My friends complain about no time to exercise or nurture a hobby. Some reasons- I have a stressful job; parenting my toddler after office; aging parents to look after; blah... blah..
I complain about not having enough time to start a side hustle. I could never spare enough days and money for international trips. I wonder how I could not write a book despite blogging for over a decade.
I have been self-critical for not managing my time efficiently, procrastinating, overthinking, being impatient, and impulsive about things I intended to do in my life. Why Am I so short of time? I read about time management and about changing habits. I read about Slowness. I read the best of the authors and on behavioral economics as well. But none helped find an answer.
Then I learned about prioritizing. I spent time doing what I preferred. While others may spend their time the way, they want to. I learnt through experience the relation between tasks and time available. At work, I could complete same set of tasks in varying duration. And reason is pretty well explained in Bheavioral economics literature.
My piece of advice with regards to time management goes as below:
a. Prioritizing comes with experience
b. Before prioritizing, it is more important to know personal likes and dislikes
c. Do a simple extrapolation over a week or a fortnight to calculate free hours available.
d. Forget about any time management advice available. None of it may work except creating general awareness.
e. Know your purpose that recurs the most in your mind and stick to it. It can be as stupid as anyone may think of and temporary as well.
f. Being conscious in the present and trying to make the most of it is essential
g. But have no regrets if you end up doing something you did not plan to
h. Prioritizing is like any other hobby. The more you rehearse, the better you get at it.
None of the above may work, so be it. Time is precious, and learning about it is more important than managing it.