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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 October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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