‘I don’t have time’ : How to break the cycle and stop procrastinating

Photo 4 (Pixabay)
(Photo: Pixabay)
When faced with a busy schedule and hefty to-do list, we often find ourselves uttering the infamous words, “I don’t have time.” The oldest excuse in the book but, arguably, often valid.اضافة اعلان

Sometimes it is about working smarter, not harder. Here are a few time-saving life hacks that can make room for the tasks you cannot seem to fit into your schedule.

Build a routine
Humans are creatures of habit, meaning actions become easier to accomplish after routines are established and locked in. For example, if you get accustomed to going to the gym straight after work for a month, you will start packing your gym bag and making your way there on what feels like autopilot.

Making a chore a fixed component of your weekly schedule will free you from the mental strain of figuring out its logistics. As you work on cementing habits, set multiple alarms for recurring tasks to get the momentum going. This will remind you to stay focused, solidifying your routine.

Operate in 50/10 time slots
We achieve maximum productivity once we find the ideal balance between work and rest. A CTA-certified life balance coach, Lauren Zoeller, suggests using the 50/10 method to overcome work fatigue. The rule is to set a timer for 50 minutes, during which you focus all your energy on a specific task. During these 50 minutes, eliminate potential interruptions and distractions, including other work. When the alarm goes off, you take a 10-minute break to recharge.

Zoeller spoke to NBC News about this method, claiming when “done correctly, you will increase the amount of work you can accomplish while also taking care of yourself in the process.”

As you work on cementing habits, set multiple alarms for recurring tasks to get the momentum going. (Photo: Pixabay)

Making time for regular, sufficient breaks has proven to be essential in preventing yourself from wasting time. At first, you might feel guilty for resting but, in reality, you are actually preventing burnout by refueling between 50-minute bursts of productivity.

Create a playlist for your morning routine
Instead of setting multiple morning alarms and rushing around the house in silence, create a soundtrack for your morning routine. Assign a song or two for each task: once a new song begins, move to the next part of your routine without having to keep an eye on the time.

Test out your playlist during your morning routine and take it as an opportunity to prioritize and rethink your habits altogether. Consider how much time you spend on different tasks, and whether each one is essential. Adjust and drop tasks accordingly to cut down the time you spend getting ready every day.

Don’t let the little pockets of free time go to waste
Get into the habit of writing a to-do list, making sure to include the seemingly small two-minute tasks that often go undone. It is wise to prioritize and allocate the proper timeslots for bigger responsibilities, leaving the smaller, unscheduled tasks to be completed during unutilized extra time.

Picture this: You are meeting your friends and, as usual, you are the first one to arrive. Instead of killing time sitting in your car or scrolling aimlessly through social media, take out your handy to-do list and get a few items ticked off. Schedule a doctor’s appointment or jot down groceries you need to restock on while you wait.

Tackle your to-dos in batches
Complete smaller responsibilities in batches. Line up similar tasks, like a few necessary phone calls you have been putting off, and get them out of the way in one sitting.

This also works well with errands that need to be run in the same area. Achieve satisfaction and save yourself time, gas, and effort by grouping tasks together.

By creating to-do lists, you can allocate the time you need to accomplish larger tasks. (Photo: Pic Jumbo)

There is no time like the present
When a practical, quick task falls in your lap, take care of it immediately instead procrastinating. This is particularly effective with chores like bills, emails, and taking out the trash. Getting them done in the moment prevents them from piling up and hanging over your head. This technique can also alleviate the stress and anxiety of having too much to do.

Reorganize your space with efficiency in mind
A good filing system will prevent you from wasting time looking for objects in unorganized cupboards and drawers. Whether you prefer color coding, labelling, or compartmentalizing, reorganizing your space will help salvage time otherwise wasted on digging through messy closets.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The kitchen is one of the rooms worth reorganizing the most. Save yourself time and effort by storing items in a way that is tailored to your needs. For example, keep the cooking utensils you use every day in a jar on the countertop near the stove. You could also set up a coffee station to prepare your morning brew as quick as possible before heading out in the morning.

Meal prep for the week
People often underestimate the amount of time wasted preparing meals. If you plan your food in advance, though, you could limit your grocery shopping to once a week. Minimize your prep work in small ways like thawing frozen meat and soaking rice before cooking.

Consider cooking bigger portions, enough for two or three days, to spend less time in the kitchen. There is an abundance of recipes online for an easy breakfast or office-friendly meals that can all be made in one day, setting you up for the whole week.

Deep clean your routine
The point is, we often get stuck in our ways, unaware of the amount of time we misuse. This is your sign to identify where your daily routine falls short and modify accordingly. You will feel better after freeing up an hour a day to spend as you please, rather than having it go to waste as a result of poor time-management.

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