Time is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced.
But these days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.
Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle.
- I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.
- I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.
- I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.
- I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
- I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.
- I seldom have time to do the things I really love.
- My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.
- I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.
- I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.
- I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, email, beepers and pagers, and allow them to take me off track.
- I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s impossible to complete in a day.
- I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.
- I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”
- I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.
- I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.
- I often do things because I “should,” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.
- Other people complain that my schedule doesn’t allow enough time for them.
Whew! Are you worn out just reading the quiz?
Zig Ziglar once said that instead of a daily To Do list, he has a daily Objectives list. It shifts my mind to think of my day this way. Rather than being worn down by all the pesky to do’s, I’m uplifted and inspired to accomplish my objectives that get me closer to my goal/my vision.
What are your big objectives this week? How do they tie into the vision you set for 2014? Don’t let yourself get “too busy” to accomplish your dreams. Be intentional about how you’re going to spend your time today. Take control!