Where’d the Time Go?

Know somebody who’s just chronically disorganized, or can’t seem to juggle a schedule for the life of them? Not having enough time, or being chronically at the mercy of one’s schedule, makes for a pressurized life, not to mention all of that stress that keeps accruing and those relationships that wear thin.

I notice sometimes that people who are chronically managing their schedule (sometimes) tend to use their busy schedule as a way to avoid the other, deeper problems going on with them. You know how we tend to use others as excuses for the problems we encounter? We can just as surely use our schedules or our “busy lives” as an avoidance technique, a convenient way to avoid having to deal with the bigger issues, such as unhappiness, a bad marriage, a job we hate or, worst of all, negative feelings about ourselves.

Bad time management is a function of this. We incorporate so much into our lives, that it seems as if we are chained to our hectic lives and schedules. We get to a point where they control us, not the other way around. We learn to gradually neglect ourselves, and our needs, so that our schedules (and others) get our time and attention. But guess what? Those people and appointments never get the best of us; we are only giving them so much of us, because we’re not taking the time to take care of ourselves, or don’t know how to, or both. The latter problem is more difficult to deal with than the former, but are so mutally related to each other that people often experience both problems together.

When we neglect our values, we neglect what is truly important to us. With the limited time we have as a human being, on this Earth, we tend to get so caught up in the minutia of everyday life – the ads, the errands, the deadlines – that we forget to check in with the things and people that matter most to us. They get sidelined because “life” is happening, or the busy prison cells we call our schedules. We forget to check in with ourselves, and savor that which is most important to us, which is often people and relationships with others and with ourselves.

Creating more space in our lives is important to incorporate more quality time to do the things we really want to do, or need to do, to maintain what’s really necessary. If you’re not living a life aligned with your values, or if you don’t know what your values even are, it’s time to sit down and hammer out how to find them. They are what can guide of lives, create joy and meaning, and lessen stress and anger considerably.

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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