How often do we hear, “I just don’t have time to do that”? It’s a pretty common rejoinder, but is it true?
The simple answer is we have the time to do whatever we specifically decide we want to do. In other words, we have the time to devote to whatever priorities we set or we end up saying, “Where did the time go”?
There are 168 hours in a week. If you estimate the number of hours you spend doing each of life’s everyday functions—sleeping, eating, dressing, shopping, bathing, working, commuting, reading, exercising, etc.—I think you’ll come up with the number of discretionary hours you have available to do the things you say you want to do.
The number of fixed hours will probably be in the neighborhood of 20 or so hours per day, or about 140 hours per week. That leaves about 28+ discretionary hours available for the things you say you want to do.
The trick is you have to think about it. You have to make a plan. You have to decide your priorities.
Don’t misunderstand. I’ve been guilty of the same problem. In most of my middle years I kept saying, “I don’t have time to exercise. I’ll do it when I retire.”
Well, I’ve tried to do it in retirement but I can’t make up for all the lost “I’m too busy” time. My blood pressure is good and most of my other functions are in the normal range, except for weight and body fat.
I can and do read more books now than I did in my working years, but I also watch more television, which is marginally entertaining and has little lasting effect or redeemable value.
Analyzing the time you currently spend is the basic first mandatory step in time management. If you choose not to take this first step, you’ll lose control over the rest of your time.
So, make time your friend by planning how you want to use it, profit from my experience, and decide what you want to do before it all slips away.