Almost everyone says this for something or the other, at some time or the other. At a personal level it may be for family, children, parents, friends, one’s own hobbies. On the work front it could be for some additional works, some extra activities, certain meetings, anything that’s a bit extra work or even regular tasks.

Time is undoubtedly a valuable resource. Managing it right helps one be happier and productive.

But when one says he or she does not have time – is that what it really means? Everyone on earth has the same amount of time – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a few years of life. On a day to day basis, is the 24 hours of a day really too short? I have been dealing with this issue for a long time in my life but with recent changes, I’ve come to realize something important.

When one says that he or she does not have time to do something, it simply means, that effort is not on priority. It is less important than others. When one says that he has no time for family, it simply means that work is on higher priority. When one has no time for friends, it means work and family are taking a higher place on the priority list. When one has no time at work to take on an additional job, it means that new challenges are not a priority. When one has no time for office events, it means that maintaining relations with colleagues is not a priority.

So my take is that when one says “I have no time for this”, it simply means that he or she does not care enough and wants to do things which they feel is more important.

Well, it’s fine if you “don’t have time” for something you really don’t want to do. Not all things can or need to be done. But if you are unable to spend time on things you want to do or must do – then there is a real problem.

So, how does one manage time?

Substitute the “I don’t have time” with “This is not important to me”.

If that’s the truth, then you will be at peace. If that’s not the truth, you are likely to realize it when you say it (even if it’s only to yourself) and start changing priorities so as to manage time better.

Setting importance levels is key to time management.

Once you have your priorities clear, set some time aside on a regular basis to do those things. Say, a morning walk or exercise if health is a priority, a monthly family outing if family time is a priority, a fortnightly get-together with friends if socializing is a priority. When you set important things into a regular schedule, you start finding enough time for much more than you could imagine.

So, think over what is important for you. Set your priorities. Schedule time on a regular basis for important things and stick to the schedule.

When you start recognizing important things, managing time would start happen quite naturally over a period of time leading to happiness and success.

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Subhash Iyer

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