5 ways to find more time.

Prayer is the languagephoto © 2009 Leland Francisco | more info (via: Wylio)

A lot of people say that they don’t find enough time for everything that they have to do. They either find themselves too busy to do everything, or they are just too overwhelmed with work to decide where to begin and how to manage all the tasks.

Here are five, very simple steps you can take to instantly feel more in control of the situation :

1. Stop saying, I don’t have time. Accept that its a time management issue. Saying that you don’t have time puts the solution further out of your reach. If you look at it objectively, everyone has the same 24 hours. Look around, or look at the lives of great people, you will find a lot of them who have managed to do way more than what you are doing, within the same, 24-hours-a-day constraint.

Tell yourself that “I am going to get all my tasks under control by learning to better manage and organize my work”. With this statement, you would have shifted your focus from helplessness to a sense of direction and hope. You have also stopped telling your sub conscious that the situation is outside your control, you are telling it that you are totally in control and intend to fix it.

2. Get everything out of your head. Create lists. Keeping everything in your head is a bad idea. You are always stressed because you have to remember all your incomplete tasks. You mind keeps bringing them up as flashes all throughout the day. You go through the day, half awake, with a part of your mind constantly processing the list of incompletes.

Thinking the same thoughts again and again is a waste of time. Do yourself a favor, create lists where your mind knows they are stored safely and will be dealt with at the right time.

3. Create as few lists as possible. There might be multiple lists that you might have to create for different things. Try to keep their number to a minimum. The fewer they are, the easier it is to manage them.

4. Do the most important task first. Put your attention to the thing that is bothering you the most. Important tasks have a tendency to seem the most difficult. Once you are done with them, other, smaller tasks seem like child play!

5. Empty lists regularly. If your lists are not emptied regularly, they will soon become unmanageable. When you start maintaining lists, have complete faith in them, put everything there and devote yourself to regularly pick and finish items out of them. Its easier than it seems. You will love the mental space you create through this step. Your mind would be free to tackle tasks instead of having to think about them.

A lot of people say that they don’t have time because they want to avoid doing the things they are uncomfortable with. Accepting that you are uncomfortable takes away half the problem. You have just turned around to face your fear and accept its challenge with humility. Once you face it, you will be surprised to find it was not as threatening as it seemed, it was all in your mind. Facing a fear and working on it brings a new ‘life’ to life. The new found confidence and enthusiasm for life you will wear, will be the single biggest positive result of following all these steps.

Keep in mind that ‘your don’t need to have more time in your life, you need to make the best of what you already have’.

6 Comments

  • Jyoti
    November 8, 2010 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    It proved to be a very relevant article for me which helped me relax, sit down and frame a “Things to Do” list for tomorrow. I have always faced an issue of managing effectively my time. But your articles are quite interesting to read and it refreshes ideas which either we forgot or though ironically, were too busy to pay attention to. But your articles bring clarity in thoughts which is helping me a lot. Hope to find more articles on time management.

    • Rahul
      November 8, 2010 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

      To-do lists are a great way of keeping your mind free for finding and implementing solutions. Do note that the real work is not creating them, but maintaining them regularly. This would mean to daily revise it and to keep on emptying it. This is usually a small task and can take as little as 5 mins on most days, if you bring it into routine.
      I hope you find more clarity and productivity with these.

  • M
    November 8, 2010 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    Nice article! Just when I was patting myself for #2, #3 broke it. I need a list for my lists :)

    Thought provoking – everyone has the same 24 hrs, its what we do with it elevates or stagnates us.

    • Rahul
      November 8, 2010 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mano,
      Its good that you already use lists. You are in a minority that actually takes some action towards greater productivity.
      List management requires regular reviews itself. As we use them more, we get a better sense of which ones are redundant and which ones can be merged together. Also, as our priorities change, there will be changes in the number and content of our lists.

  • Lakhwinder
    November 8, 2010 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey Rahul,

    Looks like that you are Software Engineer and having good hand on Lists :).
    By the way I gone through this article, it impressed me. I would like to go for it. Let you know the results soon…..

    • Rahul
      November 9, 2010 - 12:58 am | Permalink

      Hi Lakhwinder,
      You got it right, Software Engineer I was, before I turned to the pursuit of things closer to my heart :)
      I am glad you like it and look forward to your results.

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