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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 March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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