What To Do When There Is Not Enough Time In The Day (a Tip From Tim Ferriss’ First Book)

What To Do When There Is Not Enough Time In The DayDo you have too many things to deal with? If you think that there is not enough time available to finish everything and you want to be less stressed, asking yourself one particular question could be the answer.

People feel overwhelmed at times, as they have so much going on. They want to do the right things in a timely matter with quality, no matter how many projects they have and how full their agenda is.

Can you relate?

I will ask one simple question that can help you to actually do less and stress less.


Less is more

I have now been an entrepreneur for only three month, and sometimes I catch myself working crazy hours. I guess that is normal being an entrepreneur, and I do not have a big issue with it as I highly enjoy what I am doing.

Nonetheless, I sometimes notice that I do not always focus on the important things of the day, but rather get stuck into details which take up a lot of time and is not really that crucial. How do I deal with this?

My favorite thing is actually to refer to a question, which I came across in the book by Timothy Ferriss “The 4-Hour Workweek” (2007. Crown Publishers, p. 80). It helps me to regain focus and to feel less overwhelmed.


The question:

“If you had a heart attack and had to work two hours per day, what would you do?” – Tim Ferriss

At first, this question can seem a bit extreme and referring to only two working hours per day seems unrealistic, but on a second thought being this unrealistic, it pushes people even further. And addressing this type of question might be helping people to avoid having a burnout.

What are the things that you could you delete or stop doing? Maybe completely remove, delay or even better delegate to others? What are the meetings where someone from your team could go to? Is there someone who could deal with your administrative tasks?

As people generally do not like to miss out, and it is difficult to decide sometimes. Maybe you start by cleaning up your office desk, or delete old unused files on your computer. Sort your address book. Throw out old clothes.


Your turn

Changing and leaving things behind can release new energy and reduce stress levels, and people are less worried about not having enough time.

So, how would you do it? Think of one action or one thing that you can change during the next four days. One thing only. Whether it is related to your office space, your apartment or house or maybe your business agenda for this week. Change something.

What are you going to do? Share with us below!

Photo courtesy of Bernard Goldbach


  1. One thing that I am going to do is organize and use it more wisely. Because I find myself with extra time, often I don’t use it as wisely as I could.

    That will be the one thing that I do.

    Tim presents a great question though. Too many times people feel they need to do everything when in fact they actually don’t.

    I know Pat Flynn had a similar problem before he hired a virtual assistant.

    I guess that is why he called his book let go.

    Great post!
    Iain recently posted…How to do SEO for small businesses without a clueMy Profile

    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Iain, you are right. I guess priotization and delegation will help a lot to get through busy as well as less busy hours of the day.

  2. I’m truly guilty of being stuck into the details which often times led me to forget the important things which should be at the top of my list for focus and action.

    A concrete example that I’m going thru at present is learning as much about blogging, that sometimes I forgot that I have t focus on what next to write and be done with it. I feel I don’t have enough time for these list of things to do that sometimes frustrations will affect love ones around me.

    So on the way home from work everyday I started to remind myself what’s important and if I can’t get to some of them on my list, I also reminded myself to let go, breathe deeply and call it a day/night til tomorrow again.

    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Getting into the details of things can be very rewarding, but also time consuming. Finding a good balance is the goal, so maybe deleting and delaying less urgent things is a good way to start.

  3. Hmmm…what could I delete….I definitely need to get better about delegating some tasks to other people. For some reason, I feel like I want to do everything myself–doesn’t matter if it’s my blog….home…whatever. It’s like I LIKE feeling like Super Woman. NOT good….
    Serena @ Get Your Life Straight recently posted…Keeping Your Heart Happy and HealthyMy Profile

    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Serena, the first time I was asked to delegate something (by my former boss), I had a really hard time. When I noticed how much time I gained and that other people can deliver a similar level of quality, I was all for it!

  4. Last month I took the jump and hired my first full time VA. I then opened a free account at Trello and started putting together everything that she can do instead of me. Now it has been work putting together the training video’s and everything but I believe after she gets the knack of it my work week will change completely. My goal is to increase content and let her do everything to get it online.
    Robert Harper recently posted…Roaming Startup Show 015: In The TubMy Profile

    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Robert, thank you for sharing! I hope it will be noticeable soon and relief your agenda!

  5. Great post Jantje – got me thinking!

    I plan to shut my office door at home at a certain time and then continue to ignore that door once I’m finished for the night. Having an office at home makes it difficult to ignore. Every time I walk past that the office I feel an urge to go in and keep working to the detriment of my family life.
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    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Glad to hear, Andrew! The temptation is high when your office is so close by, I can relate to that. Is it not an advantage that you “only” feel the urge when you walk passed the door?

  6. Love the idea of prioritizing – but what do you do with the left over feeling that you just didn’t get to everything? I’ve got a new mantra “There’s more than enough time”/ Works like magic……
    Evelyn Cucchiara recently posted…There is More Than Enough Time……My Profile

    • Jantje Bartels says:

      Evelyn, glad you have found a mantra which works for you! When I get the feeling I have not done enough, I look at my daily to do list and look at the things that I have already ticked off! If there are still a lot of remaining things on the list, I see what I can finish and postpone the rest. Not everything is that urgent and there is always room for improvement in terms of setting too many daily goals.

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