Do you always feel like you are trying to play “catch up” in your daily life? The trouble is that you think you have time when you truly don’t.
Often times, people get caught up in their busy lives. It can be hard to get everything done that you have on your schedule.
With technology, careers, hobbies, social gatherings, and errands, it can be hard to organize your days.
There are things that you can do to manage your time and get the important things on your list done.
Jack Kornfield, the author of “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book,” wrote, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” This quote couldn’t be more true.
Improving How You Spend Your Free Time
If you are looking to improve how you spend your time, you’ll want to start by making a list then prioritizing your list.
After that, you will need to limit or eliminate the unneeded time-waster activities in your life. Keep reading to find out the best way to master each of these steps.
Make A List
One of the best tools that you can use for yourself if you are trying to get many things done is to make a list.
Making a list gives you a good visual representation of the tasks that you need to complete. The way you make your list is up to you. You can have a digital list, use paper and pen, or utilize a planner.
Once you have a list of all of the tasks that you need to complete, you can add them to your calendar.
Again, this can be digital or something you write on paper. It doesn’t matter which method you choose so long as your choice works for you.
Don’t be scared to change the way you make your lists, either. If you find that one method doesn’t work for you, try another.
Some people enjoy color coding their lists, while others don’t need the additional visual. Try not to compare your method to someone else’s. What’s good for others may not be good for you.
When making your list be sure that you know what is on it. You don’t want to revisit a list that you can’t decipher what it was that you were trying to remember or list off.
If something on your list has a due date, make a note of that, too. This will help you to know which tasks are the most important.
Since you know which tasks are the most important, you will spend less time trying to think of where you should start.
Read your list, make good decisions on what you think you should do with your time, and complete the task. People who write lists would be more organized and be able to manage their time.
One of the greatest feelings when making and following a list is being able to check things off.
Be sure to clear your list of things that you have already completed so that you’re not trying to complete the same task twice. This will also give you room to add to your list.
Your list might not ever really end. It is an ongoing tool to help make your life easier. You’ll be adding things to your list as well as taking things off when you’ve completed them.
You may need to start your paper list from scratch when it is full of completed tasks.
One thing that you have to remember when you think you have time, but you really don’t is to prioritize.
There are many ways that you could prioritize your list and your life. You may put the most important things at the top of your list, or you may like to make your list and then number your tasks.
One method of prioritizing is to use the Eisenhower method, which is also known as the Eisenhower Matrix.
This method is a way to organize and prioritize tasks to make your life easier. In order to complete an Eisenhower Matrix, you will need to know which section your task falls in.
Imagine a square that has been divided into four parts. Across the top of the square, you will have immediate or not immediate sections.
On the left side, you will have things that need to get done immediately. On the right side, you will have tasks that are not needed to be completed immediately.
Along the side of the square, you will have sections for critical and non-critical tasks. The top left square is for immediate and critical tasks. The Top right square is for the critical tasks that are not immediate.
The bottom left square is for immediate, but not critical tasks. The bottom right square is for tasks that aren’t critical or immediate.
By sorting the items on your list, you will be able to see which items would need your full attention.
These items are not only important, but they are also critical. You will also be able to see which items you can put off until the really important tasks are complete.
Take the time when you’re making your list to really weigh out which task should go in which square. You may get into trouble if you categorize incorrectly and miss completing a task.
With the Eisenhower Matrix, you will be better equipped to manage your time.
If you are not interested in using the Eisenhower Matrix, a daily schedule may be more fitting for you.
By using a daily schedule, you will be able to see how much time you have for each of your tasks. One way to do this is by block scheduling your time.
Going back to the quote from “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book,” you may find that you think you have time.
However, in reality, your task may take longer than expected. If you find that you do not have enough time in your day to get everything done, even after you prioritize, you should look into your time wasters.
Limit or Eliminate Time Wasters
How often do you fall into the trap of being sucked into your phone? Or watching useless cat videos? Or playing “just one more” video game? Chances are that it happens more often that you would like to give credit for.
Often times in our life, we are putting off the things that we should be doing while enjoying time wasters instead.
Do your best to complete the tasks off of your list before giving into any time wasters. You’ll be surprised by how much more you get done when you eliminate the trouble activities like time wasters.
This is not to say that you should never enjoy a video game, read a book, or take some time to yourself.
You just have to be able to complete the most important things off of your list prior to slacking off or taking a brain break.
A great way to get into this habit is to start your day by completing the first three of your most important tasks, one by one.
After you have completed three of your most important tasks, take a small break. This will give your brain time to energize and get back to completing your list.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Who Said, “The Trouble Is, You Think You Have Time?”
Many people often mistakenly believe that this quote was made by Buddha, when, in fact, it was not. The quote does appear in a book about Buddha and Buddha’s lifestyle and simple instructions.
Even though this quote was not said by Buddha, it does reflect much of his teachings about life. People who read “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book” have been able to create a life with fewer distractions and more mindfulness.
How Can I Manage My Time Better?
There are several things that you can do to make managing your time easier. Many people are living such fast-paced lives that they simply do not have the time that they think they have.
Start off by making a list and then prioritize the items on your list. After that, reduce or eliminate things around you that waste your time.
When you feel that you are overwhelmed by all of the things that you have to do, take a minute to think. Think about the quote, “the trouble is, you think you have time.”
Remember that we do not have all the time in the world. Even though we are living in such a fast-paced world.
One really good way to manage your time and incorporate your list is to create a block schedule. This type of schedule has the hours of the day on one side.
You then fill in the tasks and block out the time you think it will take for you to complete the task.
People like this type of schedule because they can see where their time is going. This scheduling also allows you to see where you might have a block of open time.
The biggest problem with this system is that you may not be able to accurately predict how much time each task takes.
How Do I Prioritize?
Once you have your list of tasks that you need to complete, you can begin to prioritize. There are several different ways that you can do this.
One way is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This allows you to identify which of your tasks are important and/or critical.
It will also help you to determine which tasks are less important or are not critical. If you like this method, there are apps that you can download, too.
Users of the pen and paper method like to list their tasks in order of most important to least important. Other users of the pen and paper method like to write their tasks in any order, then go back and number their tasks.
After you’ve decided which items on your list are most important, you can begin to schedule how to complete the tasks.
Start your day by completing the top two or three items on your list. You might be surprised by how accomplished you feel.
What Are Time Wasters That I Should Reduce Or Eliminate?
Time wasters are often activities that take away from the time that we have to truly get our tasks done.
Much of our time wasters today are activities that we like to do, even though they may not be good for our schedules. Life is much too short to waste on unimportant tasks or activities.
Think about how much time you have spent on your phone today, this week even.
Do you use an app that monitors your screen time? Many people would be surprised at how much time they waste on their phones.
You might not think about it, but a few minutes on Facebook here, and another few minutes playing games there really adds up.
You may be wasting several hours each day when there are better things you could be doing with your life.
Here the trouble is you think you have time when really much of your time is being wasted and would be put to good use elsewhere.
Don’t waste your life away by living with an excessive amount of time wasters – life is too precious.
Time wasters that you could reduce or eliminate include:
- Spending lots of time on social media
- Watching unimportant video clips
- Surfing the internet with no real goal
- Playing games when you should be working
- Complaining about what you cannot change
- Watching too much television
Activities that do take up your time, but are not considered time wasters include:
- Socialization with friends and family members
- Hobbies that you enjoy doing
- A proper self-care routine
- Continuing education classes
- Exercise and meal planning for proper nutrition