To be honest - I got the idea for this blog post when I told my boyfriend: "Sorry that I didn't call you during the last days. I just didn't have time for it". In that very moment, I realised that it's actually not true. The last days have had the same amount of hours as any other day, it was just that I chose to spend them on other things than calling my boyfriend. In this particular example, I had visited a friend in Hamburg and spent some time at my parents house. Sure, I was busy and surrounded by people, but I could have taken time for the call.
This is a pretty straightforward example, but I think that it holds true for much more profound situations. Did you ever feel envy when friends told you about their fancy hobbies? Things like weekend trips for rock-climbing or modern dance competitions? And your own reaction was "How cool, I wish I had time for something like that"? I would claim that what it actually takes is not more time, but more commitment. In the rock-climbing example, it means that you don't go out for drinks on the weekend, but you stay sober to get up in the early morning to drive to the mountain. In the modern dance example, it means fewer evenings in front of the TV / laptop and more evenings for practice. It might also mean that you have to defend your working hours. My friend Sarah is my role-model in that respect. In many cases, she had to tell her boss that she can't do over-hours on a particular day, because she needs to attend her vaulting class.
Another classic is that we tell people that we don't have time to catch up with them. Similar to my first example actually. If the person is a dear friend or even your partner, I guess we need to rethink our priorities. Are all the other tasks really worth losing touch? If it's your job, ask yourself if it's just a temporary problem or if it generally takes too much of your time. And if it is a general problem, is the job really that awesome that it justifies risking your relationships? If you simply have too many friends to devote enough time to them, rethink how much different people matter to you. If you spend more time socialising with acquaintances than with your best friends, ask yourself why. Just for the sake of being popular? For professional networking? Once again, be in charge of your time. Decide who is worth spending your time with and who isn't.
In the sum, what I'm starting to realise is how much influence I have on my own time. I can be in charge. I don't have time for friends, family and hobbies. I take time. It's all about defining priorities and having the guts to stick to them.
How about yourself? What are your challenges about managing your time? How do you set your priorities?