I don’t have enough time” or “I need more time” are two phrases we’ve heard, thought and uttered thousands of times. Of course, it’s partly true. Time is our most finite resource. The last ten minutes will never be again. Neither will the couple of seconds spent reading this string of sentences. But don’t worry this’ll be worth it, so keep reading…

We’re unable to physically make, pause or travel back through time. Unless you’ve discovered the human-race’s most desired superpower— if this is you, please comment below (sharing is caring after all!). But on a more serious note, our tumultuous tryst with time is really about productivity.

Productivity in the sense of what, or how much, we’re able to accomplish within a set frame. We naturally want to do more and achieve more— often within naïve and under-estimated frames. So, the lack of time, shoulders the blame for our incomplete achievements. When time is up, we might throw insults and call it a moron. But in fact, time is really an oxymoron. Because it’s the same, even though it’s always changing.

Throughout history, humans have grappled with time. Seconds, minutes and hours are units of measure intentionally created to get a handle on it. And these measurements have created a constant, a sense of stability. A minute is always the same, not matter where you are. Besides imposing measurements, we can’t create or control time. But we can control ourselves and how we spend the finite currency that is time.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”

– Annie Dillard

Spending Habits

Time is a currency, a very finite one. Everything we choose to spend our time doing is a non-refundable cost. And what we spend our time on is indicative of the things we value the most, our priorities.

Apparently, we’ll spend an average of 90,000 hours at work over our lifetime. This is 23% of our total waking hours (based on a 76-year lifespan). And due to various reasons, this average is very likely to increase for most of us. But what about the 77% we have left? What do we spend that on?

If you constantly feel like you never have enough time, check your spending habits! Review and evaluate how you currently spend your time. What do you spend the most of your hours doing? Start a journal. Throughout the day, make notes of tasks and how much it takes to complete.

Especially look out for lost time. This might be over-scrolling on social media or simply over-thinking tasks before actually starting them. It’s different for everyone, and we’re not always conscious of it. So it’s best to look at our daily lives as objectively as possible. This is all about efficiency, highlighting wasted time and figuring out how we can be more productive.

Control Your Spending

It’s all about our priorities. When faced with an emergency, we ‘find’ the time to deal with the matter because we make it a priority. But we can’t wonder through life waiting for tasks to make themselves a priority. We have to do the prioritising.

Firstly, we need to know what we want. What do you want to accomplish this week, month or year? Write it down, set a deadline and work backwards setting incremental goals. Set aside time for these goals and keep it set. Discipline is key. Especially when it comes to forming new habits.

“Time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.”

— Laura Vanderkam

As an expert in time management, Laura Vanderkam explains how many of us over-estimate the time we spend on our regular commitments such as work and administrative task and chores. All whilst under-estimating the time we have for ourselves. Laura Vanderkam also offers useful strategies to help us find more time for what matters and “build the lives we want we the time we’ve got.”

Once you’ve evaluated where you’re currently wasting hours, take back control and re-allocate those hours. Invest those hours you’ve saved into your personal development, learning a language or a passion project that you’ve had on the shelf for far too long.

A great way to get started and to stay on track, is by using the WiseAmigo app. Simply create a Spotlight and make real efforts towards achieving your time management goals.

Development is a journey. The WiseAmigo app and community are here to help you along the way. Join the WiseAmigo community, create a Spotlight, discover more insightful content and reflect on your development journey today!