How I Cured My “I Just Don’t Have The Time” Flu
A few days ago, I found myself going through the fine art of procrastination, commonly known as the “writer’s block.” I could not seem to find time to write or work on the things I dreamed about working on.
So, I did what almost every girl in the world does while trying to avoid important stuff – I went shopping.
Later that night, my sister and I made plans to redecorate her apartment and go traveling together to which her response was enthusiasm followed by the most misused words that exist to make us feel better about ourselves – “I just don’t have the time.”
If it was any other day, true to my nature, I would have offered my unsolicited advice on the subject, but as I sat there on my bed, surrounded by 6 shopping bags, I thought about my own predicament.
I was myself guilty of glorifying ‘busy’ for the past few days with nothing substantial to show for it. My quarterly planner (yes! I’m a planner) was not looking pretty with one too many red marks and I don’t like red unless it is in a glass, on a dress or a lipstick.
To feel better about the situation, I was having conversations with myself on how I’m definitely going to get to a lot of important things in 2015, since it’s going to be the new year and all that.
Finally came the fuzzy reassurance that puts all self questioning to bed – I just did not have the time right now.
But something did not feel good. I was determined to find out.
Being in no position to impart wisdom to my sister but resolved to find a way out, I decided to try a little experiment on myself. The following day, I kept a pen an paper with me all day where I did a time inventory of sorts by writing what I was doing each hour of the day.
Just one day of doing this and looking back at it was such a revelation. I noticed that I spent more than 3 hours just listening to music while doing nothing at all – like lying on the couch and listening to music – day dreaming.
Now, I love music and this would be perfectly fine if I were doing all the other things that I wanted to do as well. But that wasn’t true.
I was miserable that I needed to get to the three really important things and I tried to drown that with the sound of Indie rock. I dug deeper to find why we don’t do what we really want to do and use the “I don’t have time” cover. I could zero down to only two reasons why we procrastinate.
1) We feel we don’t deserve what we dream about doing but instead of confronting that fact we just avoid it by telling ourselves that we are just too tired/too busy.
2) We are scared to do what we want to do because of various reasons. – we might fail, we might be horrible at it, we might have to move things around in our lives and get out of our comfort zone.
I picked up my planner and looked at a couple of red items on it. They both fell into one of the above insecure categories. I picked one task and called upon my friend Google to help me get started. It worked.
If you go through this escapism phase as well like I do sometimes, I encourage you to go through this little exercise for a whole day and look at where you are spending your time and I can promise you will find this half an hour, one hour or even more than 2 hours a day that you could actually be putting towards doing the things you say you want to do.
Even if you start putting that time in planning the task, talking to people about it, googling about it – it will still be more valuable than saying you don’t have time for it.
No one has the time, you have to make time and its worth it and you’re worth it so go ahead and make time. Time lost never comes back, we can always make more money, always get another of any other thing but these moments that we just let fly away aren’t coming back.
As for me, I continued listening to Indie rock while walking towards a cafe to meet the friend who helped me brainstorm for my new project. And about the writer’s block – I wrote this post, even if it is average and nothing new, because you got to start somewhere, don’t you?
Love & Laughter.