“But I don’t have enough time!”
“You just aren’t as busy as I am!”
“If I had as much time as you, I would also be able to do that.”
These are just a few of the excuses I hear from people telling me why they don’t have enough time to tackle something like learning a new language, learning a musical instrument or some other skill they are interested in learning. We all like to brag about how busy we are all, even though most people who complain about being busy are the ones who usually have the most time (I know this isn’t always the case, but it amazes me how many people say they are busy when the only real responsibility they have is going to school for 12 hours a week).
The truth is, most people are just wasting their time doing things they don’t need to do. Seriously, so many of my classmates that I talk to complain about not having enough time for the 12 credits of classes they are taking. Other people complain that they have no time with their 40 hour a week job. Yet these same people will be some of the first to talk about how they streamed an entire season of a TV show in 1-2 days. What amazes me is when I ask “Since you don’t have time to learn [insert skill they said they really wanted to learn], how do you have time to watch 9-18 hours (depending on the TV show) of TV in so few days?”
The response is always an “Uh… well, I um…..”
The reason isn’t that you don’t have enough time. It’s either you spend your time doing things that help you get ahead, or you spend time doing things that don’t. Simple enough.
Learn to prioritize your time.
If you truly want to accomplish something, get it done first and foremost. If you waste 4 hours a day on Facebook or Youtube, spend that first hour doing what you should be doing, then spend the other 3 hours on other activities. Most of the time spending just one hour a day is a good enough pace for you to make good progress on whatever you want to learn.
Want to start working out but “don’t have the time?” Don’t go to bed so late, wake up an hour earlier and hit the gym or go on a run.
Want to get that certification? Study for an hour after dinner everyday.
If you are just starting out with your goal, don’t worry about fully jumping into “I have to study this for 2 hours everyday” or “I have to workout everyday for 90 minutes.” Start small. Try starting with just 30 minutes everyday or going to the gym three times a week. If that still sounds bad, try breaking it up into two 15 minute chunks. Maybe once in the morning and then once at night. Right now, you just want to get into the habit of actually working towards your goal. Once you are consistently working on your goal for a week or two (depending on if you think you can handle it), bump up the time you spend doing it. This could be done either by extending the time of one session, or adding another session per day. Try experimenting with both and see what works for you.
The key takeaway is that you have more time than you think. Once you start spending time on tasks that matter, you will begin to see much more progress.