“I Don’t Have Time.”
Perhaps it’s the biggest excuse not to do something.
Perhaps it’s actually true.
But the real question is why you don’t have enough time to get the things you want to do done?
For most of us, we don’t fill our days so full, that there’s not enough time to add something more. Usually, there are at least a few hours in a day that could be better devoted towards an endeavor or making something happen.
I used to think I didn’t have enough time in a day.
Some days, I actually don’t.
This article addresses the situation where you don’t really have enough time to get things done on a consistent basis.
Before you say that you don’t have time, understand that we’re not talking about situations where someone asks you to lunch, but you have already committed to another engagement.
This is more about when you have projects going on and someone asks you to start something new with them. We’re talking about the dedication and allocation of time itself.
Where Is Your Time Going?
The first thing you need to know is how you’re currently allocating your time. How much time do you sleep? How much time is used for getting to work and back? How much time do you spend at work? What do you do with your evenings?
Most importantly, how can you optimize your time usage to give yourself more time to do other things? Can you move things around to give yourself more time in certain parts of the day for another project? Can you drop something you’re doing to free up time? Between two things that are important to you, which will you drop for something that will give you greater benefits?
Game Of Thrones wastes 62 hours of your life. Sleeping takes 121 days every year. Using your phone for anything other than business will eat away a whole month’s worth of time every year.
Getting an idea of where you time is going is the first step to freeing up time. You can do this in many different ways, but I recommend starting with the largest blocks of time:
- Sleep – The average time you sleep per night. If you use a smartwatch, chances are it’s been tracking your sleep. Just compile and average the time you’ve slept per night according to the sleep tracker.
- Working – The time spent at work plus the commute. If you leave at 7:30 AM to go to work, and don’t actually get home until 6:30 PM, then for purposes of this exercise, you’re working 11 hours!
Next, include family time and other commitments you may have (such as exercise and gym times).
Notice how you’re day is filled up with things?
How Much Time Are You Actually Using?
The harder question is whether you’re working or doing something productive during all those hours you have allocated.
Chances are that you don’t. You obviously have time for meals, breaks and other moments throughout your day when you aren’t doing anything.
If you’re working for someone else, it’s obvious that you can’t work on your own stuff on the clock unless there’s express permission.
If you drive or bike to work, you can’t be working on other things, but if you commute by rail or bus, you might be able to do personal things during this time pretty easily.
Family time isn’t work time unless you happen to be a vlogger. For most of us, it’s time when we should be focused on our families, and not work.
Look for the activites that can easily be eliminated or moved in order to free up time. For instance, spending all that time scrolling through Facebook can probably be eliminated. Watching YouTube videos or TV shows. Again, gone. You can literally free up a couple hours of time just by eliminating all that doesn’t help you reach your goals.
The Easiest Way To Gain More Time
I found out a long time ago that the easiest way to find the time to work on personal endeavors is to work at night or get up and start early.
There have been times that I’ve only slept a couple hours a night because I really wanted to get things done.
You can’t do this for very long, but if you add late nights and early mornings into your plan a couple times a week, you should get along just fine.
Take for example these daily blog posts. I usually start in on them around 10 or 11 PM and finish around 1 or 2 AM. There are shorter posts that only take a couple hours, but those are the nights I don’t get started until 11 or midnight.
Don’t Add More Hours To Your Day Without A Plan
This is a big mistake that most people will make when they’re just starting out. They stay up late because they are trying to get more stuff done. If you don’t know exactly what you need to accomplish during the hours you stay up, then it’s as good as not staying up late at all.
Being able to accomplish something by the time you do go to bed is very important because it gives you a sense of accomplishment and makes you a lot more excited to get up the next morning to start the day and get things done.
It Will Require Sacrifice
As a final note, finding more time to pursue your goals and dreams requires sacrifices. From giving up watching every episode of Game of Thrones to saying a polite “no” to a dinner with a friend.
You may be working on Friday or Saturday night while you’re friends are partying and calling you to come out, but if your dreams and goals are really worth that much to you, you’ll be willing to make sacrifices in order to get closer to achieving them.