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Life Balance

15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax

Written by Rashelle Isip
Blogger, Consultant, and Author
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Do you think you have no time to relax, catch up on your favorite TV series, or go out with your friends on the weekend? You might have a boatload of time at your disposal but don’t even know it!

In this article, we will discuss why you feel you have no time to relax and have fun. There are simple solutions to help you manage and carve out your time better for the things you like to do.

Let’s dive right in.

15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax

1. Your Workplace is Full of Distractions

Chatty coworkers, silly desk toys, and cute cat emails can damper your ability to get things done. As a result, you would have to take your work home, and you won’t even be able to relax on weekends.

Eliminating distractions in your workspace can improve your productivity and focus at work. You can do this by using noise-canceling headphones or purchasing a white noise machine. You can also work in a different area of the office or ask for a workspace reassignment, or log off of email or the internet completely when working.

2. You Say “Yes” to Everything That Comes Your Way

You don’t have to always say yes to everything that comes your way, be it an invite to a party or function, a question, or even a chance to do something entirely out of the blue.

Think twice before saying yes to something – you have the power to control your schedule and your time. Therefore, if you feel like something is coming in between you and your relaxing time, do say no to it.


3. You Mistake Work Time for Playtime

You say you’re working, but you’re playing yet another level of Candy Crush Saga…which one is it? Work or play? Playing during work adds more time to your day and messes up your schedule. It is also one of the common reasons why most people get distracted and lose their focus and productivity during work.

If you just sat down and focused on your work, you’d be done much sooner than if you stopped playing. Therefore, if you feel like something is distracting, try to keep it as far away from you as possible.

It’s important to schedule playtime even as adults, as it helps improve our overall well-being and helps with stress.[1] Just remember to schedule it after work hours.

4. You Don’t Commit to Scheduling Meetings and Appointments

Not committing to meetings or appointments creates more work, effort, and wasted time. So always try to schedule your meeting and appointments beforehand, and don’t become wishy-washy when you receive an invite: you’ll either attend or not.

5. You Don’t Book Your Vacation Well Enough in Advance

Your vacation days are racking up at work, you’re feeling drained, and the year’s almost finished. Why didn’t you put in that vacation request months ago? Take action and book your vacations in advance; you’ll be happy you did in six months’ time!

6. You Watch the Clock Too Much

Counting all the minutes and seconds in your day isn’t healthy time management. If you’re constantly looking at or managing your schedule, you’re using up all your time for working and relaxing.


In this case, it is best to put a clock somewhere you have to turn to see the time. If you watch the time on your phone, don’t put your phone near your working place. You will be surprised to know how much you have improved your productivity and focus by doing this simple thing.

7. You Get Caught Up in Other People’s Business and Drama

“I heard Joey had this terrible truck accident last weekend, broke both arms, and has to settle things in court… plus his wife’s threatening to leave him and take the kids with her…” Blah, blah, blah.

The gossip mills will always be turning with information that isn’t useful to your life and contributes to toxic work environments. According to the National Library of Medicine, “a toxic workplace environment is defined by narcissistic behavior; offensive, and aggressive leadership; threatening behavior from managers and co-workers; and harassment, bullying, and ostracism.” This leads to high-levels of stress and strain on the employees.[2]

Step away from the gossip at work and in your personal life, and instead spend your time on yourself and creating a life you love.

8. You Make Mountains Out of Molehills

You just broke the heel on your favorite pair of shoes! Your day is ruined…or is it? There’s no reason to waste time catching up on little things that can be fixed.

Get the item fixed and move on with your life.

9. You Check Your Smart Phone Every Three Minutes

Constantly checking email, text messages, and social media all adds up over time, especially if you are trying to relax. Put down the phone—or better yet, shut it off completely to prevent yourself from checking in every few minutes.


According to research, the average American checks their phone 344 times per day.[3]

You can also use some time management techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique, to eliminate this habit and improve your focus on work.

In this technique, you have to work consecutively for 25 minutes which is known as a Pomodoro, after which you get a 3 to 5-minute break. After you have achieved four Pomodoros, you are awarded a long break of around 20-30 minutes.

10. You Volunteer Too Much of Your Time

Do you go out of your way to volunteer your time even when it isn’t asked for? Helping people out is good, but being burned out and bitter is not.

Strike a balance as to how much of your free time you’ll volunteer or donate to your favorite causes per month.

11. You Participate in Too Many Extracurricular Activities

You signed up for yoga, Spanish lessons, pastry making, juggling lessons, and antique cabinetry classes… every week! Stretching yourself thin is never good, especially when you are trying to relax in the first place.


Narrow down your activities to one or two to keep things in check. It’s best to eliminate those activities that exhaust you the most and consume much of your mental energy.

12. You Wake Up Late

Trying to squeeze more time into your day after a late start? Unfortunately, relaxation and fun are the first two things to get cut when you have a late start. Sleep deprivation can also affect your performance, productivity, and working relationships.

Therefore, it is essential to give yourself time to relax by getting a good night’s rest and waking up when you’re supposed to. A tip for sleeping early is to restrict your phone usage before bedtime. According to a study conducted on 38 participants, avoiding phone usage 30 minutes before bedtime improves sleep quality, duration, and working memory.[4]

13. You Don’t Plan Your Day

A day without plans can quickly turn into a day of doing things for others or things that aren’t necessary, wasting your time even more. Get started by jotting down tasks that must be done for tomorrow and when you stop working so you can rest and relax on your time.

14. You Feel Everything You Do Has to Be Perfect

Perfectionism can kill time in an instant. This isn’t to say you should do sloppy or incomplete work, but pick and choose your battles where you can do things well, better, and best. If you have imperfections in any field, don’t let them make you feel sad; just accept them and move forward.

15. You Self-Sabotage

Ahh, the classic case of self-sabotage. If you constantly tell yourself you don’t have any time for relaxing or fun, pretty soon, you’ll believe it one hundred percent. Be adamant about finding times to relax and have fun: delegate work, rework your schedule, or give up that nonessential volunteer position.

15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax

Common Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax

6 Simple Solutions
6 Actions
15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax
Wasting Your Time During Work? Preplan your day, focus only on your work during working hours, and don’t get distracted by other things.
15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax
Not Planning Your Day? Make a daily to-do list of the work you want to do in a day. Put the most important tasks at the top of your list.
15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax
Watching Time Frequently? If you have this habit, put the clock somewhere, you have to turn to see the time and keep your phone far away from yourself. 
15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax
Waking Up Late? Make a habit of sleeping and waking up early and having a good amount of sleep during the night.
15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax
Not Booking Vacations in Advance? Plan out and book your vacations in advance; this will also give you something to look forward to.
15 Reasons Why You Have No Time to Relax
Having Too Many Extracurricular Activities? Narrow down your activities to one or two to keep things in check. It’s best to eliminate those activities first that exhaust you the most and consume a lot of your mental energy.

Final Thoughts

The more relaxed and happy you are in your free time, the more productive and focused you will be at work. Sadly, most of us have hectic routines that don’t even spare us a single hour to relax and have fun.


However, if you try working on these 15 problems that are draining your time without you even noticing, you will be able to take out more time for yourself.

Featured photo credit: Kinga Cichewicz via unsplash.com


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