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12 Reasons Why You Feel Like There’s Not Enough Time In a Day

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
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Do you feel like you’re overwhelmingly busy? Like there is not enough time in the day, and your schedule is ever growing?

Most people today feel that way and constantly lament the lack of time.

It is not healthy if you barely have time to do simple tasks like cooking a meal or completing your daily to-do list. Let’s explore the reasons why you feel a lack of time and the potential solutions that can help you clear your schedule in a day.

Reasons Why There Is Not Enough Time In The Day

1. Not Rising 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 correlated waking up early with success.[1] Analyze the lives of the most successful men and women, and you will find that almost every one of them starts their day early.

If you don’t rise early in the day, you are most likely to complain that there is not enough time to accomplish everything you want to do.

2. Not Getting Enough Sleep At Night

One prime reason you find yourself constantly occupied with insufficient time to rest is that you do not get adequate sleep at night.


Getting a good night’s sleep is a simple yet brilliant way of improving your time management skills.

Studies have found that people who get an average of seven to eight hours of sleep are more productive, happier, and work at a higher quality than those who get less than seven hours of sleep a night.[2]

Getting plenty of sleep also ensures you’ll be in a much more positive mood in the morning, increasing your chances of getting more work done.

Making the most of your 24 hours might not seem conducive to getting a full eight hours, but many famous prolific achievers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Thomas Mann all had full and healthy sleep.

This suggests that time management is best conquered by having an adequate night’s sleep.

3. Multitasking 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 found that people who multitask are less productive and waste more time switching between tasks than if they had been stuck with one task until they finished.[3]

Moreover, multitasking damages the brain.[4] The human brain is not capable of focusing on multiple tasks at once.


If you still think you can multitask, here’s why you should think about it again.

4. Not Tracking or Budgeting Your Time

A litany of productivity experts agrees that tracking and budgeting your time is vital to taking control of your day.[5].

Record all your appointments, deadlines, and everything in-between. Analyze the time you spend on each activity and what you think is the best amount for each.

You will discover 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.

5. Not Being 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 boost your productivity and can create time for the things and people that matter in your life.


Spend a little time planning your day and keeping things neat. This way, you will know exactly what items you have and where they are located, saving you much time, money, and stress.

6. Not Prioritizing

Most people who complain about not having enough time in the day have a prioritization problem. They don’t rank tasks in order of importance or decide 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 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.

To prioritize your everyday demands better, check out this free guide, How To Create More Time Out Of a Busy Schedule. In this guide, you’ll learn how to prioritize your tasks based on their values and what you can do to reallocate your time and end busyness immediately.


7. Being 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.”[6]

The study shows we have way more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available 24/7 than ever before. It is not surprising, then, that many people are easily distracted from their core goals and lament 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 work.

8. Not Having 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.


People who don’t have a routine they follow every day are susceptible to distractions and likely to miss deadlines and tasks that need to be done.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates and HuffPost’s Arianna Huffington have a daily ritual every night before bed; they “unplug” and read a book.

9. Being 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 – and their realization that they were not at top speed when they concentrated solely on speed.

Rather, they achieved their best times by emphasizing functioning smoothly as a group. The same case applies to time management and productivity.

People who are too concerned with working fast or acting rashly instead of “smoothly” end up not as productive or fast as they can be.

You should focus more on functioning “smoothly” rather than functioning 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.


10. Not Reviewing Your Schedules Regularly

If you don’t review your schedules, plans, and habits, you are prone to waste your time and energy on things that are no longer helpful to your cause.

Ultimately, it will constantly leave you wondering, “I don’t feel like I have time for this!”

This is especially true when your priorities change – as they inevitably will with time – but you keep doing the same things you’ve always done, expecting different results.

Check with yourself weekly, monthly, or even years 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 waste your time and clog your day.

11. Being Negative And Having Bad Attitudes

People who say they don’t have time or are too busy to read, work out, travel, etc., won’t have time to do those things.

However, people who speak positively stay organized and can 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 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 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!


12. Not Saying ‘No’

One of the most important yet terrifying things you can ever do is say ‘no’ – no to a project, no to a commitment, or no to someone’s request.

Your inability to say ‘no’ to others end up taking any of the spare time that you could have left with to relax.

Burnout is a significant and terrifying psychological problem where people become so overwrought with stress that they end up hating their work. You may even experience physical symptoms such as physical exhaustion.

Just say no.

Finding time for yourself and relaxing in your spare time should be your top priority. Prioritize yourself and your well-being over others.

Final Thoughts

Given our busy routines, we often feel like there is not enough time in the day to relax or finish the impending tasks.

To add balance to your daily routines and at the same time find spare time for yourself to relax is important.


Having a consistent routine, prioritizing your tasks as well as keeping a check and balance on yourself can help you eliminate the sense of “I don’t feel like I have time for this!” and restore balance in your life.


Don't have time for the full article? Read this.

12 Reasons Why You Feel Like There’s Not Enough Time In a Day

Get Enough Rest: Ensure you are rested enough before starting your day. If you are not well rested, you will constantly feel on edge, and nothing will get on time.

Prioritize Your Task: Before you get started with the day, make a list of tasks that you need to finish on priority on that very day. Do not waste time sorting unimportant things.

Stay Focused: Losing your focus can ultimately lead to stress and anxiety. Keep your focus on the task you need to sort in a day. Finish them on priority.

Pace Yourself: You do not have to do everything all at once. Make sure to pace yourself and balance your work-personal life. Have enough time to rest. Do not overdo yourself.

Learn to Say ‘No’: Small favors or substituting yourself for someone else’s work can take much of your free time. Learn to say ‘no’ when necessary and focus on your well-being.

Featured photo credit: Moritz Kindler via unsplash.com


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