“I have no time.” How many times have you ever heard yourself saying this to yourself or to anyone else? If you think 24 hours is too less for you and find yourself left with absolutely no time to call your parents back home or for your family or for yourself or this, that and the other, know this that something isn’t right somewhere and you need to find a way to maintain work and life balance. Take the words “I have no time…” as a warning bell.
Most often you do not realize that when you say you have no time, you are actually saying a whole lot more. These words are just a manifestation of too many things going on inside your head at the same time. You could be busy, no doubt, but you could also be unable to decide how to go about the various things you need to do in a day. You could be unable to manage time, or you could be stressed, too. You could be frustrated or anxious that things did not go the way you had imagined and now you are suddenly overwhelmed by the situation you are in. In fact, it could be one or many things that you are going through when you say, “I don’t have time.”
Is there a way you can find time to accomplish all the things that you want in a day? Of course, there is. Here are some facts that should help you find time for everything which is important to you.
Fact #1: Remember, there IS actually time.
Start working your way out of your time-crunch from that truth when you find yourself saying, “I have no time.” Everyone has 24 hours, so do you.
Fact #2: A to-do list works and helps a lot.
It’s important to take stock of what lies ahead in the day. So make a list of what you wish to accomplish during the day. Include everything you have in mind and when you want them done. This tip will definitely help you in balancing work life and home life.
Fact #3: “Everything” is an endless list of things to do, but time has a limit.
You only have 24 hours in a day. Of these, you are probably awake for 16–18 hours. It’s easy to over-commit, but there is only so much you can do in a day. In an ideal (in theory) world, you can do everything, but in the real (practical) world, you can only do what you have time and mental capacity for. So check your to-do list to see what you can eliminate and let go. Prioritize. You need not feel guilty about what cannot and need not be done. If you don’t do it, it does not mean you have failed. It just means you have chosen wisely and zeroed in on only those that make the best and most valuable use of your time. Voila!
Fact #4: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.
In his book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter had made a time-related law named after himself, which suggests that it was difficult to estimate the accurate amount of time it would take to complete complex tasks.
So, it’s best to understand that no matter how you always go according to plan, things will take longer than you anticipate. So when trying to set a target to finish a task, keep in mind contingencies (interruptions from illnesses, long phone calls, car breakdowns, feeling-low days, etc.). For example, give a week for something that you think should take you only two days. That way when you set aside 7 days for a task, you are bound to finish it before your target time. Not only does it save you time, but it also makes you feel satisfied that you have finished a task ahead of schedule!
Fact #5: “It’s not only one thing. It’s one thing at a time.”—Gary Keller
Choose your destination and charge towards it each day. Set a task every day and try to accomplish it before noon. Declutter your mind and remove the trivial, small things. It is important to clear your mind to focus on what’s big and most important. Make the big picture your priority because that is your destination. If you exhaust your time and energy doing meaningless and mundane things, you will be left with no time or energy to accomplish what is actually important to you.
Fact #6: Procrastination (postponing) is the thief of time.
Do what you can do today, because without you even knowing “later” might become “never.” Worse still, things will pile up and you will run out of time. As things pile up, your stress levels go higher and your motivation becomes lower, which delays things further. You are stuck up mentally somewhere as it has become all too overwhelming. So start by ticking off all those things on your list that you are likely to leave for later. Often these are the seemingly smaller tasks you think you will be able to finish soon.
Fact #7: Multitasking costs extra time.
“Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” – Confucius
You might believe otherwise, but the scientific truth is the brain can do only one thing at a time. Even if you think you can multitask, you actually can’t. So when you try to do too many things at the same time, you lose time. Here’s how. Your brain takes four times longer to recognize something new that you are doing. So when you switch from one task to the next, your brain takes some processing time. You may think you will accomplish more, but you are far from the truth. When you hurry through multiple tasks, you are most likely to make mistakes and might end up redoing the whole thing or totally dumping it. Now that’s more time than you had imagined. Now you know why you don’t finish all of them on time when you want to finish your expense report, prepare for a project, drop your daughter off at school, keep an appointment with the doctor and reply to your mails and messages all at the same time. So it’s best to take up one thing, allocate a certain amount of time to it and finish it off within your deadline and then move on to the next task.
Fact #8: Your time is in YOUR hands. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler
Your time is in your hands, but you know it’s limited. You cannot store or make
more time, you have to make do with what you have. Remember that you don’t have forever. So take charge of your time, set realistic deadlines so that you can achieve them and work your way to success. Use your time wisely. Do things that value your time. If something does not excite you or isn’t worth your time, it isn’t worth doing. So say NO without feeling guilty of being answerable to anyone if something is sure to kill your time. Use your time to do what you want—relax, refresh and recharge.
If you want to make more of your time, here are my suggestions. Try to follow each fact for at least one week, up to three. Go one step at a time. Enjoy the ride.
Read also: Make A Bucket List to Live your Dream
Jasmin Waldmann is a well renowned international Life Coach and can be your coach for life. She is amongst the best life coaches in Gurgaon and is helping people to become great self-leaders, find their path in life, strengthen the inner self and guide how to become better in business, more successful, truly fulfilled, happy and healthy. Jasmin helps in a team-character way to a life full of joy and satisfaction.
Jaico Publishing house published her book “Change Me” in February 2018. It is available in the stands, Flipkart and Amazon.in.
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