The emphasis of time is becoming more valuable than it used to be because everything is trying to take the time that we have on an everyday basis. Even though the world may make it seem like making everything convenient is saving us the time it somehow actually takes more time away from us. Just think about how fast food, self-check out, grocery delivery, meal delivery, traffic and more are meant to be quick but yet take more time. They take more time when we have to wait, have long lines, go through ordering online, and random mishaps happening. Sometimes these things can steal a lot of our time because something that was originally taking a few minutes ends up taking close to an hour or even hours to complete. These small convenient items are not the only time takers.
Other time takers can be the very task that we have to do in order to survive such as working. Did you know that according to the article, written byCNN, of course, the average American spends 34.4 hours a week working? That doesn’t account for the people working full time, or the doctors, managers and etc who work more than 50 hours a week. Working although we have to in order to provide seems to be one of our largest time consumers, of course, s also only a small portion of what takes our time. If we also add in family, friends, entertainment, and sleep, we end up anxiously asking ourselves where has all the time gone. We end up realizing that we have either made proper use with our time or have managed to waste a lot of time.
However, sometimes we don’t really realize exactly how much time is being wasted because we are in each individual moment. According to the ABCNews in an article, last year states that 6.9 billion hours was spent on traffic alone. So with all these time takers that are noticeable and unnoticeable, we must figure out a way to balance out our priorities.
The struggle comes in figuring out these priorities that we must do first, while also maintaining a balance of life. If you have a lot on your plate right now the struggle to find time can become stressful if you allow it. But remembering that creating stress for yourself over your time, can actually cause you to not be as successful because your mind is clouded. Also, remembering to not try to multi-task with so many things to do at once.
Often times we think by piling on the load of everything that we need to get done that it will somehow make it get done faster. However trying to do so much at once actually causes us to be, less efficient at it. We are less efficient because we are not applying as much energy to the one task, and instead are spreading ourselves thin to many different tasks which ends up causing them to have the possibility of not being as great. The task can lack in being great because we are not applying all of our focus and energy to make that one thing be phenomenal. We end up giving 20 % here 40% there and then wonder why the things in our lives aren’t going so smoothly.
Lately, the saying less is more, has been coming up frequently. Sometimes for overachievers, dreamers, workers, parents, and really just any individual, we tend to have the mindset of if we are not doing a lot then we are not accomplishing. This mindset is not accurate and causes us to be in a rat race of life. We end up somehow neglecting our true priorities and waste time on things that are in no way growing our life.
The struggle exists in balancing. The time is possible, we just have to first realize where and how we are wasting time. So, the first suggestion is to write down where you are spending time at. Think about all the little stops that you make, such as gas station stops. Think about what a normal day consist of for you. Then you should time yourself on exactly how much each one of that task is taking.
Once you figure out where you’re wasting time and how much time you are wasting, then you need to figure out what could be cut out or what changes you can make to cut back if you can’t completely remove something. For instance, if you can cut out that gas station trip by preparing something at home then do it. You can’t cut out going to work, but maybe you can cut back on the time that it takes you to get to work.
Figuring out what you don’t need to do anymore or what you can cut back on, will then open the door to making the appropriate time for the things that you do need to do. Remembering that although work is important, making sure that you have time for yourself, the ones you love, and to just relax will help you to function everything else.
This, of course, is always easier said than done, and sometimes you literally have to make the time when there seems to be no time. You have to get in the habit of practicing making and managing time. Through practicing you will then begin to make more of a conscious effort that will eventually get in tuned subconsciously so that you are not having to practice it anymore because it will just come naturally. The practice of changing, and learning something new will, of course, require you to act on something new. Example being with time, in some occurrences it may require for you to stay up later to get that extra work done or rise earlier to get more accomplished before the start of the day. It may require you to say no to doing the task for someone else that you truly don’t have time for.
We must see the importance in the most important things in life so that we can begin to just naturally put those things first. The 30 minutes to hours you may waste online could be an extra 30 minute to hours doing something with your family, or doing something to actually benefit your time and life.
The time is there we just first have to begin to utilize the time correctly in order to actually see the benefits of time in our lives.
If you are struggling to balance the time I challenge you to first pinpoint where your time is actually being wasted and recognize how much time is being wasted. Then after that develop a plan to overcome the time takers hindering you from accomplishing the task that you want to do in your life. Also, what may help is thinking about what it is that you actually wish to accomplish in each day. If you have a plan for what you want to accomplish that will, in turn, help you to direct your time in that day. Check out this article I did on 6 Ways To Stay Organized With Your Time for additional reading.
Balancing is hard but it is possible. Start with one task at a time. Time is real too valuable to waste, so be cautious as well as wise to what you are investing your time into.
1. Eliminate Distractions
Let’s face the fact that in today’s society we are susceptible to distractions everywhere we turn. From the easy access to the world on our phones and computers to all the goods and services that surround us. It is much easier now to get distracted quicker than it was years ago. It is also much easier to want to give into those distractions than it is for us to want to conquer the massive workload that we may have. However, the truth is the more that we give into those distractions the more we make it harder for ourselves to stay on task with our work.
2.Schedule As Much As You Can
If you already know ahead of time any appointments or plan that you may have for the day or week get a planner and schedule them out. If you schedule as much as you know then you can have a better outlook on where your time is going to be spent. This will also help you to know what you do or don’t have time for. If you have to even schedule in time for yourself or your family do so. I know that it sounds pretty crazy to have to schedule in stuff like that but when you are extremely busy with business, you could overlook these important priorities if you are so caught up in working. Set a time, keep the time, and let nothing stop that time.
3.Say No If You Have To
We somehow have this weird tendency of thinking that we shouldn’t say no. We think somehow by saying no we are being mean or missing something. Sometimes we may even just be afraid to say no because we are unsure of what’s to come after the no. But, we have to realize that sometimes saying no is one of the powers that we actually get to do. If we don’t say no to some tasks that are asked of us, we may end up spending all our time on other things and people and no time on what we actually need to do. If you have to say no a few times to those extra hours, or helping out, or anything else, it’s okay. You weren’t born to be a yes man. If you can do it that’s great but if you can’t don’t feel bad for saying no from time to time after all has anyone ever been afraid to tell you no?
4. Get Rid Of Time Wasters
What are you wasting your time one? Is it social media? Is it running to the store when you really don’t need to? Is it countlessly checking your text and emails? You must get rid of the things that are continously taking your time away without you even noticing. We may say we are going to only spend a certain amount of time on it but before you know it collectively we have spent multiple hours on this. So, set a time in the evening after everything is accomplished to do this, but don’t do this until you have actually succeed in working towards your goals.
5. Get Rest and Rejuvante
Take the time to rejuvante your spirit and get filled back up in order to be able to pour out to the daily task and people that need your time and attention. Getting an adequate amount of rest will be the thing to help you to also feel rejuvanted as well.
7. Don’t Work After Hours
When work is done, then it is done. There will be times that you may have to work harder after hours but you don’t want to do it so much that you don’t have time for yourself or your family. You don’t want to work so much that it makes you become bitter.
8. Do The Most Time Consuming Task First
This is something that many articles have various points of views on. Some people say to do the time consuming task last but typically the time consuming ones are normally the ones we don’t want to do in the first place. The longer that we put it off, the less likely that we are to actually accomplish it. Take the time to go head and do the task that are going to take the longest first and then the things that will take less time will end up being easier for you to do because you have already accomplished the most time consuming ones.
You can balance time, because really time is all we have. We must learn how to make the most of it.
Additional Resources :
10 Keys To Work/Life Balance-lifehack.org
12 Ways To Improve Work/Life Balance-forbes.com
What are some other tools you use to help balance your time?