How Do You Find the Time?

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I’m a busy person, just like everyone reading this is. I’m a full-time anesthesiologist, a father, and I am avidly pursuing multiple passive income ventures. Somewhere in there, I also like to write for this blog.

One question I often receive is simply, “How do you find the time?” My answer is just as simple, albeit a little unsatisfying for most people.

I just find the time.

There is a little method to my madness. I always try to sleep early so I can get work done while everyone is asleep in the morning, for example. And yes, there are definitely ways to be more productive – like being intentional about any downtime and making that time work for me.

However, I’ve come to realize that people ultimately make time for what’s important to them.

For example, I have a colleague who tells me that he’d love to learn about investing in real estate, but he just doesn’t have the time. However, he’s also the first one to ask me whether I’ve watched the latest episodes of Game of Thrones or House of Cards.

Now, a single season of one of these shows can add up to ten hours spent in front of the television. Multiply that by several seasons and you may have invested more than sixty total hours into a single show. That’s a lot of time that could be spent educating yourself on all sorts of things or in some way bettering yourself.

Trust me, this isn’t a judgment on my part. I’m a big fan of these shows as well, and to be honest, I’m mostly caught up on them myself.

It’s just that when people say they don’t have time, it usually just means that it’s not a priority for them. When customer service asks me if I have time to answer a survey at the end of the phone call, and I hang up before taking the survey, it’s typically not because I’m so busy I can’t spare 30 seconds. It’s simply not important to me. You know what I’m talking about.

At the end of the day, time is our most precious resource. Knowing this, I’ve made it a priority to learn about different ventures. That’s why you see me trying to finish several books on finance every single month, listening to multiple podcasts, and once in a while attending investor meetings.

I try to use my free time for my family (or for sleeping), but one way I “make” time for education or getting things done is to simply minimize my “dead time.”

Throughout my day, there are a lot of opportunities to multitask effectively. Time normally spent waiting or staring at the wall becomes time to be productive. For example, here are some ways I usually utilize my dead time:

1)    Listen to podcasts on my commute. That’s 4-6 hours a week.

2)    Read books or blogs while I’m in line for coffee. That’s a significant chunk of time, because lines are long and yes, I like my coffee.

3)    The bathroom. I’ll stop at details there.

4)    Read while waiting on hold on the phone.

5)    Instead of driving somewhere, sometimes I’ll take an Uber and read on the way.

6)    At all costs, avoid aimless YouTube death spirals (you know what I mean).

When it comes down to it, there doesn’t need to be any excuses. If something is a priority for you, you can make it happen. That may mean cutting back on a certain mindless pleasures so that you can reach the goals you want to reach.

Ultimately, it’s not about finding the time. It’s about finding out what’s worth your time.

So how do you find the time? How are you using your time to achieve your goals?

9 COMMENTS

  1. Great post! And it definitely resonates with me although I’m sure you have a much more demanding occupation than I do. People ask me how I fine time to blog 25-30 hours a week with a toddler and a full-time job. I think that if you really want to do something, you will find time for it. Prioritizing is key as you mentioned.

  2. Thanks for the post. Very educational. I really have a problem with my time. It is never enough . Probably I spend too much time taking care of my home ( McMansion). It was my mistake of buying it. I will downsize as soon as I can.

  3. Great post!
    I agree with the sentiment that your actions tell you what your priorities REALLY are. In other words, if you aren’t making time for it maybe it isn’t as important to you as you think?
    That said, I’m struggling to find time to do some things I really know I value, but am always trying to refine processes to make more time available.
    Good luck with your time management!

  4. Learning how to be more efficient with my time seemed to be one of the biggest learning curves of medical training. I like this post. You cant forget to make time for things that are important and right at the top is family. No matter how busy or how bad my call, I always take 5 minutes to step away and tell my S/O goodnight if I don’t make it home before dark.

    The one guilty pleasure I do have goes against your rule number six: “At all costs, avoid aimless YouTube death spirals (you know what I mean). ” I have become addicted to several channels.

  5. This is ultimately the same conclusion that I have come to. Utilize dead time and prioritize the things that are important to you. I’ve tried all sorts of time management hacks and tricks to varying levels of success, but if you don’t get these two down, you’re nowhere.

  6. I think your point about early morning is the key. As the old adage goes, “The early morning has gold in its mouth.” 90 minutes invested daily in your health, wealth, and wisdom will pay compound interest literally and figuratively.

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