There’s just Not Enough Time!
I have to say, this has been my lament in many situations.
Of course, we know the adage that “everyone has the same 24 hours.” But that adage didn’t make any difference when I was attempting to get more done.
With a church to oversee. Children and grandchildren. Serving on City Council. Other community activities. And on and on.
Then I read Stephen Covey’s book again. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Do you remember the chapter about the rocks in a jar?
First, you have a pile of rocks of many different sizes and you fill the jar the best way you can. Many rocks get left out. They just won’t fit. There’s not enough room.
Then you try a different approach.
You put in the big rocks first. Then the middle sized ones. Finally you can fill in the crevices with the tiny rocks and pebbles.
Covey was linking this demonstration with time management. There are those big things, which require most of our time. The nine-to-five job. The running of the house. Childcare. Church work. Daily devotions.
Next come the middle sized time demands. Personal care. Doctor and dentist appointments. Volunteering at your child’s school carnival.
Then there are those little items. Leave dog at vet. Drop off cleaning. Write a quick note to teacher. You know those tiny time consumers which can overwhelm your day if you let them.
So Covey recommends that you take out your calendar and insert the large items first. Then the middle-sized. After those bigger plans are marked out on your calendar, it will be surprising how much vacant space you will see.
This Covey suggestion is what I like to use.
All those tiny time consumers can be put on a list. You have 10 minutes while you are waiting for your child? Pull out an item from your list and whip it off quickly. A phone call. A note. Paying a bill. Making a grocery list or planning a meal.
It’s amazing what can be done with proper planning.
But this is the best part: When you plan your time in this way, there will still be some blank spots on your calendar.
Those are the times you can use to take on some long term projects. Those things you don’t think you have time for right now.
That, in fact is how I wrote and published my first book.
After years of feeling inadequate and too busy to write, I marked my calendar and found some time. Maybe an hour here. Two hours there.
It’s amazing what concentration and commitment will do for us.
Those smaller moments add up, and soon the project is completed. That “wow” moment when it’s done!
The excitement of completing that first book was worth all of the effort I had put into finding the time. All of the organization and planning. That first book was worth whatever-it-took to do it! I was a published author!
Now I have to say that there are other ways of establishing time for a project. That’s why I devoted a whole webinar in my course “It’s Time For You To Write That Book, 2.0” to The Time Factor. I discuss the Big rock/little rock method. I also discuss some other approaches.
Everyone is different. Even though this Covey idea suits me, not everyone thinks or works in that fashion.
But there are other ways of getting the job done. Other plans for finding or making the time for long term projects you want to do.
Plans which will help you to write your book. To make that lasting impact you want to make.
Be blessed. And remember to Keep on Soaring!