“How do you find the time to do all this?” – and what it reveals about the person asking

TimeIn the past year, I have been asked frequently how I manage to hold down a full-time job, work on a to-be-published coffee table book on Southeast Asia AND keep up a busy travel schedule for The Grand Tour Part II.

The question is generally this: “How do you FIND TIME to do all of this?”

It’s a seemingly innocuous question that reveals more about the ONE ASKING than the ONE BEING ASKED.

The focus of the question is ostensibly on TIME, or the supposed INSUFFICIENCY of it. The subtext could read: how are you able to achieve so much within a day, when I can’t seem to find enough hours in the same day to finish what I need to do at work, or at home, and so on? No, seriously.

OR it could also read: damn, I’m so important, I couldn’t possibly be doing the frivolous things you’re doing outside of work.

Whatever the subtext, the same persons who pose this question are also most often the ones who, when asked “How are you doing?” in the elevator or in the corridors, consistently reply, in a hassled, unhappy and abstract manner, “Very busy.” As though nobody else was similarly occupied.

It must be a very unsatisfying state of being – this perpetual busy-ness that doesn’t result in one achieving what one truly wants to achieve. Which is, in effect, an indication that one doesn’t KNOW what one truly wants to achieve. Because if one did, surely one would do all within one’s power to achieve THAT.

And therefore, inherent in the question, “How do you find time to do all of this?” is a second, implicitly self-directed question: “What am I doing with myself / my life?”

In other words, “FINDING TIME” is in reality not about TIME at all, but about CLARITY OF PURPOSE.

And so my answer to the initial question – “how do you find time to do all of this?” – is always: “I just do it, because it’s what I truly WANT TO DO. Find what you truly want to do, and you’ll find that there’s always enough time.”

“But I’m so busy!” some inevitably protest, missing the point entirely.

So am I, I smile and think to myself, but I don’t feel the need to tell everyone about it.  I’m having such a good time being busy, they might think I’m insane.  =)

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Culture & Lifestyle, Sociology & Urban Studies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “How do you find the time to do all this?” – and what it reveals about the person asking

  1. My father always said that at the end of the day the people complaining or simply mentioning over and over again that they are “too busy” are the people that usually do the less amount of things….

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