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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’
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“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 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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