Who Has the Time?

Recently, I’ve listened to a Ted Talk “How to gain control of your free time” and in this talk, the speaker talks about her studies done on how busy people spend their lives. The speaker mentioned one person she’s studied that had a broken water heater, causing her basement to flood. So this woman had to find 7 total hours out of her busy week to call the plumbers and the professional clean up crew to come in and get the place fixed up. She’s recorded all of this in her time log and found that this all took up 7 hours total, which is equivalent to finding an extra hour during the day. Then which the speaker says, “But I’m sure if you asked her at the start of the week, ‘could you find 7 hours to train for triathlon? Or could you spare 7 hours to mentor 7 worthy people?’ I’m sure she would say what most of us would’ve said, ‘No. Can’t you see how busy I am?’ yet when she had to find 7 hours because there is water all over her basement she found 7 hours. And what this shows us is that time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it. The key to time management is treating our priorities is the equivalent to that broken water heater.”

She then used another example of a woman who was the busiest woman that she had interviewed: running a small business and a mother to six children. She was setting up a time to interview her and when she called, the woman was unavailable to speak with her because she was out for a hike. And when they did meet, she explained it like this, “Everything I do, every minute I spend is my choice. And rather than say, ‘I don’t have time to do x, y, or z’ she’d say, ‘I don’t do x, y, or z because it’s not a priority. I don’t have time often means it’s not a priority.’”

The reason that I wanted to share this was because I recently had a discussion with a friend about what we’re doing while we’re attending school at the same time. I’m currently working as a student worker, a blogger, an intern, a tutor, and a volunteer at different places and my friend was shocked to hear how much I was doing. She asked me, “how do you have the time to do all this? I feel like we have the same schedule but I still don’t think I have enough time.”

And if I’m being completely honest, I don’t know either. Everything is kind of up there for me and I’m just getting everything done little by little. I’ve been able to maintain a high GPA since my freshman year and am still going strong. And as the speaker had already mentioned in her talk, it’s just a matter of how you prioritize things in your life. What do you find to be important in your life that needs to be done now or in the near future?

Of course school is my first priority as it’s the main reason that I’m at UD in the first place, and then the other jobs that I’m working through are just other experiences that I believe will benefit me in the future. So as you prepare for whatever road you’re planning on going through, make sure to prioritize what you find to be the most important in your life.
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