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3 Reasons You Are Lying To Yourself When You Say ‘I Don’t Have Enough Time’

3 Reasons You Are Lying To Yourself When You Say ‘I Don’t Have Enough Time’

“I don’t have enough time” is clearly the greatest lie a human can utter in his or her lifetime. I can preach all day on how everyone has 24 hours, and it all boils down to how you use it — but you’ll probably ignore my advice. It’s okay. After you read this article, you’ll know why you are actually lying when you say that you don’t have enough time, because I’m going to lay out three reasons to prove it.

You don’t track time

Tracking time is probably the greatest thing you can start today that will help you improve yourself. How you use your time relates closely to how you fuel your self-growth. Those who track their time are those who have a good grasp on what they are capable of doing every day so, it’s easier for them to optimize their actions. There are many techniques and applications you can use to track time, but my two favorites are the time-blocking technique and Rescue Time.

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Not enough time? Track your time and you can see what kind of activities are sucking your hours away. Act on that, and you’ll have even more time in your life.

You are wasting time on non-beneficial things

Every few days, Twitter and Facebook soak up a billion hours of ‘spare’ time. Where did that time come from? What did we do before social media was here? Weren’t we busy five years ago? – Seth Godin

The quote above captures eloquently the reason you claim that don’t have enough time. Time won’t tell you if what you are doing is beneficial or not. It’s up to you to be aware of it. But sometimes, we’re aware that we are filling our time with meaningless activities. An example would be mindlessly using social media and watching TV. Don’t get me wrong: Social media and TV can be good catalysts of change, provided the content is good. But I believe you know that’s often not the case nowadays.

Let’s take the example of using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Do you think that you’ll get any benefit if you fill your time reading pointless status updates? Wouldn’t it be great if you used the time to do something more beneficial — such as reading a book or watching TED Talks — and posting about what you’ve discovered? By doing that, you are improving yourself and using social media wisely.

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To avoid wasting time on non-beneficial activities, you’ll need to act with purpose, and create something out of your consumption. You’ve seen how you can tackle the first 2 points, and now you’ll learn how to create something out of your consumption. Consumption is simply the taking in of information, and creation is the act of doing something as a result of it.

You don’t set priorities

Seth Godin, a brilliant author, said that those who claim “I didn’t have time” are actually saying “It wasn’t important enough.” Think about it. If you really inspect how you manage your time, it’s all a matter of priorities. There are two problems with most of us in terms of setting priorities: we either have little or too much priorities. Rarely do I meet people who have focused priorities.

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So, here are action plans for the issues on priorities:

Find one thing you think is the most important for you to pursue in life. Don’t find two, three, or more than that. For at least a month, focus only on achieving that one.

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Conclusion

If you read to this point, you should now know why you are lying if say that you don’t have enough time. Now, reflect on how you use your time. Track it, optimize it, and make sure to focus on one thing at a time.

Featured photo credit: TIME by Fabiola Medeiros via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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