“I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME”

Stress - business woman running late

Harry Chapin wrote a song called, “Cats In The Cradle” in 1974. It described a father and son’s relationship  from birth to old age. The song revealed a precious void in their loving relationship called

TIME.

The one recurring theme across all socioeconomic groups, genders, races, and religions is the lack of time. This excuse is the most prevalent one used to explain why people are in the situations they find themselves. In reality, if the day was extended by 12 hours, people would continue to complain about their limited time.

If there’s one common denominator EQUALLY shared in life, it’s the 24 hour day. Do we ever really consider this fact and determine how to use it WISELY to improve the quality of our lives?

publication1-cropped-500

.

Approximately eight of those hours should be committed to restful sleep. Approximately eight of those hours are committed to work. This provides most of us approximately eight hours (during the work week) to plan our day.

What Priorities Must We Commit To In These Eight Hours:

  1. Daily Meal Preparation and Eating (2 hours)

  2. Prayer/Meditation/Stretching (one or more each day) (15-30 minutes)

  3. Family Time (excluding meals) (1 hour)

  4. Exercise (30 minutes)

  5. Travel Time Work (1 hour)

  6. Evening “down time” (30 minutes)

  7. Computer/Reading/Television time (30 minutes)

  8. Miscellaneous (ex. food shopping, pay bills, etc….) AND Your CHOICE (≈2 hours)

On the weekend our typical 8 hour work day can be substituted for activities including:

  1. Social events

  2. House chores

***I know some people work on the weekends.***

For those reading this post and INITIALLY THINKING TO YOURSELF, “I need more time because I handle more responsibilities,”

STOP!

With only 24 hours in a day, we must learn to PRIORITIZE within this time frame. If you don’t follow this advice, it is just a matter of time before you become OVERWHELMED and implode. Take a moment to think to yourself whether the path you’re following is helping you achieve your GOALS in life (within a reasonable limit of stress), or simply helping you SURVIVE LIFE?

.

HOW DO MOST PEOPLE HANDLE THEIR TIME?

They live day to day without a plan of action. Rather than re-allocating additional work assignments and other responsibilities, they add on tasks without considering the time frame required. This results in more work than is possibly achievable within a given time frame available. For the average person, this approach to life carries over to their financial side where people begin to have more expenses than available income. Whether it’s TIME or MONEY (OR BOTH), the average person is accumulating a

GROWING DEFICIT!

This would help explain why so many people turn to destructive behaviors (ex. unhealthy eating, watching television or sitting in front of computers for hours on end.) These behaviors act as a temporary escape from reality de-escalating a growing dissatisfaction with life. We are already short on TIME (based on our lack of planning) and spend EVEN MORE TIME (we can’t afford to spend) doing “NOTHING” (ironically) to make us temporarily feel better.

THIS HAS BECOME A PATTERN FOR SO MANY OF US THAT IT HAS LEAD TO:

  1. Obesity

  2. Depression

  3. Disease

  4. Divorce

  5. Death

The SOLUTION BEGINS by recognizing and accepting responsibility for the circumstances that exist. To improve future outcomes, you must be willing to accept a change in THINKING and BEHAVIOR.

To start the PROCESS, create your own 24 hour day ON PAPER. Although this may seem unnecessary, it provides a VISUAL outline of YOUR PRIORITIES. Seeing these priorities each day reinforces your new thinking and ultimately, your new behavior. It will also teach you how to create achievable BOUNDARIES that will REDUCE STRESS by reducing WASTED TIME taken up with destructive behaviors.

Complaining about a lack of TIME won’t ever change our 24 hour day. Applying this exercise, however, will give you and your family an opportunity for a more PRODUCTIVE and ENJOYABLE QUALITY OF LIFE.

publication1a-cropped-500

DO YOU CHOOSE MORE OF THE SAME OR DO YOU DARE TO BE DIFFERENT?

Advertisements

20 comments

  1. I have made plenty of time to live, because I really don’t have time to die💖

    Liked by 3 people

    1. *Fist Bump* as well as a *High Five* Perfectly stated! Here’s to enjoying EVERY moment!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the way your posts have a running theme of personal responsibility. It is up to each of us to take charge of our lives and make positive changes. If I’ve neglected to keep in touch with a friend I never EVER use the excuse, “I’ve been so busy!” Yes, I may have been busy but I would have had time to send them an email, letter, etc if I’d prioritised it. There is enough time – it’s how we prioritise and use it. Great post, Jonathan, as always.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am a diplomatically persistent doctor (this is a nice way of saying STUBBORN) that is passionate about sharing perspectives to help those seeking positive health and life changes. My goal is to simply get people THINKING. I believe in people’s intelligence and their ability to determine for THEMSELVES which path they choose to follow. My information simply provides a perspective often left unshared. The larger the pool of information we are exposed to, the better informed we are to make the best possible decisions for ourselves and our families.

      Thank you for sharing your ideas with all of us. Comments from readers add information to this pool of thought.
      Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes! This article comes at the perfect time. (No pun intended.) I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed lately and have been finding myself wishing there were more hours in the day. Taking an honest look at my day, creating a To-Do list, and sticking to the tasks at hand helped a lot! It can be difficult to take responsibility and check in honestly with ourselves. We don’t like to admit how much time we spend simply “doing nothing.” Complaining about the situation is always easier than standing up and creating a solution. But time management is an essential skill and being able to prioritize the things that matter most will result in success and happiness.
    Great article!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you explained the benefits of managing time better than I did. 🙂 I think people don’t realize the impact POOR TIME MANAGEMENT has on the quality of their lives.
      With the weekend upon us, go create some wonderful time for you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok, now I finally have the time to leave a comment to your oh my so great post.
    1) I read it last night in bed just before turning the phone off, and I disciplined myself not to get into leaving a comment because that could ripple into more reading and stealing sleep’s time;
    2) As a single working mum (3 musketeers) if I don’t run my home and life as a military academy – then I may as well forget it . and when that routine gets interrupted like it’s been recently and even today, I struggle;
    3) I don’t bring work home every weekend, I actually try not to… but when you work with others who may not have the same priorities as yourself and only send you content expected on a friday for a Monday report, well the first part of my morning this saturday was literally behind a computer. Now, once I leave this comment am done with that as is and Monday if I get there, will be another day;
    4) There were times in my life I wished my day had 48 hours and I can be hypomanic… but I have come to realize that is neither realistic nor healthy. So I try my best with my 24 hours, and for my current stage in life, I have cut out what could waste my time and make my life miserable or even unhealthy – my wish is to avoid any us m(my sons and I) falling sick or needing hospital.

    So no Tv, no fast food, no unnecasary computer, disciplined social media time by muting all notifcations and turning data off periodically especially at bedtime…… and personally, I don’t wear make up nor even keep any hair all in a bid to save time and just be healthy – less stress nor money to spend in that area, even my social life is literally on a hold for now… drastic time saving measures? something there too…

    Doc, thanks so much for your full of reflections posts and have a great weekend

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like you have worked hard to get a handle on time management. You’re doing a great job considering the additional responsibility of being a single parent family.

      This topic affects many lives and is often left unaddressed. You are wise to have recognized the impact of managing TIME well.

      Thank you for sharing your story. It is comments like yours that help other reader’s understand their situation better. Thank you for participating in the ongoing dialogue I try to create with my articles. Each of our own unique experiences in life can benefit each other.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. And again, sorry if my comments are usually so long; I got motivated by your catch line: “Your comment can positively impact the lives of others”; and I also love writing what I feel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No need to apologize for the length of any response to a post. I truly believe comments are equally important to posts. People are commonly influenced by peers as much (if not more) than doctors. The purpose of my site is to help those people searching for REALISTIC solutions to their HEALTH and LIFE.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember the song well. Harry Chapin did a USO show with about 20 of us sailors in Naples Italy. This song that he sang stuck with me throughout my life. I agree Time management is essential for good health. It is also one of the hardest for me the other being space organization.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this. Everyone has weaknesses in life. Finding individual solutions (and sharing them) helps many people discover new approaches.
      I hope my suggestion to VISUALLY create your (typical) 24 day on PAPER helps. The concept of PRIORITIZING can dramatically improve one’s HEALTH (by reducing stress) and quality of life. Wishing you much success with this task.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Actually writing things down is a great suggestion. It seems like such a simple thing (and it is) but it gives you a concrete, visual map of what you’re spending time on currently and then allows you to better tailor your days to produce a better outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Now the question becomes, how many people will be willing to implement this SIMPLE strategy to improve their lives? Sometimes I wonder why people choose to compete with themselves (based on their steadfast refusal to modify harmful behaviors) when the only HURT is themselves?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Prioritization is the key for me – I have a choice as to what I spend my time on, and I need to choose wisely! Not only are there so many hours in a day, but there are only so many hours in a lifetime, and I want the most of those and to make the most of them.

    I actually keep a quotation nearby (I write it down in places) that helps me when I start to feel like I don’t have time: “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.'”

    Like

  9. This is so appropriate ! My husband and I had this very conversation a few days ago…I told him to manage his time and to prioritize. So, now he has a plan in action so I am hoping it will work out. He hasn’t put it on paper, so here is hoping…..Visual is generally always good !!! 🙂

    Like

  10. I have 3 calendars. The first includes: menus for the week, a morning -evening activities schedule (prayer, mass, exercise, and focus for the day i.e. Blogging, sewing, gardening, house care obligations.) The second is my appointment calendar: this is a monthly & daily appointment guide. The third is my electronic calendar. This I merge onto one of the two hand-written calendars I keep; using color-coding to indicate if a duty/appointment was properly transferred over. Using this system is a great checks & balance for me; and it echoes the same belief you wrote so brilliantly about regarding setting priorities!!! Hugs to you for doing so, so very clearly!!

    Like

  11. Fantastic post, and extremely relevant to society today; time management is quite a struggle to figure out!

    Like

  12. great post…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kat.

      Like

Your comment can positively impact the lives of others.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: