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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!

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

There’s no denying that goals are necessary. After all, they give life meaning and purpose. However, goals don’t simply achieve themselves—you need to write an action plan to help you reach your goals.

With an action plan, you’ll have a clear idea of how to get where you want to go, what it will take to get there, and how you’ll find the motivation to keep driving forward. Without creating a plan, things have a way of not working out as you waver and get distracted.

With that in mind, here’s how you can set goals and action plans that will help you achieve any personal goal you’ve set.

1. Determine Your “Why”

Here’s a quick experiment for you to try right now: Reflect on the goals you’ve set before. Now, think about the goals you reached and those you didn’t. Hopefully, you’ll notice a common theme here.

The goals you were successful in achieving had a purpose. Those goals you failed to accomplish did not. In other words, you knew why you put these goals in place, which motivated you to follow through.

Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team, explains:

“Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best. When you can do that, you’ll have a point of reference for everything you do going forward.”

That, in turn, enables better decision-making and clearer choices.

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I’ll share with you a recent example of this in my life. Earlier this year, I decided to make my health a bigger priority, specifically losing weight. I set this goal because it gave me more energy at work, improved my sleep, and helped me be a better father—I really didn’t care for all that wheezing every time I played with my kids.

Those factors all gave me a long-term purpose, not a superficial short-term goal like wanting to look good for an event.

Before you start creating an action plan, think about why you’re setting a new goal. Doing so will guide you forward on this journey and give you a North Star to point to when things get hard (and they inevitably will).

2. Write Down Your Goal

If you really want to know how to create an action plan for goals, it’s time to get your goals out of your head and onto a piece of paper. While you can also do this electronically through an app, research has found that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goal if it’s written down[1].

This is especially true for business owners. If they don’t schedule their time, it’ll be scheduled for them.[2]

When you physically write down a goal, you’re accessing the left side of the brain, which is the literal, logical side. As a result, this communicates to your brain that this is something you seriously want to do.

3. Set a SMART Goal

A SMART goal pulls on a popular system in business management[3]. That’s because it ensures the goal you’ve set is both realistic and achievable. It can also be used as a reference to guide you through your action plan.

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Use SMART goals to create a goal action plan.

     

    By establishing a SMART goal, you can begin to brainstorm the steps, tasks, and tools you’ll need to make your actions effective.

    • Specific: You need to have specific ideas about what you want to accomplish. To get started, answer the “W” questions: who, what, where, when, and why.
    • Measurable: To make sure you’re meeting the goal, establish tangible metrics to measure your progress. Identify how you’ll collect the data.
    • Attainable: Think about the tools or skills needed to reach your goal. If you don’t possess them, figure out how you can attain them.
    • Relevant: Why does the goal matter to you? Does it align with other goals? These types of questions can help you determine the goal’s true objective — and whether it’s worth pursuing.
    • Time-bound: Whether it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly target, deadlines can motivate us to take action sooner than later.

    Learn more about setting a SMRT goal here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

    4. Take One Step at a Time

    Have you ever taken a road trip? You most likely had to use a map to navigate from Point A to Point B. The same idea can be applied to an action plan.

    Like a map, your action plan needs to include step-by-step instructions on how you’ll reach your goal. In other words, these are mini goals that help you get where you need to go.

    For example, if you wanted to lose weight, you’d consider smaller factors like calories consumed and burned, minutes exercised, number of steps walked, and quality of sleep. Each plays a role in weight loss.

    This may seem like a lot of work upfront, but it makes your action plan seem less overwhelming and more manageable. Most importantly, it helps you determine the specific actions you need to take at each stage.

    5. Order Your Tasks by Priority

    With your action steps figured out, you’ll next want to review your list and place your tasks in the order that makes the most sense. This way, you’re kicking things off with the most important step to make the biggest impact, which will ultimately save time.

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    For example, if you have a sedentary job and want to lose weight, the first step should be becoming even a little more active. From there, you can add more time to your workout plan.

    The next step could be changing your diet, like having a salad before dinner to avoid overeating, or replacing soda with sparkling water.

    Learn these tips to prioritize better: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    6. Schedule Your Tasks

    Setting a deadline for your goal is a must; it prevents you from delaying the start of your action plan. The key, however, is to be realistic. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that you’ll lose 20 pounds within two weeks. It’s even less likely that you’ll keep it off.

    What’s more, you should also assign tasks a start and end date for each action step you’ve created, as well as a timeline for when you’ll complete specific tasks. Adding them to your schedule ensures that you stay focused on these tasks when they need to happen, not letting anything else distract you.

    For example, if you schedule gym time, you won’t plan anything else during that time frame.

    Beware the temptation to double-book yourself—some activities truly can be combined, like a run while talking to a friend, but some can’t. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you can both write and catch up on Netflix simultaneously.

    While you can use a paper calendar or planner, an online calendar may be a better option. You can use it to set deadlines or reminders for when each step needs to be taken, and it can be shared with other people who need to be in the know (like your running buddy or your mentor).

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    7. Stay on Track With Healthy Habits

    Without healthy habits, it’s going to be even more challenging to reach your goal. You could hit the gym five days a week, but if you’re grabbing burgers for lunch every day, you’re undoing all your hard work.

    Let’s say your goal is more career-oriented, like becoming a better public speaker. If you practice your speeches at Toastmasters meetings but avoid situations where you’ll need to be unrehearsed—like networking gatherings or community meetings—you’re not helping yourself.

    You have to think about what will help transform you into the person you want to be, not just what’s easiest or most comfortable.

    8. Check off Items as You Go

    You may think you’ve spent a lot of time creating lists. Not only do they help make your goals a reality, but lists also keep your action plan organized, create urgency, and help track your progress. Because lists provide structure, they reduce anxiety.

    There’s something else special about lists of tasks completed. When you cross off a task in your action plan, your brain releases dopamine[4]. This reward makes you feel good, and you’ll want to repeat this feeling.

    If you crossed out on your calendar the days you went to the gym, you’d want to keep experiencing the satisfaction of each bold “X.” That means more motivation to go the gym consistently.

    9. Review and Reset as Necessary

    Achieving any personal goal is a process. Although it would be great if you could reach a goal overnight, it takes time. Along the way, you may experience setbacks. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, schedule frequent reviews—daily, weekly, or monthly—to see how you’re progressing.

    If you aren’t where you’d hoped to be, you may need to alter your action plan. Rework it so you’re able to reach the goal you’ve set.

    The Bottom Line

    When you want to learn how to set goals and action plans—whether you want to lose weight, learn a new skill, or make more money—you need to create a realistic plan to get you there. It will guide you in establishing realistic steps and time frames to achieve your goal. Best of all, it will keep you on track when you stumble, and we all do.

    More on Goal Action Plans

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

    Reference

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