Luke Ryan Jernejcic

Why can't I find the time for my work?

February 14, 2014

Let’s say it’s Thursday already. On Monday you started off the week with a list of things that you wanted to accomplish. Well, where are you at on that list? If you are like me, you are probably half way through the list. And now you are asking, why can’t I find the time to work on these projects that I want to do?

Clock Face Showing Time

Information is good

I love reading. I am a techie, so there is always a constant flow of information just waiting for me to consume it. And consume it I do. I have 87 sites that I pull into my RSS reader, Feedly. I mentioned some of my favorites in my post The 5 Best Blogs For Entrepreneurial Growth. Reading is something that I look forward to… multiple times a day!

Now there is a lot of good to reading the things I follow. I read about news, developers, blogging, life hacks, and people. Reading all this gives me a feeling of growth. I know that I am learning. I know that keeping up to date with news is a good thing, even a responsible thing. So I have kept up with these feeds, occasionally trimming the list.

RSS Feeds Are Distracting

I have come to a point where I wonder if all this reading is also a distraction. It’s not intentional, but every time I see the app (I use ReadKit on Mac, and Reeder 2 on iOS), I see more stuff to read. So I dig into what’s listed and try to get through it as quick as possible so I can get back to my other work.

I was talking to my wife about this. I have been having some trouble keeping on top of my goals (you can see them here). Time is just so limited. I come home from work and try to accomplish as much as I can, but I have been having trouble getting a significant amount of time to develop my new project.

Finding margin

Several times over the past two weeks I have heard and read about people trying to create more margin in their lives. Michael Hyatt’s podcast was one of those really got me thinking that I need to be more intentional about creating more margin in my life. Cutting down sleep was not an option as I’m already at about 7 hours. Cutting down exercise was not either, especially since I probably need to be doing more of it.

Intentional Reading

I kept coming back to the time I spend reading RSS feeds. I really feel like I needed the time that they were taking up. At the same time I felt like they are really important. I needed to find a better balance.

Then came another realization. I have been finding a lot of great content shared on Twitter lately. And it got me thinking: is everything in my RSS feed important? Do I need to read or skim every article that comes through? I was already skimming titles for some of my feeds instead of reading all of them. But maybe I can let the best content bubble up through Twitter. Plus, it is easy to skim Twitter feeds. It’s also super easy to catch up on twitter because it is more of a real time platform. I use TweetBot on iOS and on Mac, so it is not a major shift in routine.

RSS Fast

I decided that I am going to do an RSS fast. Fasting is the idea of abstaining from something for a period of time for personal growth. Fasting is often used for spiritual purposes but it can work for any area of life, even professionally.

So today I deleted all 87 RSS feeds from my account on Feedly. For the rest of February, I will not add any RSS feeds back into it. I am not even going to open it because there isn’t anything in it anymore.

Now I am going to let Twitter be my source of info. I will trust that the things people are sharing are the best and most important content. Will I miss some things that would interest me? Yes. But my hope is that I will gain better reading and information and have more time to focus on development.

Quick Results

It’s only been maybe eight hours and I am already feeling like I have more time. Clearing out my feeds did cause a little anxiety. Surprisingly I found that I was already following some of them on Twitter. I am feeling an odd sort of freedom right now, but we will see how the rest of the month plays out.

Cutting something off to reclaim time is hard. But cutting back can make things a lot easier. Are there areas in your life where you could salvage some time by cutting back?

Written by Luke Ryan Jernejcic who lives and works in Austin Texas building useful things. Follow him on Twitter