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10 Reasons Why Some People Feel Like They Don’t Have Enough Time

10 Reasons Why Some People Feel Like They Don’t Have Enough Time

Do you feel like you’re overwhelmingly busy? Like you always don’t have enough time and your schedule is ever growing? Many people today feel that way and constantly lament a lack of time. If you are like them and barely have time to do even simple tasks like cooking a meal or completing your daily to-do list, something is wrong. Here are ten reasons why some people always feel like they don’t have enough time and what you can do to avoid it.

1. They don’t rise early.

The modern world we live in runs largely on a 9-to-5 schedule. Waking up early gives you an advantage over people who sleep in. Numerous studies have actually correlated waking up early with success. Analyze the lives of the most successful men and women, and you will find that almost every one of them starts their day early. People who don’t rise early are the ones most likely to complain that there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all that they want to do.

2. They multitask a lot.

You might think that you are getting more done and saving time by multitasking, but studies show we’re not the brilliant multitaskers we think we are. Research conducted at Stanford University, for example, found that people who multitask are less productive and waste more time when switching between tasks than if they had stuck with one task until they finish. Moreover, multitasking damages the brain. The human brain is simply not capable of focusing on multiple tasks at once.

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3.  They don’t track or budget their time.

A litany of productivity experts agree that tracking and budgeting your time is vital to taking control of your day. Record ALL your appointments, deadlines, and everything in-between. Analyze the actual time you spend on each activity with what you think is the best amount for each. You will discover just how much time you’re frittering away and get a chance to reevaluate, budget, and monitor your time. People who don’t budget and track their time are the ones who wonder where time has gone and can’t understand why they accomplish so little at the end of each workday.

4. They are not organized.

People who are disorganized not only waste time looking for misplaced items, but also lower their productivity and hinder their chances for success. However, if you are organized, you give your productivity a real boost and are able to create time for the things and people that matter in your life. Spend a little time up front planning your day and keeping things neat and tidy. This way, you will know exactly what items you have and where they are located, which can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

5. They don’t prioritize.

Most people have a prioritization problem. They don’t rank tasks in order of importance or make decisions on what’s most important in their lives, which explains why they always feel like there are not enough hours in a day. Think about your core objectives and all the different things you want to do and then figure out what is important to you. Do not start and plug through every task until you’ve asked this question: “Do I really need to do this now?” If you don’t need to do it now, don’t do it. Tackle high priority tasks first and then turn to the other things. Prioritizing ensures that you make the most efficient use of your time.

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6. They are easily distracted.

Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Driven to Distraction, noted that many people today have “culturally generated ADD.” What he means is that we have way more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available to us 24/7 than ever before. It is not surprising, then, that many people are easily distracted from their core goals and end up lamenting that they never have enough time.

Lock yourself somewhere quiet when working. “Unplug” and concentrate on the task at hand. That way you will avoid being distracted and sidetracked by the cacophony of voices, text messages, e-mail and social media notifications. If the people around you are the source of distraction, ask them politely to let you finish what you are doing first before you attend to them. Don’t be afraid to say “No” to anyone who constantly interrupts you when you are working.

7. They don’t have a daily routine.

Woody Allen, who has written and directed fifty films in almost as many years, once said that 80% of success is showing up. In other words, when, how, and where you show up are the most important factors for accomplishing more and achieving success. And the key to ensuring you always show up is to establish a daily routine that you follow no matter what, including a healthy sleep routine.

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People who don’t have a routine that they follow every day are susceptible to distractions and likely to miss deadlines and tasks that need to be done. Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and HuffPost’s Arianna Huffington, for example, all have a daily ritual and every night before bed they “unplug” and read a book. Sandberg says her bedtime ritual helps her unwind and allows her sleep better and wake up re-energized the next day.

8. They’re too concerned with being fast.

Oliver Burkeman, in his enlightening book, The Antidote, tells of a Formula One pit crew – a group that depends on fast, efficient teamwork – that realized they were not at top speed when they concentrated on speed. Rather, they achieved their best times when they emphasized functioning smoothly as a group. The same case applies to time management and productivity. People who are too concerned with working fast or those who act rashly instead of “smoothly” end up not as productive or even as fast as they can be.

Focus more on functioning “smoothly” rather than quickly. You will improve your productivity and get more done in good time. Besides, life is a marathon, not a sprint. The goal is to finish the race (and help others do the same), not merely to cross the finish line first.

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9. They don’t review their schedules regularly.

People who don’t review their schedules, plans, and habits regularly often end up wasting their time and energy on things that are no longer helpful to their cause. This is especially true when their priorities have changed – as they inevitably will with time – but they keep doing the same things they’ve always done, expecting different results. Check with yourself weekly, monthly or even yearly to ensure your schedules and efforts align with your overall goals and objectives. Change or alter your course as necessary so that unnecessary tasks don’t eat up your time and clog your day.

10. They are negative and have bad attitudes.

People who are always saying that they don’t have time or are too busy to read, workout, travel, etc., won’t have time to do those things. However, people who speak positively, stay organized, and prioritize are able to do much more. Instead of saying, “I don’t have time to spend with my family because I have a hectic schedule,” it would be better to honestly say, “I could spend more time with my family, but work is a greater priority.” That is essentially what you mean when you give excuses for a lack of time.

Everyone has exactly 24 hours in a day. If others can get work done and still find time for family and friends, so can you!

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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