Not enough hours in the day? Here are 10 reasons why you seem to have no time.
So many of us struggle to find the time in the day to do all the things we’d like to do. Got to work, do the housework, look after the kids, and all the other myriad of things that face us in life. And don’t get us started on the week – the people we need to catch up with, our extracurricular involvements, our volunteering and projects, and somewhere in the midst, you have to try to find some downtime to invest in your hobbies.
There are so many things in our lives we just feel like we have no time to do.
Increasingly we find ourselves telling people just that. We can’t see them because we have no time. We can’t do that study because we have no time. We can’t keep up with family because we have no time. Always busy but feeling like we don’t have much to show for it.
But I think there’s more to it than that. And I think there are some things that exacerbate our feeling of not having enough hours in our lives.
Here are 10 reasons why you ain’t got no time for that.
One thing that can straight up mess with how you spend your time is stress. When you’re too stressed, every day feels like a chore, and even the most mundane of tasks requires you to expend a large amount of energy.
I’m always surprised when I hear of university students who have 12-15 contact hours in a week who work about the same amount of hours who feel super busy. Or sometimes who find the full time work week a robber of all extracurricular time. 40 hours out of 168 is less than a quarter of the week, so all the rest of that time is going somewhere. And half of it will be just trying to stay afloat when you’re feeling stressed out.
Take some time to de-stress. Get a massage, go for a run, do something fun. Bottling it up can ironically make you a time waster.
#2: Recognize you control your time
You are the one who owns your time. And you are the one who dictates how it’s spent.
You may say that you don’t control how you spend your time, your boss does. But guess who consented to that? Guess who signed the dotted line? Guess who wakes up every day and submits themselves to spending time a certain way?
Or maybe you think it’s your circumstances. Not on their own they don’t. You can’t control what happens in life, but you can (and do) control your response.
Things in your life don’t just happen on their own. They happen by your attention or lack thereof to where you have allocated your hours.
#3: No routine or schedule
If you have a completely different schedule week to week, it’s going to be much harder to actually be sure of how much time you really have. If everything is always completely ad hoc, the feeling of having a messy week is enough to throw you off.
This is much harder if you’re a shift worker, but I know plenty of shift workers who still ensure they allocate percentages of their week to their priorities, even if the day or the time of day they do them changes week to week.
What are the priorities in your life? Have you actually sat down and drawn up what a week looks like to you?
#4: You’re a people pleaser/Yes Man
If you don’t know how to say no, you’re probably going to say yes to everything. If you’re saying yes to everything, you’ll end up saying no to things you perhaps haven’t really thought about.
A lot of us are afraid to let anybody down. And so, we continually take on tasks and extra work and this thing and that thing til there’s no room left.
Ain’t nobody got time to say yes to everyone.
One of the pastors at my church regularly suggests to people to “Grow your no so you can bless your yes”. Great advice. Work out the things you should be saying yes to, and spend less time (or no time) doing the things you shouldn’t.
On that note…
#5: You don’t know what you should say yes to and you don’t know who you are
You really need to know what you should be saying yes to in your life. This is probably the root issue of the last problem.
Who are you? What are you called to do in life? What are the things you want to see happen?
If you don’t know, you’re going to feel like you’re either not doing enough, or that the things you are doing aren’t fulfilling.
Like a rat on a wheel trying to find meaning from the set of tasks you just happen to have fallen into.
Why not apply some intentionality and some thought to your life, find out who you are, and focus entirely on being that person every day?
#6: You don’t rest
Here’s a simple one. If you’re expending more energy than you are recovering, you’re running at a deficit. Something is eventually going to give out, whether it be your body, mind, spirit, relationships, family, or something else that’s really important.
Resting is more than sleep. You can sleep 80 hours in a week and still feel tired.
Where do you find true rest? Is it in reading, gaming, writing, spending time with friends, extreme sports, church, prayer, or even just staring out at a nice view? Schedule your rest into your week, and when you do it, make sure your rest time is doing the things that truly relax you and put back into you.
#7: You’re not effective with your time
So you have a schedule. So you have your routine. So you’ve worked out your priorities.
But if you sit there staring at the task you’re supposed to do while you’re supposed to be doing it, you’re not making effective use of your time.
When you say you spent 60 hours doing something, are you able to say that you really spent 60 hours doing that? Or did you allocate 60 hours to thinking about doing it? Or watching YouTube? And then you felt busy because you “spent” your time on it, but you’re still no closer to completing the task?
When you’re at work, be at work. When you’re at home, be at home. When you’re on a break, be on a break. Give 100% to your work, rest and play. Be present wherever you are.
#8: Doing too much
Another simple one. If you’ve taken on too much, then you probably don’t have time for anything else.
Unfortunately, the things that usually suffer when we take this approach are our health and our relationships. It also keeps us closed to the right opportunities to grow in our lives, because we have no buffer to breathe or to re-evaluate our lives.
I think it’s important that we’re constantly revisiting how we spend our time and rebalancing and reprioritizing our lives as new components come up. Part of that may be considering what you need to cut back on if you’re burning the candle at both ends.
#9: You don’t think the right things are worth it
Sometimes we’ll pull the “I ain’t got no time for that” line on things that we don’t think our worth our time. Unfortunately we sometimes say this about things that may actually be of great benefit or significance to our life.
I think this is where having good support networks and close friends really helps. I have seen so many professionals in my industry pouring hours and hours into their career, to be saved by the right advice convincing them that their family and holiday time is so important to invest in too. I have known so many friends who have said they’ve had no time to build a worthwhile relationship with the opposite sex because they didn’t think it was worth their time, but on the support and advice of the right friends, they found it actually growing their life once they made some room. I have seen so many people isolated in loneliness, but thanks to the persistence of people around them, they have seen the importance of building and deepening friendships – something they hadn’t thought was very important before,
What is it that makes you decide whether or not something is the right use of your time?
#10: Having no purpose
Man, you could have the most perfect schedule, the ideal work-life balance, the largest amount of interaction with others and helping people and all the rest of it.
But if you don’t know why you’re alive, if you have no sense of purpose, all your work is going to feel in vain.
How much money do you have to earn to have made it in life? What position do you have to hold? What do you have to be doing to be significant? How do you know if what you’re doing in life really matters at all?
To have no sense of purpose in life is an awful way to live. Of course every day feels like a waste of time when you don’t even know why you’re breathing.
We were made to live for so much more. Do you know why you’re here? Why you were born in the country you were born in? Why you were born in this time period?
We were meant for this moment now. Find out why.
What are some other reasons we feel like we have no time in our lives? Share your thoughts.
PS. Finally added an All Posts link up top so you can catch up on topics that interest you in one convenient spot, and of course as always you can check more of the specific categories on the sidebar. Go check out some of the interesting posts you may have missed!