Time and again, we hear
Oh, I’m so busy, I just can’t do X.
Yes, practically everybody says so, and I am no exception. However…
Do we really not have time for an activity?
Every human being, animal, plant, rock, etc., have 24 hours per day — not more, not less. How we spend them varies, though. A rock sitting on the beach will not run a marathon, and it will not write articles even though it has time. A plant will create paint masterpiece paintings even though it is surrounded by nature and sees inspiring beauty.
“Out of time” — an AI-generated artwork I prepared in starryai.
Then we come to us, humans. There are so many things one can do in 24 hours. Efficiency depends on our ability to schedule and prioritise. Jumping from one task to another, not defining clear goals or overestimating resources (including time!) leads to lower productivity and makes us… you guessed it — too busy.
It is a matter of defining what is essential to do, what needs to be done, what is optional and what is fun but otherwise mostly pointless. The latter is also significant as we are not robots, and our efficiency changes with our energy level and state of mind.
We are always too busy. This is an AI-generated artwork I prepared in starryai.
What to do when your schedule is completely full?
Go through it. Check if there is anything that you can shift forward in time. What has to be done first?
The key question, in my opinion. is
How did you end up with such a busy timetable, to begin with?
· Are you struggling with saying no?
· Are you overestimating how long it will take you to finish everything?
· Are you pushing yourself so hard that you are exhausted all the time?
How to get out of this vicious circle?
Well, it is complicated, as you expected. Can you imagine so many people struggling if it were easy to solve with just the click of a button?
You should start by
· Defining what is important to you
· Defining what would be good to get done but skipping it would not be the end of the world
· Tracking how long it takes you to get a task done
· Scheduling your sleep and breaks during the day
· Learning how to politely explain that something should not be done at all or not at the time
“Time” — an AI-generated artwork I prepared in starryai.
How to have time for everything?
It is simply impossible to do absolutely everything that comes to your mind. You have to understand and accept that time is a limited resource. So is our energy.
Limit “everything” to “what is important”.
Arrange the important task in your calendar. Chances are that at the end of the day, there will still be time for something that is not compulsory to get done. This would be the time for you to relax and do a hobby.
At first, it might appear as if you are actually dropping your productivity — and probably it will be true — for a while. It takes practice to learn how to filter out tasks.
Do not judge others or make conclusions for their lives. You do not know the whole story. This is an AI-generated artwork I prepared in starryai.
How do others seemingly have it all?
There are two critical points here. First, nobody has everything they can possibly ask for. Not even billionaires. It would help if you stayed realistic. What you see from the outside is just part of the story. You are not in their heads to know what they are going through.
Also, some of us are naturally more organised than others. We are all different. We all have different traits, which means we are not equally good at everything. We do not come from a factory mould. The main point is not to punish yourself for being on the “inferior side”. Time management is a skill. You will have to put in the effort, and eventually, you will reap the rewards.
Good luck with your journey!
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