What is a time famine?
We’ve all experienced a time famine (or many of them) even if you’ve never heard the term.
It’s the concept of having too much to do and too little time to get it all done.
Basically, it’s being overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling like you have to keep moving constantly or else everything will fall apart. Even worse, it can be the feeling that even if you keep going, it will all fall apart any way.
Strategies for breaking out of a time famine
So, once you know you’re in a time famine how do you escape? There’s a couple of different strategies I like to use.
- Take a hard look at your priorities
Is there anything on your task list that can be done in 5 minutes or less? Start there. I always find getting a few tasks accomplished clears my mind and allows me to focus on activities that require more thought and effort.
What’s most important? Tackle those tasks next.
Is there anything you can get someone else to help you with? Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Ask yourself is there anything you can drop? Is everything on your to do list really essential?
- Implement some productivity hacks
If you feel completely overwhelmed, consider trying a productivity method like the Pomodoro Technique. It’s the idea of breaking down your tasks into a 25-minute work session, followed by a 5-minute break, and then doing it all over again.
Or consider the Ivy Lee Method. I first heard about it from The Skinny Confidential blog, but it’s a 100-year-old strategy, so I guess I’ve been living under a rock. The Ivy Lee Method is way of organizing your to-do list the night before with your six most essential tasks written in the order of importance. The following day, you start the list, but you can only tackle the top item first. Once that’s crossed off, you can move on to the second task, once that’s done, tackle the third, and so on.
- Time Buying
If there’s just too much going on in your life that productivity hacks can’t begin to handle, consider the concept of time buying. It’s the idea of paying for a service that clears the way for you to tackle another task instead. For example, if you get food delivered, you don’t have to spend the time making a meal or going to the store to get the ingredients.
- Combine Activities
This one was inspired by a post I read on Maximalist Project.
Is there anything on your list that you can combine with another? Have you been meaning to call back the friend that called you last week, but you also need to squeeze in a workout? Why not invite her to join you? It’s a win-win as you get two tasks accomplished in a much more fun way.
Got any productivity tips you want to share? I’m always looking for new favorites.
Feeling too stressed to even start? Consider a breathwork meditation session.