This is going to be a rant. You’re duly warned.
Four words I hate to hear in a sentence, especially when it’s work related. “I don’t have time for this”, doesn’t mean that you don’t have time. It means you don’t want to do it, or you don’t have the patience for it.
So much work is being pushed aside because someone “doesn’t have time”. If you don’t have time to do your job, or take the dog for a walk, or cook a proper dinner for your kids, then what do you have time for? You’ve caught up on every episode of Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and House of Cards. You’ve seen all the latest films too. But you don’t have time. You know what you don’t have? Priorities.
So many times I’ve seen projects being pushed aside because no one has time to do it; and as a result nothing gets done. This isn’t a time issue. It’s a priority issue. Most of us have to think about hundreds of things a minute. We’re exhausted as a species. But we’re also wasting a lot of time doing things that aren’t progressing us. We’re wasting time watching dozens of television series rather than dedicating an hour to exercise and taking the dog for a walk.
So. 220 words in; what is the solution. A list. A long list for each facet of our lives. Everyone at work wants something done with a due date of “yesterday”. Yesterday is not a deadline. Next week is a more viable option.
Clear your head and write down all the things you have to get done. Take that list and decide how long each task is realistically going to take and put that in your calendar or diary. Do three things a day from that list. For the daily or weekly repetitive stuff, make them repeated events in your calendar. Use your calendar like a day to day time manager.
If you have a task that is running over time, you have to decide if you need to complete it and bump something else, or work on it a little more later on. That’s where the priorities come into play. You have to decide if this must be done today. And if so, then complete it and bump the next task.
Auditing is important here. You need to make sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. For instance, I used to make note of what I was supposed to do in one calendar, and then wrote what I actually did in another. This allowed me to realistically plan other events and tasks because I had a record of what was done. And because it was in my calendar, I was able to look back with ease.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Most of us have eight hours at the office and we’re supposed to get eight hours of sleep, so that leaves eight possible working hours in a day. Factor in your commute to the office, and all the daily routine things you’re supposed to do, even eating, sleeping, and getting dressed for work. Put all of that into a digital calendar. Soon, you’ll have a clear picture of what your day really looks like and where you could or should be spending your time.
So how much time do you really have? And how much of it are you wasting?