Over and over again, I have heard countless people complaining that they don't have enough time. Is this complaint a product of our modern techno gadgets that seem to permeate every aspect of our waking hours? Or, is it a problem that has been around for centuries? Quite frankly, I don't think "time" is the problem.
The Real Problem
The real problem is the number of activities or tasks that we take on. A sign of our time is that we forget how to say "no", and take on far too many things.
Our time is like jam, the more you try to spread it, the thinner it gets. We need to be realistic about the amount of time we have available. But, , in addition to that thought, we know full well that we all have the same amount of time. You can't make minutes any longer than sixty seconds, nor can you make one hour longer than sixty minutes. So, is there more to the problem than how we spread it?
We need to maintain a proper balance
in our life by allocating the time we have. There are occasions where saying no is the best time management practice there is. We need to determine what activities best utilize our time in order to achieve the results we desire in all areas of our life!
So, what strategies can you utilize to take advantage of the time you do have since, as I mentioned earlier, we all have the same number of minutes in a day?
Here are a couple of suggestions to consider:
If you want to learn a new skill, or develop a mind skill, for example, you may be wondering where you will find the time in your day that is already chucked full. One solution might be to acquire CD disks and play them in your car on the way to and from work. This will use your time effectively saving you from having to dedicate other valuable time.
Alright, the above solution recaptured some valuable time that was wasted while driving to and from your workplace. What else could you look at to see where more time could be retrieved?
Another thing to examine would be to evaluate how you spend your time after you get home from work. I'm not suggesting, by the way, that you skip supper with your family, or ignore feeding the doggy. Let me give you an example of what you might consider.
For many people, the after dinner routine, the clean-up, feeding the pet, or sorting the laundry leads to a time of relaxation. So, the question is this: how much time do you dedicate to what we will call relaxation mode.
A common place routine for many thousands of people is to sit down in front of your T.V. and watch several hours of television programming. Here's one solution you might want to consider. Put down that remote TV controller and spend the time normally taken watching TV to a task, hobby, or project instead. In this example, you may have found one or two or even three more hours that was formerly spent in a relaxation mode.
On the other hand, if you still want or need that T.V. break, another option is to consciously decide how much time you will watch T.V before you turn it off. Or, if there is a favorite program you want to watch, watch it when it comes on and then turn it off. Or, another option is to record your favorite program so your useful won't be interrupted. Why is this important?
It is important not to interrupt dedicated time by stopping to watch a program and thereby breaking your train of thought or concentration. What you doing, then, is blocking a segment of time. This block of time is entirely focused on what you are doing. By doing this, you remove any subconscious thoughts that may be tracking time until your program comes on television.
If you are a manager or executive, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that you personally take responsibility for doing. Consider this if this is the situation. Look at opportunities to delegate some of your work to others. This is especially a good strategy for those types of people who try to do everything themselves but end up with little time if any to do more important futuristic tasks or develop new business strategies. If you do not trust anyone to do some of your more routine tasks, take the time, which at first seems counterintuitive, to train a specific person to do a certain task. The time you spend initially will pay off in huge dividends later.
Or, here is another option. Get up earlier in the day to work on a project that you want to work on - a project just for you that you enjoy or want to do. I recall vividly using this particular technique when I was in the process of writing an inspirational book. Basically, this is what happened.
I had a very busy daytime job where each minute was allocated to an
important task. Even my evenings were often filled with work that I brought home. Instead of casting aside important and vital work, I found more time. How?
I got up an hour earlier each weekday morning and used this time to write before I left for work. I continued using this early morning hour routine until I finished the first draft of my book.
Sure, getting up one hour earlier took an hour away from my sleep, but this is what I learned. If you have a passion, if you have a burning desire to accomplish something personally important, you won't miss that sleep hour at all. In fact, I found that I was even more invigorated during my regular work day knowing that I had already spent time on something that I deemed important thus not giving it one moment of attention during my work day.
Here is another option to consider. If you spend time working on your lawn, cutting, pruning bushes etc., and you find this takes away from time you would rather devote to other things more exciting or rewarding, then consider hiring someone to do this for you.
Don't take time for granted. We all have the same amount of time but now you have some options to consider that can free up valuable minutes or hours that you can utilize for what you want or need to do. Take a long hard look about how you spend your time. Think about spending your time in the same manner that you think about spending your money. You don't throw money away, so don't throw your time away!
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Life's demands may not slow up any time soon, and learning life balance is an ongoing art. If you think one day you will get it all done, and then you can relax, you are bound to be disappointed."
"Most of us are trying to balance work, home, and a family life. We tend not to accept the early symptoms of burnout and carry on our daily lives. In my opinion, living your life isn't supposed to be that way. If you ignore the red flags, you'll become gravely ill and your life could come to a complete halt."
"Unfortunately, many people don't spend much time on the things that are most important to them... ... that relationship ... that dream ... that project ... that book ... that hobby ... because their lives are too busy."
"The truth is that all of the time in the world is not going to help us if we don't get our lives in order. We need to get our priorities straight, and we need to stop wasting time."
David A. Hunter
"The thing about Time is that its so abundant for everybody, everyone has exactly twenty four hours in a day to prove ourselves, to achieve all we have for that day, we have the chance to make a difference every single day."
"Why get up early? I'd say the main reason is that you'll have a lot more time to do things that are more interesting than sleeping."