“There’s Not Enough Time” is a Lie
Author and time hacker Jill Farmer shares how to function optimally with the limited time we all have.
Time’s fixed. I have come to a way of knowing how I can manage my focus, how I can reprioritize and have the kind of life that I want. I can step off the hamster wheel of craziness, step out of the procrastination zone and putting off everything that really matters. Intentional focus is not something I was going to attain by waiting until I got through a particular phase in life or trying to change an outside circumstance. Neither one of those can deliver if the basis in your head is, “I just don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do.”
I write and talk a lot about how in our culture “busyness” has become a priority on our “worth-o-meter.” “Oh, I’m busy. So therefore I’m worth more.” So to question that or at least provide some awareness is an important step. The “I don’t have enough time” mentality causes us to feel stressed, angered and frustrated. It causes us to make stupid mistakes, be impatient and un-collaborative with people. It causes us to be unable to problem solve, and instead leaves us in “problem stall” mode.
IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY
Entrepreneurs cannot be successful unless they are able to tap into their creative brain. When we operate under the belief that “there’s not enough time,” we lose the value of creative solutions, of bringing something new and different. It is a different perspective. Even if you’re offering the same services or the same things as your competitors, you’re doing it in a way that makes clients or customers want to be connected to you. Creativity is a very important element for any business to succeed. Own that, recognize it, trust it. Then get playful, curious and relaxed about it. Again, trying to force or figure it out from that stressed, forceful place kills creative problem-solving.
WORK / LIFE BALANCE
Those same kind of thought patterns, “I’m not being enough. I need to do more,” have been around for a long time. Now, technology has allowed us to do more from any location any time of day. But all of that access to continually be accomplishing something has sped up the burn out process for people also. We are now forced to get a little more honest earlier in our careers than we would’ve been in the past, realizing, “I can’t keep doing this. I have to create some boundaries around my time and focus. I have to get clear about my priorities.”
I don’t really believe in work-life balance, because I’ve tried for years and all I could envision was me on this tightrope. I kept falling off it. It was one more thing for me to try to get right. I think of it more in terms now of work-life synergy. How does it blend with parts of my life that are important to me? How does it make us whole, healthy and solid human beings?
TIME IS AN ATTITUDE
When coaching time management, I need to first get the foundation of how you are launching actions and making decisions. I could give you every time management tactic in the world, but the foundation has to be good. Your mindset is the foundation. If our mindset is “I don’t have enough time,” or “I’m not good enough,” it’s like training to be the world’s best pole-vaulter, but jumping from a pit of quicksand.
A solid mindset helps us move through big projects that are overwhelming. We have tools to help us get clear on what is ours, and what we need to delegate to other people.
You have to ground yourself in a calm, clear and connected place. The practice of getting there looks different for everyone, but you need to find what works for you. From there you can rationally say, what do I really want to see happening, here? What really are my priorities? Where is my energy best focused here?”
When we stop telling ourselves there’s not enough time and that we are too busy, that’s where the real power is. Practice a mindful approach to achieving your goals and you will likely be able to enjoy your life more also.
Jill’s recommended reading: Martha Beck, Brene Brown, and Charles Duhgig