Suffering From Lack Of Time?

Combat the lack of time with these easy solutions

A midweek day. You wake up tired and wishing you had slept more, but you couldn't get to bed earlier the previous night because you had many things to do.

So you face the day at work in the best way you can, between coffees and yawns. You feel that your life starts only when your busy day at work is finished; but then you've got a thousand things to do before you can even think of relaxing...

You push through the evening, getting as many things done as you can, and again when you can finally go to bed it's quite late... Next day, same story...

Have you ever found yourself in the above scenario? Do you feel as though you've got time for yourself only during the weekends? Welcome then to the main characteristic of modern life: lack of time.

Factors that contribute to the lack of time

Those of us who hold a full-time job may find that the amount of time available for ourselves every day is already greatly reduced - all the more if you add the commuting time on top.

Besides, if you are a woman you may also find that you spend a certain amount of time daily in cleaning and cooking, or caring for your kids (even though roles are changing, in many societies it's still the woman who dedicates more time than the man to those tasks, on average).

So it's no wonder that you may not be able to take on hobbies or creative activities even if you want to - where in your busy week could you possibly fit one more thing?

Besides, doing things in a rush does not help to get more things done. As 'The art of effortless living' explains, "There is no proven relationship between being in a rush and being [...] successful".

Timely solutions

Here are a few ways in which you can make the most of the time you have available:

  • Simplify! When you find yourself continuously playing catch up with your to-do list, it's time to check what you can let go of. There will be (guaranteed!) activities that will make a little impact on what you actually want to achieve, and that you can definitely let go of.

  • The 80/20 principle. This principle states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes - this is, 80% of your results come from 20% of the things you do. Figure out what 20% of the things you do is vital to keep your life going and ditch the majority of the rest.

  • Batching. Something I have found useful at times to combat the lack of time is to batch tasks according to similarity. So for instance, if I'm at a computer I may do as many of my computer-related tasks as I can; if I've got to run errands I'll compose a list of all the errands to do them all in one go.

  • Use your intuition. When I have some time available to get things done, but I have a number of things to do and they all seem equally important, I just ask "What wants to be done now?". I then let the answer come, and whatever it is that wants to be done always seems to be the best thing I could be doing, for one reason or another.

You can experiment with different ways to go about doing things to tackle the lack of time. Shuffle around the things you do in your day; re-arrange your tasks so that they fit better in the time you have available.

For instance, I wake up an hour to two hours earlier every day to write for my website; I use the commute to work by train to read. Imagination is your weapon!

"Time stays long enough for those who use it."

Leonardo da Vinci

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