We all experience a time barrier at some point in our lives and there’s no time travel machine to go back and start over. Time is something we don’t have much of and certainly not for free. It’s the basis for many decisions and has the potential to cause a lot of positivity or stress – depending on how we deal with it. One thing is certain: our time is valuable.
Time Can Be a Hindrance in Many Areas
Time can be an obstacle in many areas of your life. Time can be a hindrance when:
- We have too many commitments or too much to do (and don’t know how to say no).
- We’re busy trying to keep up with everyone else and their expectations of us. Sometimes we feel like we have to do something 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- We feel like we need to follow every physical activity, read every book, listen to every podcast, and spend time with everyone who’s ever mattered in our lives. The problem is that we only have so much time in the day that you end up with none at all, instead of time for you!
We Don’t Prioritize and End Up Doing Tasks That Aren’t Important or Urgent
We tend to focus on the things that are urgent but not important. For example, we spend hours in meetings, answer emails, and participate in unnecessary phone calls.
These activities may be urgent, but they aren’t necessarily important to our current goals and objectives, especially if we lack time.
We often don’t set boundaries for ourselves and others to avoid conflict or confrontation, and let other people tell us what to do with our time instead of going after what gives us the most meaning and joy in life.
Communication Barrier and Lack of Understanding
We spend too much time communicating poorly, which leads to rework and wasted time.
We often use tools that don’t allow us to communicate effectively. We send emails with attachments, we write long documents that take forever to type, and we make phone calls. These methods slow down the process and increase the likelihood that we’ll make mistakes.
The biggest time barrier to effective communication is that we spend too much time communicating poorly, which leads to rework and wasted time.
We Don’t Plan Ahead and Figure Out What’s Really Needed Before We Start Something
Everyone knows a story about a project that went terribly wrong. Maybe it was a wedding, a birthday party, or even remodeling your kitchen. Whatever the occasion was, it ended in disaster because you weren’t prepared to undertake such an activity.
You didn’t think enough to plan ahead and figure out what you really needed before you started anything.
You aren’t alone! We’re all guilty of this. It’s easy to get excited about an activity, start working on it right away, and then realize too late that we don’t have everything we need or that we forgot something important.
The problem is that time is always our scarcest resource. We only have so many hours in a day and if we waste them on unnecessary tasks, there will be nothing left for the important ones.
We Can’t Change the Clock, but We Can Control What We Do With Our Time
Yes, you’ve heard it many times before: time is a limited resource. I won’t dwell on the fact that days are long but years are short, or that the sands of time trickle through the hourglass at a steady pace. Instead, let’s talk about which activity you can do when you only have 24 hours in a day to get things done.
While it may seem like there’s nothing we can do about the 24-hour clock that governs our days, that doesn’t mean we don’t have control over our time.
Undoubtedly, There Are Things That Take Up More of Our Time Than They Should
Maybe we spend too much time on your social media activity like scrolling through Instagram when we could be working on something much more important. Maybe we don’t schedule our time properly, waiting for something to happen instead of making room in our calendar to work towards our goals.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone – and luckily, there are things you can do to make sure you’re not wasting your precious time on activities that aren’t as important as your dreams and goals.
Time Is What We Make of It
Time is what we make of it. Time, you may know, is non-negotiable and relative. Many people aren’t aware of this when undertaking an activity, but time is actually a human construct.
Our time barrier is a measurement, which means that if we were to measure it differently, it might look and feel very different from what we currently understand time to be. And finally, time itself can be seen as a social construct and a human-made construct – and that’s a big impact on how we experience our lives and our work day by day!
Time is something we all share on Earth, but also something that each person experiences in a unique way, even when undertaking the same activity. This is an interesting topic when you think about how differently one person can use their time, while another person lives just down the street, but has a completely different job or lifestyle!
For example, two people both have 30 minutes a day to exercise, but one takes 45 minutes and the other only 15 minutes. One person may get more done in less time than the other because they’re well organized and manage their time well. Another person may have more free time because they’ve fewer commitments than someone else.
Deadlines Aren’t Always Up to Us
But deadlines also stress us in countless other ways. They can be a source of stress, for example. If you have ever been faced with the choice of pulling all-nighters to finish a project or jeopardizing your activity by turning it in late (and who hasn’t), you know what I mean.
In an ideal work environment, deadlines are set by someone who knows exactly how long projects take and has enough respect for their employees to not make them feel like they’re sacrificing their sanity. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case – deadlines can sometimes be arbitrary or determined by external factors that have nothing to do with the practical execution of the project.
Deadlines can also lead to burnout and when people are burned out, they’re less productive and more likely to quit their jobs – making everyone worse off in the long run! However, we need them because, without deadlines, we’d never get anything done.
Sure, it’s fun to watch YouTube videos, read articles on the internet, take a nap, or just put off anything that could be considered productive for a few more minutes.
But at some point, something has to get done and you can’t just time travel when the date is passed.
If we don’t set deadlines for ourselves, our success stories won’t come soon, no matter how much motivation we have.
Deadlines Are a Good Thing if You Prioritize Them Right
If you’re like most people, deadlines are a good thing. You get more done in less time and you can relax when a deadline is met.
But if you have too many deadlines, they become stressful. You feel overwhelmed by all the things you’ve to do and can’t keep up with anything.
The problem isn’t with deadlines, it’s with how we manage our time. Many people try to get everything done at once – they don’t prioritize properly.
How Can We Set Our Priorities Better?
- First, stop multitasking. When you try to do several things at once, it’s impossible to know which one is most important – or if any of them are important at all!
- Second, make sure each task is well defined. If someone asks what to do next on a project with multiple parts, everyone knows which part they’re talking about and why it’s important. This ensures that no one spends time on unimportant tasks (or, even worse, that work is duplicated).
Make Time for Yourself
It’s not always easy to make time for ourselves. Deadlines are often set without our input, we can’t change the clock to extend the day, and taking a few minutes for ourselves sometimes feels like cheating. But when we find the time to take care of ourselves – whether it’s by watching a favorite movie, reading an old book, or taking a walk alone – the impact lasts much longer than just a brief moment.
We’ve all heard the saying, “You’ve to love yourself before you can love someone else.” It’s true: We humans need to be able to take care of ourselves before we can give that same energy to others.
So how can you take care of yourself? Here are a few suggestions:
- Take time for yourself every day: Proper health care is the key to success. If you have a physical barrier, you may have a hard time achieving certain goals. A health problem is a common barrier for many people, especially adults who don’t exercise or go for regular checkups. Once you have a serious health problem, there’s no time travel solution, so make sure you make your health a priority.
- Schedule physical activity once a week: physical activity is good for your health and for your mental health. Everyone needs to exercise, whether it’s indoor cycling, aerobic dance, or other sports. It often fails at first due to lack of time or motivation, but a healthy life of regular physical activity is necessary and is strongly recommended by the public health department.
- Select activities carefully: You don’t have to do everything, just the right things. Prioritizing is a learning process, and if you’re still a young person, it will obviously take you some time to learn how to handle your time management, but it’s worth it!