How to fix the 'I don't have the time' situation

How to find time to do things? How to make time for yourself? Let's discuss the 'I don't have the time' crisis that everyone is faced with. Adopt one simple trick to find time to do things and become a pro at time-management.

Many of us find ourselves trapped in the 'I don't have the time' syndrome. Time suddenly becomes more precious than the Kohinoor Diamond that we can never possess. 'I don't have the time' seems like such a plausible excuse to forswear all of life's demanding situations. It is an excuse alright, and we use it remarkably well, to fool ourselves and, of course, the rest of the world. And everyone falls for this lame justification; so, convincing it is that we begin to live our lives believing that we can make no time. You cannot make time, that is just hyperbole, but you also cannot deny that time is there. It exists. We need to stop waiting for it to magically find us, instead, we need to 'make time' happen to us.

Time management is not magic in the making, you surely realise that. Things do not just fall into place we have to make things happen. That is one basic rule we comprise on; isn't that true! We gaze at the 'things to do' list and reaffirm that we will make time for them on the morrow. The irony is that tomorrow never comes and new additions keep getting added to the to-do list. And we let things be with our excuse of 'no time'.

If it is a habit of yours to push things to the back burner then your time management skills are kaput. You will never be able to recover from the situation if you do not make constructive changes in how you deploy your time. Everything will keep getting pushed from tomorrow to the day after, to the day after that… Until it is dead and forgotten. Yup, that happens too, you will conveniently forget that something had to be done (another excuse).

Do you see a similarity?

Are you the person described in the paragraphs above? Do you follow the same pattern, of putting off jobs and finding an excuse? You need to continue reading through this writeup if you answered aye. It might be some consolation to you that millions all over the world fit into this bracket. People who believe that putting things off will somehow get them the time to eventually complete the unfinished tasks. They believe in lofty plans based on an unknown tomorrow, they 'just need to find the time' and their search continues. The key to time management that you need to learn is that time is not something that you can find, you have to 'make' the time for things.

Finding time vs. making time

Time is not something that is hiding somewhere, so you are not going to find it, even if you go looking for it. Time is right there, even at this moment. Your day has the same number of hours as the person next to you or someone on the other side of the planet. Your challenges are likely to be the same, whether you address them today or go after them tomorrow. This is something you probably already know, so what is holding you back. What is it that you are not getting right; what is keeping you from accomplishing the stuff that you need to get done?

The answer is in how you view time. You need to shift from the passive approach that you have towards time to being more driven with an aggressive proactive attitude on how to make the maximum out of the 24 hours. You need to know that time will not be benevolent and come your way. You have to make time from the 24 hours that you have, and that in a nutshell is what time management is all about.

Making every second count

If you believe in magic then you will find the magic wand in the seconds that tick past. Hold on to those seconds, make them yours and you have got the perfect recipe for effective time management.

Let me illustrate it through an example. You have been postponing something important – rearranging your wardrobe for instance or fitting in exercise into your daily regime. You do not have time, well, list the activity on your calendar and keep that date, honour it the way you do the rest of your appointments. No excuses. When you decide to do something, go ahead and do it.

Do you consistently defer what needs to be done, postponement stuff to tomorrow or later? If you routinely struggle with getting things done then try this simple trick to smuggle in some extra time into your day. Try waking up earlier than your usual time and using those extra 30 minutes to complete pending tasks. Look for ways to create time, so you can do the things that you have been neglecting. The idea is to allocate and manage your time for fruitful results. Cut short your lunch break and complete the project during that time, so you do not have to stay late at work.

Making time is not easy, especially when you first start, but then you pick up tricks and become an efficient time manager. It requires deliberate action and a sense of responsibility and commitment to using your time as an expert. If you follow routines without consciously allocating time for them, you will be stuck in the 'no time' rut.

It is about being in charge and taking control over the seconds, minutes and hours in your day. This little change will make you more productive. Do not procrastinate, just go ahead and use your time wisely and you will now miraculously have time to do more things, in your 24-hour day. Time is an opportunity, do not let it tick away. Grab it and make the best use of it.

Time is like a dog without a leash

I read somewhere that time is like a dog that is left loose, without a leash. To catch it, you have to run and chase it. And that is what we do, do we not? We are perpetually running after time; we are always running against it. So, why not hold on to it and not unleash it and allow it the freedom to run away. It is time for you to evaluate how you use your time and how best you can make the 24-hour day, seem longer than it now is.

Do you really have time management issues?

Change your strategies because that is what will work for you. If you analyse things, you will realise that it is not a time management issue, it never was. The problem is actually a priority management issue. You fail to prioritise things and blame it on a lack of time. You need to know that everything is important. Only then will you learn to make time for things. If you believe that only certain things are important, you will never get down to doing the other things, on your 'to do' list. Give just 10 minutes of your day doing things you do not have time for, and you will manage to get them done, eventually. Time stops being a debilitating factor when you divide it efficiently. You can settle one shelf in your wardrobe in those 10 minutes and in a week's time, your entire wardrobe will be in order.

Do not have time to exercise? Devote just 20 minutes of your morning in some physical activity, instead of laying bed and staring the ceiling. Do not have time to call your parents? Speak to them while you commute - make use of the time.

Grab those minutes that you let slip away and see how much time you can make. Quit saying you do not have the time, prioritise things and make the time for them. Time is always there, you will realise this once you learn to assign each task a specific time.

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