Why Do We Never Seem To Have Time?

Always. So. Busy. I’ve been hearing that way too often lately. Maybe it’s the rat race in Joburg. Maybe it’s the type of people I surround myself with. Maybe it’s a way for people to make themselves feel important.

When I tell people about my general habits and goals for the week/month/year, they’re always astonished and ask ‘Where do you find the time?!’. My answer generally tends to be that I prioritize efficiently. I thought this would be quite a useful topic to dive into, especially given how ‘busy’ we all are.

In today’s post, I’ll talk about how loving yourself is proportional to your self-discipline, how to stop making excuses for yourself, why you should stop complaining (or bragging) about how busy you are and learning to prioritize your to-do list.

Before You Say ‘I’m Too Busy’ Again, Listen to This Rant

Self-love = self-discipline

Self-love can be a tricky topic for certain people to navigate. It’s not necessarily something we’ve been taught or instinctively know how to do. There are several components to loving yourself, including discipline, vulnerability, compassion and connection.

I’d like to focus only on the concept of self-discipline here and why I think it’s the main ingredient to truly loving yourself. Before we get into that though, let me show you a quote as to why I think this is relevant in the first place:

“We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”

When it comes to being disciplined, the most important element is to keep the promises you make to yourself. You need to respect your own commitments. You need to follow through on your goals and habits. You need to be consistent and dedicated. You need to be focused and free from distraction. Not necessarily all the time, but most of the time, and especially when you need to.

This leads back to the quote. When we’re able to do that for ourselves, it allows us to do it better for other people. When people tell me that they’re too busy to incorporate certain habits (that will help them) into their lifestyle, it indicates that they don’t respect or love themselves enough.

Clint Eastwood Quote: “Self-respect leads to self ...

Using the ‘I don’t have enough time’ comment is genuinely a pathetic excuse to me. Unless you’re obviously responsible for a lot more than the average person.

Excuses, excuses

So what is it about that excuse that makes us turn to it so quickly? It’s simply the easiest option. It’s almost a no-brainer because it diminishes the guilt that arises when we’re not living out to our full potential.

The incredible thing is, we actually all are really busy these days. Being busy is not necessarily an invalid excuse. Some people are just more efficient at being busy than others. So, before you start complaining about how busy you are and how you don’t have time to breathe, analyse how you spend your time on average every week.

If you’re going to come up with excuses, just make sure they’re valid and backed up with evidence. I’m not asking you to prove anything to me or anyone else, I’m asking you to prove it to yourself. Look at how much time you actually spend at work (or doing work at home), look at how much sleep you’re getting, look at your screen time and how many hours you waste scrolling social media, look at how many hours you invest into Netflix and how many hours you spend on chores / errands.

You can then use that information to support your valid excuses and to get rid of your invalid ones. You’ll be able to use those insights to take actionable steps to free up some time in your ‘incredibly busy schedule’. Slot in some time to read everyday, to work out a little everyday, to spend time with your family / friends, to pray, and to meditate or journal or anything to look after your mental health.

Being busy without evidence is a terrible excuse and we just use it to inflate our egos.

I’m such a busy person, look at how important I am!

The other issue with us trying to be busy all the time? It makes us feel important. It can reach the point where even when we don’t have anything pressing to do, it diminishes the way we feel about ourselves. The solution to that is quite simple. Find an excuse to be busy.

This becomes problematic when we’re trying to put on a show for other people. Acting like we’re always pre-occupied gives us a sense of entitlement and makes use feel significant. When we’re not being authentic to ourselves, we tend to do the same with other people.

Just be conscious of the way the ego plays a role in wanting to put up this front, especially when you find yourself being ‘busy’ with unnecessary activities. So how can we be more efficient in all that busyness?

Efficiently doing your list

When it comes to freeing up time or doing multiple important things in a single day, the key lies in prioritisation. Personally, I like to build up momentum as early as possible. So, I focus first on the simple tasks and what takes up a short amount of time. This allows me to tick off a number of items off my to-do list early on in the day, which frees up more time for the bigger tasks throughout the rest of the day.

Basically, what you want to do is find an ordering system for your to-do list in terms of when to get things done. This will not only help you structure your list better, but it will also help you think of how much time each task will take. Then you can fit in additional hobbies and things you want to do in between.

Momentum here is key. Small consistent wins play a critical role in your mindset. When you start the day off with wins, you tend to flow through with that kind of energy. This is what works specifically for me. See what works best for you and incorporate that into your own system.

I want to leave you with a better understanding of how useless the concept of ‘being busy’ is. We all have the same amount of time, but different amounts of responsibility. Based on your own capacity and schedule, find a way to make it as efficient as possible. Don’t use excuses to invalidate your own growth, unless you’ve genuinely put in the time and effort to think about it.

Life is short. You have enough time. The world is already trying to hold you back, so don’t hold yourself back too. You can do this. You are capable. Keep pushing. Don’t give up.


I’ve been choosing topics from my Instagram followers and I think this one is super interesting. I’ll be speaking from my own understanding of what self-actualization is; finding a fulfilling way to live life.

The aspects that I’ll be considering are: Going inwards, understanding your environment and asking questions. I’d also like to emphasize how important contentment is (again), especially with regards to having a healthier outlook on life.

The reason I repeat topics are for it to serve as a reminder.

Going inwards (Reflection, introspection, journalling, meditating)

Being non-judgmental towards yourself and others. This is something we don’t pay enough attention to. We’re constantly in a state of judging. Whether we choose to be conscious of it or not. Our minds are quick at naming, blaming, comparing, and judging. Ourselves first and foremost.

Going inwards constitutes that we notice the thoughts that arise. No attachment, just awareness. Treat thoughts like clouds in the sky. They’re always different, always changing, and usually unpredictable. When we attach ourselves to thoughts or judge ourselves for the thoughts that we do have, we act as if the sky is in a permanent state.

But how untrue is that? Considering that change is inevitable, we should be kinder in dealing with our thoughts. Let’s look at a few ways to do just that.

-Meditating. The reason we should sit down and give ourselves space to let thoughts come and go, is to truly realize how impermanent they are. This would constitute setting a specific time every day (preferably early in the morning or just before you go to bed), to just let your mind wander. No attachment, just observation.

I like to think of it as going to the gym for your brain. You’re training your mind to be more present & to detach yourself from distractions.

Journalling. Oh hey, it’s this again! I honestly keep bringing this up because it has proven to be paramount in developing self-awareness. When you journal consistently, you gain insight on thought and behavioural patterns that you would otherwise just ignore.

Journalling provides a space for you to unwrap thoughts and ideas that are just floating around in your mind. It allows you to dump out unnecessary thoughts too, and clears up your mind. You also become very aware of trends in your life, that you can improve on or correct. I’d also recommend doing this either in the morning or before bed.

Consistency is the key to mastery. So make sure you try and implement both these habits on a regular basis, to truly reap their benefits.

Understanding your environment (Parents, friends, school)

Are we shaped by our circumstances? Are we able to change those circumstances? How much are we affected by our peers? How do we try to live up-to other people’s expectations of us?

Reasons reap benefits. Remember to keep asking your self important questions. This allows you to reflect quite easily on the person you’ve become. So let’s try and answer some of these questions, then dive into deeper ones.

A huge part of our psyche has been shaped in our childhood. This always fascinates me because that’s where we usually have the least control. Our parents, peers and environment largely shape the type of people we end up becoming.

We definitely do have inherent and innate talents, as well as some control in the way we deal with our circumstances. But they’re still influenced by the way we were brought up. Understanding yourself therefore requires unwrapping the parts of you that you never think of. The younger versions of yourself. The parts that you’ve evolved to ignore.

When we’re able to be vulnerable with ourselves, there’s no limit to how much we can learn. Just look at the past year. You’re nowhere near the same person you were at the end of 2018 (hopefully). Indulge in the lessons.

Constantly think back on what has worked for you. What hasn’t worked for you. Areas of your life that you want to improve. Areas of your life that have already improved.

More Questions

  • Why am I here?
  • What is my purpose?
  • How can I contribute?
  • How long will I be here for?
  • What happens next?

Start your day by refreshing your intentions. Ask yourself important questions. Think clearly of your vision. If you don’t have one yet, work towards it.

Now (Is all there is)

How can we use the present moment to extract valuable lessons from the past, to make wiser decisions in the future?

By being conscious of where you are now. By realizing that there is no way back, time only moves forward. By understanding that there is no such thing as failure or defeat, only lessons to be learnt.

By being vulnerable. Stop holding yourself back based on what other people are going to think. Have the courage to be yourself. Fully immerse yourself in the present moment by being vulnerable with those you love.

I spoke about how being vulnerable with yourself opens up doorways to learning. Being vulnerable with others opens up doorways for teaching.

Don’t fear failure. Don’t fear rejection. Don’t fear being laughed at. You are meant to live your best life, and achieve your full potential. Whatever that means to you. Take the leap of faith. Chase your dreams. Follow what ignites the flame within.

It must be acknowledged that self-actualization is something achieved through privilege. Only once your physiological and safety needs are met, can you truly start to climb the ladder. It’s crucial therefore, to be grateful if you’re able to start developing a feeling of belonging and high self-esteem.

To wrap things up, I just want to talk a little about gratitude. If you’re reading this, it means you’re probably high up in the hierarchy of needs. This is something to be extremely grateful for. There are so many other people who can’t achieve their dreams or pursue their passions, purely because of their socio-economic status.

Being thankful is the least we can do, alongside helping other people, to truly find contentment in life. I’m going to end by bringing up this wonderful quote again, because it’s imperative to this topic.

“You find yourself, when you lose yourself in the service of others.”


I’d like to speak about a topic that everyone has inevitably experienced at some point. Loneliness. Now, the premise of this post will be more than just being comfortable in your own company, but rather that empty chest feeling that creeps up on you without you ever realizing it. No one goes through life unscathed, that’s why I believe it’s important to speak about things that may be uncomfortable or even daunting. Because if we’re all going through similar experiences, why not help each other deal with it?

Enjoying some quality alone time by yourself is without a doubt an extremely healthy habit. When we give ourselves a safe space to ponder and let thoughts flow, it provides with insightful reflection and wisdom in return. An example of this would be, going on a walk somewhere in nature and enjoying your own presence within the present. Some of the greatest minds of our time such as Beethoven, Darwin, Dickens & even Steve Jobs have taken daily strolls to enhance their creativity and let ideas flow. (This doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy quality time alone, it’s just an example of how you could) However, even if we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, it’s too often we find a hollowing pain within, yearning for connection.

I generally refer to a term called the empty chest feeling (ECF). A little bit of loneliness that creeps up on you out of nowhere, regardless of how well everything seems to be going. Sometimes it could be out of boredom, our minds’ way of dealing with the fact that we’re all going to die some day. Just think about how much we do to distract ourselves, from the very idea of death. There’s a reason I love the quote “Memento Mori” so much, it translates to “The art of dying”. Ironically, what we’re willing to die for, is ultimately what we should strive to live for.

The ECF is part of our nature I believe, from an evolutionary perspective. To drive social interaction and bonding, as it was more effective for us to work together & build pacts. From hunting and protecting, to building and expanding. The instinctive feeling to connect, drove us to stick together and do better. But at this point in time, when we’re the most connected to everyone around us, why do we find ourselves still struggling with meaningful connection? I think it’s to do with the very nature of being connected with yourself. Remember that no one else can completely fill in the void within you, unless you learn to fill it up yourself.

So what can we do when that empty chest feeling appears, even when we’re comfortable being alone?

Accept it, write it down & let it go! That may sound way too simple, but honestly if you’ve read my post about journalling , you’ll realize how important I think writing down is. But what’s vital here is the first aspect, acceptance. When we consciously accept how we feel, we’ve automatically allowed ourselves to deal with it. Always remember that as humans, we’re not meant to be feeling ecstatic and over the moon at all times. Things do fall apart, we mess up and sometimes life sucks. But that’s okay! If you didn’t have to struggle or experience crappy emotions, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy and appreciate life either. So when a bit of loneliness creeps up, tell yourself: “I love you and I’m listening”. I know there’ll be mixed reactions around this, but it’s something that personally works for me and I can honestly tell you that it makes you feel some type of way.

Having purpose and serving others, is another way of healthily using that feeling to your advantage. When you find something that drives you, something that gives you a reason to wake up everyday, something that has a positive impact on your community, you start feeling a sense of purpose. Start measuring your own success based on the effort you put in & based on the impact you’ve had on others, instead of results or material success.

This post included a lot of what I’ve written about previously, but these are important and relevant points that should always be reiterated. Forming a healthy relationship with yourself sometimes just won’t cut it, which is why we need to look at our species more holistically and be driven by our contributions to society. So taking that together with healthy strolls, learning to accept your own emotions and being there for yourself, would therefore be a better game plan. I’ll leave with a quote as usual:

“You find yourself, when you lose yourself in the service of others.”


The Journey III

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

The most recent book I’ve just read is called Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, thanks to a very special friend of mine. As part of my own learning, I decided to write a little about this topic so that the concepts can stay ingrained within me. Part of this post will cover the meaning of EQ, and how it can help us in our daily commutes. As well as other forms of beneficial concepts to aid us with understanding ourselves better & how to deal with other people. 

What is Emotional intelligence?

Let’s start with a definition. From the research I’ve conducted, it’s the ability identify & acknowledge one’s own feelings (& emotions) as well as that of others.  So this links back to what I talked about in The Journey I, being a better interpreter of your own emotions & learning how to accept them. What I loved so much about emotional intelligence is that it teaches you how to connect with people. Unlike the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), EQ emphasizes on more than just your own measure of intellignce; but rather how intelligent you are with dealing with yourself & others. In developing EQ, a key factor to consider is empathy. 

What is the difference between empathy & sympathy?

Empathy: Is the ability to understand someone else from their point of reference (putting yourself in their shoes).

Sympathy: Is the understanding of what another person is feeling.

The short video I have posted here is a perfect way to understand these different terms. Empathy fuels connection, sympathy drives disconnection. 

One of the most important traits you can have as part of your character is being empathetic. Understanding how to make yourself vulnerable in order to connect with other people & feel what they feel. When dealing with conflict or confrontations, the best & easiest approach for me would usually be: How do I want to be told this? This question shows how important it is to understand yourself, in order to understand others. When you know what works best for you in difficult situations, you’ll be prepared to figure out what works best for others too. Being emotionally intelligent allows you to make the best possible compromise when juggling with difficult emotions. 

How much should you compromise for a relationship?

Discovering yourself is just as important when it comes to forming healthy relationships. The answer to that is a bit more complicated but there are a few tips that I’ve gained from a great monk that I’ve watched, Jay Shetty. “The problem is that we have a list for the person we want to be with, but we don’t have a list for who we need to become.” Before rushing into relationships you need to dig down and find out what you really want from a relationship. When you have that self-awareness, you’d know what you’re willing to change and what you’re not, in order to be with someone else.

Another point that I believe is crucial for this point is self-love. If you think of the love you have as a bar, like a health bar in video games, our instinctive behaviour would be to try and fill that up. If for example, you’ve only managed to fill that bar up halfway by yourself, you’d often seek the rest of the fulfillment from other people or relationships. When they aren’t able to complete it for you, that’s when a sort of lacking starts to appear and you feel like there’s something wrong or missing. If  however, you’re able to fill up that bar completely by yourself, then everyone else in your life would just be adding to an already filled up bar. Allowing for an overflow of love and compassion.

To tie the laces,  I’ve mentioned how important empathy is for genuine human connection, as well as differentiating it against sympathy. Why we need to be self-aware before jumping into relationships, & how important self-love is for that same task. I’ll leave with a lovely quote that I’ve found to be very true:

”The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of your relationships.”