when you don’t have time.

you actually do.

guys! I really don’t want to be this person – especially right now, when my favorite feeling is sorry for myself while my head exploding in one thousand different directions, with 4 big, separate deadlines all falling on the same day (Sunday – pray for me?). yesterday I literally/audibly sighed to myself and said “I absolutely won’t get all of this done in time.”, in my best sorry for myself tone.

then I checked Facebook. just really quick*.

SERIOUSLY.

AH. yes. Okay. So here we go. Here are my three informal reasons why you (um, WE) might not be getting everything done:

1) We aren’t planning well.

I lived at home during college, sometimes took up to 24 units at a time, and naturally I would have mini-meltdowns every once and a while, typically around semester-end.  “I…can’t…do…it…no…time…” I would eek out to my mom, between dramatic sobs, laying over piles of books and papers (remember this? similar, without the singing/pills).

My mom, who is the bomb, if you didn’t already know, would gently remind me – “Make a list of every single thing you have to do, and the time each task will take.” After I calmed down, I would do just that, and see that – yes, many many things were on my list – however! The time needed to do all of those things added up to maybe 11-12 hours. Maybe I only had two days to do everything, but 11-12 hours is less than one waking day. Things like “order transcripts” or “go to office hours” were actually just 10-30 minute activities, but when they were swirling around in my head with no place to land, they felt like giant, impossible, time-consuming tasks. Things like reviewing for a final or writing a big paper would be 4-5 hours each, without procrastination – once I saw that number I would remember that i could just wake up a little earlier and go to bed a little later and I would be covered.

I completely understand that life is far bigger than a 20 year old college student’s woes, but I hope I am making the point. There are definitely exceptions to this rule where, even if you stayed up all day and night, you still wouldn’t be able to get everything done that you need to get done – but those are extremely rare, and probably are due to someone overextending themselves in a way that they shouldn’t, not delegating, or in a tight spot because of the next one on this list…

2) We are wasting our time doing other, much more minor, pointless things. (*see above)

Blaming other people for your time/to-do list imbalance is one of these things. STOP. You make all your own choices. Someone else didn’t make you add things to your life, no matter how much more fun it is to pretend that you are just floating through your existence, being blindly tasked with things that you have no responsibility for.

Other pointless things are obviously having fun on Facebook, any social media, TV, sleeping in, reading blogs (ahem. not all blogs.), social stuff, doing menial tasks (I know! Those dishes MUST get done this second!), etc etc etc! You know these things, I know you do. 🙂

I am all for chill-out time and a great balance in life, leaning towards the fun – trust me! I am far far far from telling you no fun allowed. But! You were the one crying over the lack of time, remember? So put the fun away for a little bit and get back to it at the right time – when you have earned it! Earned fun is WAY more fun.

3) We don’t want to do the things that are on our list.

This might be the biggest one, and the most overlooked – many of us are cool to admit that we are procrastinating, or don’t have a clear plan, but rarely do we say out loud that many of those things just sound BORING and UGH so, therefore, impossible to get done in the time allotted.

Whenever I hear myself in my head starting to lean towards there’s no tiiiiiiime I immediately check in – whoa Laura. what is on your list that you really-illy don’t want to do? The answer comes up right away. As an exercise, I mentally exonerate myself from that task(s) – suddenly I’m lighter and am not really pressed for time! Interesting.

SO! i put it back on my list because, no, it won’t just go away, and then I write down the actual time it will take to do that task (as suggested above). My realization –  I’m getting into a time-crunch panic for something that will be over and done with in an hour or so?

Check in with yourself on this one – I promise it is the most common! 2/4 things that I have to finish before Sunday are things that I REALLY don’t want to do (packing! I’m moving!!), so that has made it infinitely more difficult. However! I’m working through it all with the insights from above. I’m coming along nicely compared to yesterday, if I do say so myself 🙂 I even made time to write a post!

I’m sure one or more of the above ring a bell for you (especially number 3, am I right guys?? Come on! We are all friends here!) so let’s make this not a thing. No one likes to be around someone who is complaining about their lack of time all the time – it spreads stress and isn’t your best stuff, which isn’t EYCers style. Take everything in stride and remember – you have time. And! even if you don’t get it all done, you will live – promise!

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One response to “when you don’t have time.

  1. Pingback: time. | eat your cake and count your chickens.·

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