"I Don't Have Time" Is the Wrong Excuse
Your kid’s school day just ended.
Now it’s time for a quick student council meeting, two hours of soccer practice, the bus ride home, and a rushed dinner. They speed through homework and get barely enough sleep, just to wake up and do it all over again.
It’s overwhelming. And it’s a recipe for burnout. I get it – I’ve been there, too.
One of the most common comments I hear from parents is: “My kid would love to work with a mentor, but they just don’t have time.”
Instead of “Do kids have time to find their passion?” ask, “Can they afford not to?”
Here are three tips to make the time when it feels like there aren't enough hours in a day:
1. Set time limits for your social media accounts and stick to them.
We’ve all been sucked into an endless scroll and come out of it feeling drained. One of the best ways to avoid this is to set time limits for your apps!
According to a 2019 report by Common Sense media, teens spend up to nine hours a day consuming screen media – cut down on an hour of screen time per day, and think of all the things you could explore!
2. Don’t sacrifice FUN – make sure it’s a core part of the equation!
Balance isn’t just about fitting academics, sports, service, and an instrument into your schedule: it’s also about balancing the things you love to do – whether it’s pickup soccer or reading – with the things you have to do, like studying for an upcoming test. Find unique ways to add fun to the mix. For example:
- Need to work on your writing skills but still want time to scroll through fashion sites? Create a fashion blog!
- Curious about NFT’s but don’t want to waste hours on reddit? Create your own NFT, like Teddy did with his mentor Charlie!
- Love hanging out with your friends? Invite them to do a passion project or learn something new – whether it be coding or graphic design – with you. CC with your bestie!
Your passion can and should feel like an outlet. Lean into it!
3. Remember Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
Have you ever found that if you give yourself 15 minutes to send an email, you’ll do it right away, but if you give yourself an hour, it’ll take an hour? That’s Parkinson’s Law in action.
Use this to your advantage by setting time blocks to complete tasks! Whether it’s the Pomodoro Method (25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break) or an hour-by-hour work schedule, limiting yourself to time blocks can free up plenty of time at the end of the day.
Being busy isn't a bad thing, as long as you're busy with meaningful activities! As Thoreau said, "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
Just make sure "busy" doesn't consist of aimless hours scrolling on Tiktok, activities that you don't genuinely enjoy, or time “doing work” that's actually spent distracted in front of a blank page of paper.
Be busy meaningfully.
Does your student crave an opportunity to carve their own path but not know where to start? Or is there a class that consumes the majority of their time, and they need help managing their hours more effectively? Sign up today for a consultation call to discuss how we can support you at Curious Cardinals.
Co-founder and CEO, Curious Cardinals