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I don't have time!

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

I only have two weeks to finish my project. I have three days of office work. I am on holiday for a week of it (nothing like a holiday to enforce relaxation, oh but I need to download maps, pack my bag, do laundry, finalise the itinerary, ensure there is enough cat food and litter for the house sitter), I also want to get that coursework finished, I have been grabbing "food on the go" and have been neglecting my family. And I can't possibly have TIME for exercise. My mind is buzzing around with ideas at 100 miles an hour. When I get to bed, I can fall asleep but wake up early thinking about all the things that need doing.

Making time and prioritising. Picture of a clock
Does it feel that time is limited?


Notice what you are thinking, feeling and sensing right at this moment.

Notice the feel of your clothes, your mood… notice if your mind is wandering.

Have you noticed that you have been telling yourself that you don’t have time? You can’t even get started or no matter how much you do there is always more? The pressing priority is taking over leaving you feel tired or unhappy? You’re spending more time worried about time?

If you use the words “I don’t have time” make this one change.

Swap the words for “ that is not a priority right now.”

This gives a fresh perspective, throughout a day priorities need to change. Ask yourself if what you are doing at the current moment is the priority? You may surprise yourself sometimes the priority is not what you would assume.

Human bodies are amazing but we are not robots. Yes that work is important but to do your best you need:

1) Sleep Numerous studies have shown that sleep is not wasted time when we could be doing something else. A good night’s sleep helps us assimilate previous learning and helps us feel energised so we can perform to our optimum. We do have time for sleep. If you are having trouble falling asleep or waking up anxious then about 2 hours before you go to bed write those things down on a piece of paper. When you are in bed thinking of them remind yourself that your mind does not need to hold on to them as you have captured them on paper and they can wait till the morning.

2) Food = Fuel What we put in effects our energy levels,  eat plenty of fruit and veg, choose foods that sustain energy levels. Yes they may take longer to prepare, or might involve you spending a minute or two longer in the supermarket, but by making these choices you will feel energised.

3) To Connect. Positive relationship can provide support and satisfaction; they can be a sounding board for ideas and help provide enjoyment.

4) Be active: our minds and bodies are connected pay attention to your physical health and the benefits of prioritising some time to be active will pay off.

5) To Give: Altruism intrinsically feels good!

6) Keep learning: Our concentration does not run out, but it does switch between things. Allow time for novelty or something new. “reactivate the goal by looking away but then returning to the task. Humans are great at avoiding unpleasant situations, Would avoiding something now make it more unpleasant later?

7) Take notice: Spend a moment paying attention to yourself. This has been shown that with practice it can reduce stress and improve performance. It can reduce the rate your mind skips between tasks.

So the next time you say I don’t have time….

Remind yourself that there is a balance of priorities and ask yourself what is my priority right now. Those other things can wait.

Sarah is an Occupational Therapist and personal trainer who is passionate about helping people flourish @MoodLifterPT She is always happy to be contacted if you want to find out more.

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