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Are You "Time Poor?" Here's How To Deal With Time Poverty

Expertly reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD · Internal or General Medicine

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Aug 05, 2022

    Are You "Time Poor?" Here's How To Deal With Time Poverty

    Do you ever feel “time poor?” Do you have so many things to do with little time to do any of these things at all? If you regularly experience this problem, know that you are not alone. Many people across the globe have time poverty, and experts say it’s linked to lower physical health, well-being, and productivity. 

    How can you overcome time poverty? Find out here. 

    Tips To Overcoming Time Poverty

    Whether you’re a professional climbing the corporate ladder, a business owner, or a stay-at-home mom or dad, time poverty is challenging to deal with. But these tips might help:

    1. Identify and eliminate distractions.

    What things steer you away from doing your tasks? Is it the constant notifications from social media? The Netflix update you’re waiting for? 

    To deal with time poverty, it’s crucial to identify and eliminate distractions.

    Pro Tip

    Schedule a time for “distractions.” For instance, schedule a time for social media browsing or watching Netflix shows

    2. Avoid overcommitting.

    No matter how much you want to be helpful or productive, start saying no to tasks that only add to your already full plate. If you find it hard to say no, consider being upfront about your workload. 

    3. Put your priorities in one place.

    In many cases, having one notebook for this and another for that doesn’t work. Experts suggest putting everything in one place, whether it’s a physical notepad or a virtual calendar. 

    Set your priorities and plot them according to your schedule. If some tasks or meetings can wait, push them a little farther into your schedule. 

    Pro Tip

    Always check your calendar or notebook if something, such as a meeting or task, comes up. That way you can readily say whether you’re available or not. 

    4. Schedule breaks.

    Amidst all the work, don’t forget to find time to take a breather. The available space in your calendar shouldn’t all be for work. 

    In fact, you need to schedule a “me time” somewhere in your day. For instance, there should be time for lunch, 5-minute walking meditation, or breaks for your eyes. 

    5. Set boundaries. 

    With how easy it is to contact one another through emails and chats, it’s become hard to set boundaries between work life and personal life. Experts say even if your company doesn’t have clear policies on this, you must make one for yourself. 

    Make it a habit to start working on time, so you can stop working as scheduled. Don’t reply to emails past a certain time and certainly try not to message anyone at work unless it’s an emergency. 

    6. Find a system that works for you.

    Dealing with time poverty is different for everyone. That’s why it’s important to find a system that works for you. 

    Are you more productive when you focus on one task throughout the day? Or would you rather do several tasks daily but with time limits? Whatever system works best for you, be sure to inform your colleagues about it. That way, they would know exactly what you’re working on. 

    Remember, all of us are given 24 hours, and it’s not advisable to spend the majority of them working alone. You need to account for self-care, time for family, and flexibility in case some things don’t go as planned. At the end of the day, whether you’re time poor or time rich depends on how you prioritize and manage your time. 

    Key Takeaways

    Time poverty is a situation where you feel you have plenty of things to do with so little time. Experts say it’s associated with lower productivity, well-being, and physical health. Hence, it’s crucial that you deal with being time poor by taking steps to manage your priorities and schedules.

    Learn more about Healthy Mind here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Internal or General Medicine

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Aug 05, 2022

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