How to Make Time Out of Thin Air

Do you ever have things to do that just keep getting put off? If you’re like almost everyone else, I’m sure you’ve got a ton of them.

Important things…

Silly things…

Family things…

Business things…

Whatever these things are for you, there’s an incredibly easy way to make them happen much quicker than they would if you are left to your own devices. This method is so simple and obvious, you’ve probably already used it yourself under the right circumstances. In fact I’m using it right now!

You see, I’ve got only an hour before I get to go to a dinner party this evening. We’re eating at a nice Italian restaurant we celebrate things like birthdays and promotions at. I’m really looking forward to an enjoyable meal, with family and friends.

A little later tonight, my brother who’s visiting my parents in the bay area, is driving up to my place for the weekend. We’ll play scrabble, have a few drinks, and maybe shoot some pool at a nearby tavern. Hopefully we’ll go on a walk or two during the break in the snow. So, my weekend is going to pretty much be taken, starting in less than an hour.

Have you guessed how I’m making time for this post yet?

We’re all pretty funny, we humans. We’ll procrastinate, surf the net, get up from our desk to check some unimportant thing outside (or in the garage), watch TV, or otherwise occupy our time… while at the same time, we’ll complain about lack of time, and having too many things to do.

A strange thing happens however, when we have a firm deadline to get things done, or else. What happens is time just manifests out of thin air. We figure out ways to get things done quicker than we’d imagine. Earlier this week I promised myself to make a post here before the weekend, and I’m doing it, but just barely. All because I have a real deadline. I have some other things to take care of as well, and I’ll handle them once I’ve posted this (5 minutes).

So, set a deadline. Make it real. Some ideas:

  • Tell your significant other that you’ll have something to show them in an hour (or whatever aggressively realistic time frame you like).
  • Promise yourself to take care of at least one online business related item on your list before bed.
  • Post a note to the world on your blog that you’ll be releasing your new product or service on a specific date–then keep your promise for that date.
  • Chunk the larger things into small, easy to handle bites, and set your deadlines for each one.
  • Make a game out of it and use a timer to see how fast you can do something, or how many things you can do from your list in a set period of time.
  • Set appointments to do things away from home, and finish up your projects before you go.
  • Plan to go to the store just before closing, for something you really need to get, and make sure you take care of an item on your list before dashing out the door.

What works best for me is having to be somewhere at a certain time, and I can’t be late–like my current situation. What works for you? Can you think of any other ways which might work for you?

If you put this practice to work, just a little every day, you’ll soon be amazed at how much more you get done, and how little extra thought is required to do those seemingly “hard” goals.

On to my next item… What’s on your list that you’ll take care of before you go to bed? And tomorrow?

Do and succeed!

Tim

About Tim Gary

I live in Reno, NV with my wife Careen, and the ever so talented kitty named Milo. Programmer by trade, web surfer and learner for fun, I have a ton of interests, and you'll hear about each of them in time!

32 Responses to How to Make Time Out of Thin Air

  1. Vickario@Electric Adjustable Bed March 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Sometimes I’ll actually have too many things on my plate and try to do too many at the same time and it ends up just taking me longer or I’ll miss something so I try to focus on a single primary thing at a time until I’m finished with it.

  2. steve@Credit Card Debt Relief February 20, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    I try and focus on getting certain IM related tasks everyday and it has shown to build on itself and now some of the results I have been achieving are stellar.

  3. shawn@ clean red widgets November 28, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    I am glad that I stopped by and took a minute to read this. It gives me a chance to stop for a minute and reflect on my own endeavors and how to apply this information.

  4. John@Chicago Beds November 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    Budgeting your time beforehand and making a list of what you needs to be done each day seems to work fairly well for me.

  5. phil@belt buckles May 30, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    I guess that’s where the saying

    “If you need something done, give it to a busy person”

    comes from.

    Great advice. I tend to think. Oh I can do that on Monday, and then something seems to take the time on Monday. I’ll put it into practice and see how it goes.

    Thanks

    Phil

  6. Pat R January 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm #

    Tim – thanks for your tips on how to take action. I can always use the advice as time seems to get away from me too.

    I’ve signed up for your Success Bites. I’m on The Gonzo Papers’ hors d’oeuvres & cocktails course of SOUP TO NUTS blog carnival too. FYI – I tried to Stumble your post but Stumble couldn’t find the page to review.

    [Pat,
    Thanks for pointing out the Stumble error, and for stopping by! I think I’ve taken care of it.
    Take it easy,
    Tim]

  7. CG Walters January 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for the tips, Tim.
    Peace and wonder to you and all you hold dear,
    CG

  8. JHS January 20, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    Thanks for participating in this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Diary of 1!!

  9. Tim Gary January 20, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    Hi Matthew,

    You are so right about that! I’m all for different ways to do things–there are no absolute answers for all situations. I find that procrastination can often be overcome by using some of the ideas above.

    It seems to me that the challenge is often in getting started on a project… Once you get moving, then you get into a flow where you enjoy the feeling of making progress, and accomplishing something.

    What I’d like to figure out is something for those who are always on a tight schedule and already get a lot done, out of necessity. Relaxation and enjoyment might be part of the answer for them. Also, being mindful of what we are doing, an dealing with the important things, instead of always just being busy, could help a lot.

    Thanks for visiting!
    Tim

  10. Matthew | www.loving-awareness.org January 20, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Often it’s when we relax and enjoy what we’re doing that we get a lot more efficient at it, too.

    Loving Awareness : A Journey to Wholeness

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