productivity. We are always in a rush when being in traffic, we even sometimes put our lives on fast forward just to speed things up and make it to the deadline.
There is no doubt that we are working more, our stress is off charts, consuming more caffeine with the intent of keeping us awake, focused, determined, following our goals. We are rushing out our meals, eager to finish them quickly and run back into the office to finish what we have started. Or being afraid of missing something out during the lunch break, we keep our cell phones as closely as possible, who knows when we need to reply to an important email?
The topic about time and time management is bugging me for years. I have spent time thinking what drives people saying:
I don’t have time to take a break.
I would like to start reading a book, but I don’t have time.
Oh, how much I would love to go on a city break, but I am so busy, I don’t have time for that.
And the worst from all,
I would like to meet and drink a coffee with you, but I don’t have enough time…
And the list can continue with plenty of similar examples.
I have met so many people complaining they barely have time to breath. People complaining that they would like to go to gym, but they do not have time. People saying they would prefer to order food than to waste time cooking something by themselves. Also, a lot of people saying that cleaning their house is a totally waste of time and they do not want to do that with their precious time.
Ok, ok, I got it, we are measuring the time differently. But, for all of us, a day has 24 hours, nothing more, nothing less.
I truly believe that “I don’t have enough time” syndrome is a myth. And in fact, it only reduces to prioritisation and on what you plan to do with the 24 hours that you have.
Before going into prioritisation, let’s slow down a bit (I know, I know…) and try to define what really matters for each of us. When you know this, you will find a way to accomplish all the important things, rather than find excuses.
It’s never a question of how busy are you. It’s a question of how important something is to you. — Amanda O’Reilly
Try to identify the activities that cost you the more time during a day.
How much time do you spend scrolling through Facebook newsfeed, Twitter or Instagram every day?
How much time do you spend looking for funny pictures and videos on such dedicated websites?
How much time do you spend in front of your TV changing the channels?
How much time do you spend playing video games?
How much time do you spend on online shopping websites searching for the best clothes deal?
After having a clear view of what is important for you and knowing exactly which are the activities that cost you the more time, you can start prioritise them. I usually do the following: for all the 7 days that are in a week I am trying to define which are the activities that I would like or need to accomplish and then try to adjust my schedule with respect to that. I have a 9 to 6 job and this does not give me too much free time, or at least not as much as I would like to have. But having this in mind, I then start setting priorities for the week in course.
As a conclusion, I am not trying to convince anybody to throw away all the habits or to dramatically change the way of spending the time, but to think twice before saying that there is not enough time to do that and that. Also, worth mentioning, that I am talking from the position of a person without kids, I think things are getting a bit complicated from time perspective when kids enter your life.
But, if there is a will, there is always a way 🙂