I’d put money down on the notion that you hear it daily; whether it’s at the office with your team, at home with family, or maybe you even say it. It’s a common misconception of our valuable, precious time with task management.
Of course, I’m referring to the popular excuse: “I would absolutely do that for you, though I DON’T have the time for it.” The sentence and its context are fairly interchangeable, but the part containing the excuse (simply not having time for things) is where the problem lies, and could be easily avoided. Let me explain.
You’re absolutely right. You’re a very busy person that has many moving parts that require constant management – at home, at work, you name it. You clearly don’t have the time for something that may not seem to be much of a priority right now, when you compare it to everything else you have going on. Therefore, you must MAKE time in order to get those things done.
I say this because saying you simply “don’t have the time” is a psychological loop that we often make ourselves jump through to keep our sanity and not completely overload ourselves with empty promises that demand to be filled. It’s a part of an excuse that falls back to 1. Quickly assessing, in your mind, what all is currently on your plate to do, hastily attempting to find time, or in this symbolic case finding “space on the plate”, and delivering the all-so-common apathetic response. It’s a very quick game you play in your mind that’s almost instinctual.
So, what can we do to overcome it?
- If you have that calendar, event planner, or task management tool (hopefully a very handy and modern digital application) that’s neglected, pick that habit back up. Why, you ask? You’re going to start MAKING the time for those tasks, projects, family events, and anything that’s outstanding that you often think is important and will eventually make the time for.
- Start by listing out the outstanding tasks in a master To-Do List (and add to it constantly and on a consistent basis). Schedule your daily tasks that must be done ASAP on any given day, and start planning out those To-Do’s. Whether it’s just spending 15-30 minutes every Friday at the same time grinding away at one thing, or making a personal meeting for an hour this Monday to knock something out and calling it done, it’s all possible if you spend the extra couple of minutes creating your own personal game plan. In addition, it helps to relieve stress when you take a minute to plan out the day ahead of time, rather than jumping right in and winging it.
- Always remember to delegate those “just popped up” tasks to someone you trust, so you can stay on schedule. Note that they, in turn, can more than likely make room in their own schedule to get that done for you.
- Take another extra minute before the end of every day recapping what was accomplished and what should be prioritized and rolled over to the next. It’s all too easy to start every day with the lingering tasks from the day before weighing over you. Instead of getting stressed out, turn that hectic schedule into the productive day you were hoping for.
So remember: MAKE the time to get things done. Plan your productive week ahead of time, and it’ll reward you with less stress and more tasks crossed off that ever-growing To-Do List.