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We all fall prey to it at some point.

And while there may be legitimate periods of time that are completely full and inflexible, our lives as a whole are not.

We’re trying to regain some control.

A young mother, in reviewing Unstuff Your Life! at Amazon, stated that she would NEVER be able to transform her kitchen in the way that I suggest in the book. She simply doesn’t have the time — and listed her two children, including “a one-year old who likes to get into everything” and a full-time job as her explanation.

“I don’t have time, EVER, to take out everything from my kitchen. I need a process that I can work on a little each day after the kids go to bed, and this was not it for me. I don’t know how I would ever implement the system as he designed it.”

I do.

How about a day or two of daycare over a weekend? If money would prevent that from being an option, how about a local relative who could watch the kids? How about a relative who isn’t local that would take the kids for a weekend sleepover? Or how about a friend? Perhaps even someone who ALSO wants to make over her kitchen and could trade either babysitting or help with the makeover and then our ‘no time’ gal could help her friend do the same at HER home.

I’m willing to bet that she COULD have the time.

I’m also willing to accept that she may very well be overwhelmed, exhausted, challenged with time management, and other things. She may FEEL she doesn’t have the time or THINK she doesn’t have the time or both.

But that doesn’t mean she actually DOESN’T have any time.

After all, she wrote a review on Amazon (that didn’t move her any closer to getting organized) so she clearly has SOME unstructured time.

When we dig in our heels and state with some intensity that we have absolutely no time, what are we really doing?

We’re trying to regain some control.

Perhaps we’re experiencing such a strong loss of control that the cure for our discomfort becomes a strident declaration of ‘no time.’

We draw a line in the sand — a boundary for ourselves, and by extension, others, who we may see as part of the problem of ‘no time.’

We’re restating our claim to our time — albeit in a slightly blustery and desperate way.

Hopefully the declaration will get some folks’ attention and provide at least temporary relief for our perceived problem.

But the solution is actually simpler and more difficult.

It requires a different approach to time. And if we’re already feeling stretched and threatened, it’s that much harder to remain open enough to take a risk on anything.

Even an alternative that MIGHT work better than what we’re currently doing that isn’t working so well.

It’s a curious thing — when we most need to make a change, we’re often the least open TO change.

So perhaps the strongest antidote to ‘no time’ is an attitude adjustment and rather than digging in our heels, a softening of our grasp and a request for help.

Not more control, but less control of the type we’re used to.

And then perhaps a NEW kind of control, or actually a new way of running our lives, will have room to appear.

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About The Author

Andrew Mellen's picture

Andrew Mellen is an organizational expert, public speaker, and the #1 best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!

Andrew has helped tens of thousands of people worldwide to declutter and simplify their lives while regaining time for the things that matter.

A sought-after authority on organizing and productivity, Andrew's addressed audiences from The Great British Business Show to TEDx. 

Corporate clients include American Express, Genentech, NetApp, Time, Inc., and the US Depts. of Education and Homeland Security.

The media has dubbed Andrew “The Most Organized Man in America.” He writes a featured column called “Ask The Organizer” in Real Simple. In addition, he has written for and/or appeared in: The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, America Now, The Lisa Oz Show, The Nate Berkus Show, Oprah & Friends, Martha Stewart Living Today, ABC, NBC, CBS, CW11, HGTV, DIY Network, LiveWell Network, KnowMoreTV, Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, Family Circle, USA Today, GQ, InStyle, All You, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Healthy UK, American Way, numerous trade and travel publications, and NPR.

He leads workshops and speaks internationally while maintaining a private practice working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, trade associations, and non-profits to CEOs, award-winning filmmakers, and authors, as well as overwhelmed parents everywhere. 

In 2013, Andrew founded Unstuff U®, the world's first completely virtual personal organization training center, offering classes, workshops, and other online resources for businesses and individuals. 

Andrew is a member of the Experts Collective and serves on the faculty of the New York Open Center in New York City. He speaks frequently on the intersection of spirituality and organization at places including Omega Institute, San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, All Saints Church, JCC Manhattan, and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, among others.

Previously, Andrew was an award-winning playwright, actor, producer, and director and the former Artistic Director of Alice B. Theater (Seattle), DC Arts Center (Washington, DC), and Shuttle Theater Company (New York). He is a contributing author to Yes Is the Answer: (And Other Prog-Rock Tales).

Andrew lives by his motto: More Love, Less Stuff!® 

Find him on the web at andrewmellen.com.

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