I get asked a lot about time management and efficiency. And I really think that this is what holds most people back from achieving their big goals. (Along with self limiting beliefs, but that is another post). So many of us feel that there is just not enough time to do all we want to.
But the truth is that everyone has the same 24 hours each day.
So what gives?
In my mind, it’s that the concept of not enough time is a fallacy. It itself is a limiting belief that we put on ourselves.
And honestly, we have all proven this fallacy to be false in our lives.
N.B. I definitely understand and appreciate the privilege that many of us have in being more in control of our time than others experiencing poverty etc. While I believe that these principles apply universally, most of us are certainly better positioned to take advantage of them.
Let me give an example…
Many of you with kids will relate to this. But even if you can’t relate or don’t have kids, I’m sure you’ll be able to think of a time in your life where you experienced something similar…
When Selenid was approaching her due date with our first son, I can remember sitting at our kitchen table in our tiny New York City apartment stressing. We were so busy. Like insanely busy. Like no time for anything else.
And now we were about to have a kid to take care of! How would we do it? We honestly didn’t know. The hours (not to mention dollars) just didn’t add up.
And what happened then?
Selenid gave birth to Samuel. And somehow we did it. We found the hours to continue being productive in our training, to personally care for ourselves, and to be great parents.
Fast forward 18 months and we are sitting at the same kitchen table. Selenid is now pregnant with our second son, Emery.
I mean now we really were convinced there was just not enough time. How the heck were we going to do this? I mean it just didn’t add up.
But, same as before, Emery came into our lives. We found time to do everything we needed to. And it all was ok.
Sure there were challenging times. But there are always challenging moments. That never goes away in life.
What’s the point?
The point is, we found a way to manage our time based on our priorities. And that is the key…based on our priorities.
Kids are a priority that is literally screaming in your face. That’s what makes them such a great example here. You can’t ignore them.
So, you are forced to manage your time in a way that you care for them AND accomplish everything else you need to do.
But it could be anything, not just kids. For you, it could be a significant other, a job, a hobby, a family member, etc.
Suddenly, a new thing that is really important to you in thrown in your life and suddenly, “not enough time” simply isn’t an option. You make time.
And this underscores something really important!
In life, you have time for anything.
But, you don’t have time for everything.
So, you need to prioritize, which is what so many of us fail to do. Too often, we “don’t have enough time” for what is important to us because we are wasting time on what is important to someone else. Or what we think someone else thinks we should be doing.
That’s not the way to live a true and successful life, by any definition.
What can you do to overcome the not enough time fallacy?
Here are some of the things I’ve done and thoughts I’ve had (and continue to do/have):
- Make a priority list of the most important things in your life
- Does your time spent align with these priorities?
- If not, how can you better sync your time and your priorities?
- Before you go to bed each night, plan your next day. What are the most important things to do/accomplish/feel/etc.?
- What are the most important things you want to accomplish in the next week/month/year/5 years?
- And what actions do you need to take to make these goals a reality?
Going through these though experiments are so critically important to living an intentional life.
And one of the best things I do is plan my day ahead the night before. That way, any indecision is removed from the following day. I know what I need to do and then get it done. Then I have lots of time for myself, my family, and my friends.
So take the time (pun!) to align your time with what is important to you. It will make all the difference!
What do you think? Is not enough time a fallacy? How do you manage your time? Does it align with your priorities? Let me know in the comments below.