Kedan is an enthusiast on healthy living and productivity. He focuses on creating positive routines and behaviours.
I Just Don't Have the Time . . .
If you have said the title sentence before (which we all have), you would also have experienced the following:
- Always procrastinating and delaying things until the absolute last minute.
- Never having time for the things you actually want to do because of work or chores at home.
- Being envious of people who seem to have spare time while still living fulfilling lives at home, at work and following their personal interests.
Yes to any of the prior-mentioned struggles? If so, you are in luck. In this piece, I am going to equip you with some everyday behaviours to becoming a master of time, instead of its slave.
The Myth That Fools Us All
I won't even waste time exposing the biggest lie we tell ourselves: "They have so much more time than me!" Every one of us has the same 24 hours in each day. There you go, that is the secret. Fair enough, I need to unpack that for you.
The correct phrase is, "They get so much more out of their time than me!" Now, before you think I have always been one of the people who always had excess time, I was not. I was a serial procrastinator and always pushed the boundaries of the deadlines until one day I could not take it any more.
I had no time for my actual interests and life passions and decided I needed to change the way I lived in order to succeed at work and in my personal life. I will break down my realisations and personal steps below.
1. An Unfinished Task Is Always Longer in Theory Than in Reality
How many times have we postponed a menial task for days, weeks or even months only to find that when we actually do it, it ended up taking at least half the time to do it? Sometimes, even the time we obsessed over it mentally took longer than the task itself.
Remedy: Something I like to call the 3 second rule. If a task comes up you have to do and don't want to, within 3 seconds just start it. No hesitation. No excuses. You will find once you have started it, it really isn't so bad and the mental stress will disappear as well knowing it is being completed.
2. What to Do vs. How Long to Do It
Time wasting occurs when we haven't given much thought to what we actually have to do. We know we have to write that research report, clean the garage or do our taxes, but how long will it take?
Remedy: The moment you mentally plan the task and allocate a certain time to do it, the stress goes away as you have a plan in place and now you can move on with your life.
An example: You need to clean the garage and you now estimate it will take 4 hours. Next weekend is open, so you decide on Monday that on Saturday, from 8-12, you will clean the garage and the rest of the weekend is free. No more stress for the upcoming week and your spouse telling you they can't get past all the boxes to park their car. Task defined, time allocated and on Saturday morning, within 3 seconds, start cleaning!
3. The Procrastination Trap
How often do you feel you never have enough time for things or to see enough friends? Okay, no how often do you watch entire seasons of shows on Netflix in one weekend. Yes, I am talking to you, person who binged watched all the seasons of Riverdale and threw in Birdbox when you were done.
The majority of the time, we don't even realise it's happening and I understand. It has been a long week at work and you don't want to anything except relax, but then wind up Sunday night feeling guilty and remorseful of wasting time.
Remedy: Just trust me with this next one. For one week in your diary, record everything you do every day in hourly intervals. (Saturday, 08:00-20:00, Netflix). After one week, count the hours and assess. How many hours go into the life admin, how many into your actual passions and how many are wasted? One week, just do it and then read this piece again. The figures will change next week, guaranteed.
4. Motivation vs. Discipline
"I wish I was him like, he goes to the gym every day after work, he is so motivated." All lies folks. This was said by yours truly about a very good friend of mine. I would envy him because I would come back from work exhausted and not have any will to go lift weights or train on the treadmill. Until one day, I finally asked him how he does it. To my surprise, he said, "Motivation has nothing to do with it, it is discipline."
Remedy: Wait, what? After a lengthy explanation over a protein shake, I found the wisdom from this dear friend of mine. Motivation is what causes you to create a goal and start something. I want to lose 10 pounds or I want to study a new language because it is my dream. Getting up every day at 4 am or going to Spanish class every night after work is discipline. This is how I achieve the dream.
Motivation is emotion driven, while discipline is action driven. Having a tough day at work or suffering a break up will play into your emotions to not go the gym. Having the routine and discipline to know no matter what, this is what I need to do, leaves no room for emotion or doubt. In your upcoming week, ask yourself, which concept drives you, emotion or discipline?
5. The Company's Dream vs. Your Own Dreams
This is one that I am asked a lot about and I can explain the easiest. People often say, "I am just too tired after work and just want to watch Netflix." (Are we seeing the pattern here?)
Remedy: Each day we work at least 8 hours for a company to achieve their dream. Fair enough we get a salary. Now ask yourself, how many hours do I put in to achieve my dream? A simple mentality. When the work day ends, that is when my actual day starts for me to be working on myself and my dreams, over and above a salary.
No Time Like the Present
By reaching the end of this piece, I hope two things happened. Firstly, you identified a frustration you have had in the list above and secondly, I hope you also found a remedy that you can implement.
We should never be a slave to time, we are the ones in control. I hope the week ahead you have a plan in place and a remedy for any situation.
You have 3 seconds . . . GO!
© 2019 Kedan Pentia
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 18, 2020:
This one is good.
I love the way you tackle it head on with 3 seconds.
Plus the fact that your day starts after your day at work.
So many people are too tired...one problem around here is the drive time back n forth to work then the constant overtime leaves one with little time except their day off...where again left tired.
But for me...these are all good points which I hope to utilize.