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Stop saying "I don't have the time to do that"

Last Updated 2022/04/22

How many times have you said, or heard someone say, "I don't have the time to that"? We all lead busy lives. There are a massive number of draws on our time, and increasingly so. In 1995, only 1% percent of the global population had an internet connection. Now many can't go five minutes without needing the check their social media notifications. Go back even further, and in 1950 only 9% of households owned a television in the US. Now we stream content to our tablets, smartphones and smart TVs, spending hours binging on content. In this article, I will take you through the reasons why you don't have time to do what you want and what you can do to get more done. We all have aspirations about wealth, health, time with friends and family, but there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. We get to the end of the day, and we wished we had achieved more, but we tell ourselves, "I don't have the time to do that".

The Blunt Truth

Here's the blunt truth - you don't want to do it. You did everything that you wanted to do. You do everything that you want to do every day. The things that you think you want to do, but really you don't want to, don't get done. Now you may be frustrated, that you really meant to do something, but other things just got in the way. You had to tidy the house. You had to pick your children up from school. You had to go food shopping. Were any of these tasks a surprise to you? Do your children go to school every day? Do you need to tidy your house and shop for food regularly? The truth is that these are known events and you could have accommodated them in your plans for all these things that you want to achieve that you don't get done. You need to stop coming up with excuses. If you want to do something, then do it. Stop hiding behind the other things that you have to do. If you have too many of these "other things" then you need to start prioritising. If you can't do everything, then cut the things that you don't need to do, and replace the time that they waste on achieving your bigger goals. Do you need to watch 4 hours (or more) of TV every day? Do you need that extra hour or two in bed?

Move the needle

Find the things that you do that aren't moving the needle on achieving your dreams. If you want to spend more quality time with your family, then don't bring work home, put your phone on charge instead of in your hand, be present with your kids. If you want to get fit, then get up an hour early an do the workout. You aren't getting fit lying in your bed. Whatever is your goal you need to create time - no one can do it for you. No one is going to make every day 25 hours long just for you.

What do you have in common with Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie, and Kim Kardashian?

They all had, or have, the same 86,400 seconds every day that you do. The difference is that they have spent their time to develop new technology, become the President of the United States, win two Nobel Prizes, or create a net worth of over $350M (what do you make on your Instagram account?). They did not make excuses about what they couldn't do because they didn't have the time. They found the time. They found the focus and achieved what they set out to do. So, now you know that you have the same time as everyone else, and you need to prioritise your time to move the needle on your goals, what else can you do to succeed?

Find your why

What you have learned so far is the "how". What you need to understand is why you want to achieve your goals. Why do you want to have more money? Is it to travel? Is it to give your family a better standard of living? Is it so you can help a cause that is dear to your heart? When you combine the why and the how of your goals, and you think consciously about this every day, you will start to become attracted towards activities that move you forward, instead of those that distract you from achieving your dreams. Thinking consciously about how to move the needle is vital to achieving your goals. I write down the things that I want to accomplish each day, the day before. So, when I start the day, I know what I need to do. I only add things to my list, that align with my quarterly plan, which in turn is developed to meet my annual plan, and so on to my long term goals. If something isn't going to help the success of my long term goals, it doesn't make the list. If it isn't on the list, then it doesn't get done.

Ask for help

The next important lesson is to ask for help. You cannot do everything yourself, and a problem shared is a problem halved. If you have a business, then you can delegate to your staff or colleagues. It may be that they are better at doing a job than you, and if they aren't, then get them trained so that they are. If you haven't got a business and your goals are personal, then outsource. Get a gardener, cleaner, painter and decorator, and let them handle your household work. If you are struggling with your commitment to fitness, then get a personal trainer or a friend with whom you can work out together. Outsourcing also works for businesses, too. If you don't need the skill on a regular enough basis for a new hire, then get another company to do it for you. So, you are committed to your end goals, you have cut your work down to the minimum, everything left you need to handle personally.

Optimise everything

Now is the time to optimise. Get the tools that can help you to be more efficient. Automate any aspects of your life or business that you can. Get that app to help monitor your exercise and use the data to improve your output. Get the app that allows you to manage your email without eating two and a half hours of your time every day. If you have been cycling on an old bike were the chain keeps snapping, then upgrade to one that saves you all the repair time or costs. An upfront investment can save you so much more in the long term.

Invest in yourself

Invest in yourself and get the training that will help you to be more productive in what you are trying to achieve. If you know the best practices to smash your tasks, then you will get more done.

Integrate

The final way to create more time to achieve your goals is to integrate your systems. Now, this isn't just about businesses connecting their business processes through technology but applies outside the office. For example, if you have to get some work done around the house, that only you can do, but your children are interested in helping, but it will take a bit longer, then let them help. If it takes you an extra twenty minutes on an hour, then instead of working for forty minutes and spending twenty with them, you have spent a whole hour with them, and they have learned something new and enjoyed helping you. Integrate your learning with your commute, as you listen to podcasts or videos. Spend time reading non-fiction in your leisure time. Make a business trip into a weekend away with your partner. Get some exercise equipment in your office, a standing desk, or even take the stairs. Maximise the use of your time to integrate your work and home life to find the time to achieve your goals.

Conclusion

Stop making excuses. Work out why, how, and what you need to do to achieve your goals, and cut everything else. Delegate or outsource everything that you can. Become more efficient at doing what is left through having the right tools, training and automate everything you can. Finally, integrate your goals with every aspect of your life to maximise the time that you have. Do all of this and don't say, "I don't have the time to do that", and then you will start to see the results that you deserve. SwiftCase helps thriving businesses, swamped by growing demand, automate and organise, to focus on what matters — loved by 1000s of users across Insurance, Finance, Legal, Service & Contractor sectors.

Adam Sykes