I don’t have TIME!

Jul 18, 2022 | Mindset

The reality is, if the life of someone you loved depended on you doing something for an hour a day, two hours a day, look probably even three hours a day, you bet your bottom dollar that you’d make time for it – someone’s life depends on it! The same goes for everything else in your life.

A common theme I hear is about not having the time, ‘I’m just not a morning person’, ‘I am just too busy right now to fit that in’, ‘I’ve got too much on to cook my own meals’, ‘I don’t have the time to scratch my butt let alone exercise!’, or ‘Ha! If only I had the time that you did to do that’. I have certainly been guilty of saying one or more of these on occasion myself too, it’s easy to fall into the trap.

The reality is, if the life of someone you loved depended on you doing something for an hour a day, two hours a day, look probably even three hours a day, you bet your bottom dollar that you’d make time for it – someone’s life depends on it! The same goes for everything else in your life. You don’t HAVE time, you MAKE time for the things that are most important to you. I know heaps of crazy busy working Mums and Dads, who balance parenting multiple children with working, running businesses, running a household and somehow maintaining a social life.

Now this is all well and good, but what can we do about it? The secret here has 3 components:
Schedule
Prioritisation
Discipline

These 3 components will set you up to get more of the important things into your day.

Having a schedule means that you’ve got your day planned out and written down. If you don’t have the important things in your schedule, your risk of them not happening is HUGE. I’m sure everyone has experienced this before. I know I do it quite often with meditation. I try to keep a daily practice of meditation, but if I get out of routine and don’t have the time scheduled to do it, I get to the end of the day and fall into bed thinking, ‘I’ll get back on track tomorrow’. As soon as I have my to-do list planned out in my schedule, my eyes are open to sometimes just how unrealistic getting all of this done in a single day is. That’s where prioritisation comes in.

Prioritisation is such an important skill. The definition of prioritisation is ‘the action of process of deciding the relative importance or urgency of things’. Prioritisation helps us figure out how to decide which things in the to-do list are unfortunately going to have to fall of the day’s schedule.

One way of prioritising that I find useful is Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle. Within this principle, we give each task a rating of between 1 and 4:
1 – Important and Urgent (ensure these are prioritised first, and avoid procrastinating on them)
2 – Important but not Urgent (be mindful of these becoming urgent)
3 – Not important but Urgent (try to reschedule or delegate)
4 – Not important and not Urgent (avoid where possible)

With important defined as activities that have an outcome that leads us to achieving our goals; and urgent having a definition of activities that demand immediate attention, usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals. The priority increases as we get towards 1, which are our most critical tasks to be prioritised.

The last one is discipline. I’ve written another blog post on discipline which you should check out. Where discipline comes into it is actually following through with what you say you’re going to do. So if you have de-prioritised a task because it’s not important and not urgent, and someone asks you about it (maybe a superior at work), it’s important that you have a strong enough backbone to explain why it’s not prioritised for you today, what other tasks are prioritised above it, and to not budge from there (unless more information is brought to light which changes the priority of the task). There’s no point going through the process of creating a schedule based on a prioritised lists of tasks, to then throw that out the window as soon as someone asks you for something different. Context obviously matters here, obviously if someone needs urgent help or care, your child is sick or worse – hungry, you may need to be flexible with your schedule, but these 3 components should help you to fit more
into your day.

Just remember, we all get the same 86,400 seconds in a day. You can’t have it all, but with great time management and prioritisation skills, you can get pretty bloody close!