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I wish I had more time to do this...
Have you ever uttered those words or had a thought like that?
I still think this all the time.
When I was younger, that's where the thought would end.
I figured not having enough time was just part of life.
I figured there were not enough hours in the day to ever accomplish what I wanted to get done.
That is--until I came across a strategy that really helped me get my time back and learn a whole bunch about myself in the process.
Why We Feel There's Not Enough Time in the Day
Before I get into the strategy, let's briefly discuss the main reasons why it seems like there's not enough time to do what you want to do.
Time, as you know, is something invented by humans.
It doesn't actually exist in the way we think it does.
We agree upon standards related to time so that we can coordinate our efforts, first, in our home countries and, then, around the world.
The funny thing is... our notion of feeling rushed, of never being able to fit it all in, of scrambling to do what we need to do--that notion is mainly of our own creation.
And if we create the time prisons that lock us away with anxiety and regret, then we can create a door to let us back out into the open air of calmness and stability in our lives.
This is the realization that helped me design a strategy to deal with my time anxiety years ago.
It's still a work in progress, but the very act of stopping to engage in it has helped me tremendously.
And now it can help you prioritize your limited time and add more leisure time or productive time to your days.
Not Enough Hours in the Day? The Simple Strategy to Get Your Limited Time Back
I mentioned above that human beings are good at corralling the world to fit their needs.
That's where the idea of time came from--it allowed us to work together as a species in a more synchronized fashion.
And if we can do that on a group level, you and I can do it on an individual level as well.
The next time you find yourself grasping for more hours of time in your day, I want you to STOP and do this:
- Take out a piece of paper or pull up a blank document on your computer. (I prefer paper to avoid distractions.)
- Write down everything you'd like to do for the rest of the day.
- Write down the hours of the day that remain in a vertical fashion. If it's 2 PM (1400 hours for you military and European friends!), then write 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. from top to bottom.
- Next, estimate the amount of time it will take to tackle each of your remaining tasks. Use your best estimate. The more you do this, the easier it will get. You can write your estimates to each task on your list.
- Finally, slot your tasks into the available hours that you have. Do your best to designate at least 30 minutes to one task. Overestimate rather than underestimate.
- Keep this paper in front of you (Or print out what you typed on your computer screen).
And that's it.
You might be thinking, "Wow, what a waste. I thought I'd learn about some exotic strategy to completely transform my life and help me stay youthful and vibrant FOREVER."
You just did--just not in the way you think.
You see, this strategy is just one of many simple, timeless actions you could take.
And it's not about the exact steps. It's about the entire process of time management.
Because the more you do this time-saving process, the more you learn about things like:
- How long it takes for you to accomplish certain tasks
- How much you can realistically get done in one day
- When you are must productive during a day
- How to best document your tasks, period
Time is a finicky thing. So is your perception of time.
You think you have enough until there's no more left.
But the ingenuity of your human brain can be your biggest advantage.
And once you use simple strategies to tap into that ingenuity, you'll be impressed by what you learn about yourself--learning about yourself being the key to it all.
After all, it's not lack of time that is the problem.
It's how you respond to that perception that makes all the difference.