Time can be your friend or your enemy. For many people who have “free time” to accomplish long-term projects or writing tasks, it is a merciless tyrant. It is just too easy to allow the slightly harder task to slide, as you fill in your day with the humdrum and the emergencies.
The Enemy You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You
In Procrastination: Why You Do It; What to Do About It by Jane Burka and Lenor Yuen, the authors suggest that procrastinators (which I’m convinced means most of us) have a strange relationship with time. They engage in “wishful thinking:” they believe that they can magically pull and stretch time to meet their needs. They act as if time is not finite and limited.
So if time perpetually controls you, it may be because you don’t understand it. You think that small tasks will be endless (so you put off doing them,) or you think big tasks will just take an hour or two (so you don’t leave enough time for them.)
As a matter of fact, research has shown that most people overestimate how much time they have actually spent on their most important long-term projects.
Another reason time controls you, according to Burka and Yuen, is that you have no idea how much time you’re already spending on tasks such as commuting, shopping, cooking or emailing. Therefore it’s a mystery how much free time is available for the difficult yet easy-to-put-off tasks that seem so overwhelming.
Or maybe you’ve voluntarily overscheduled yourself due to your “endlessly-expanding” view of time. Little by little you’ve used up your free time.
How can you tame time?
Enter the “Unschedule.” The Unschedule is a time management tool developed by Neil Fiore, the author of The Now Habit.
To create your own unschedule, either download from the link in my signature file below, or use a weekly calendar that divides each day into hours.