You sincerely want to find the right person but claim you have little or no time to do it. No question about it: dating is time consuming. As a Dating Coach, I hear complaints daily from men and women about being too busy to carve out the time required to invest in the search. The excuses include: I’m too busy at work, I’m too busy being a single parent, I’m too busy traveling, exercising, commuting, fixing my house, etc. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to refocus on love with 4 tips that will help you find more time to date and be more efficient doing it:

Tip #1: Find your number

How much time for dating do you really have? The right way to find your number is to ask yourself this: If you were in a serious relationship with a great man or woman, how much time would you spend together talking on the phone, emailing, having lunch or dinner, driving to his/her house, going to movies, having sex, etc.? Add it all up: maybe it’s 20 hours per week? Then that’s your number: the amount of time you could carve out for searching for someone. Most people just don’t create the time for searching, but surprise, surprise: they suddenly find that time when they meet the right person.

Tip #2: Challenge your perspective

Most people ask the wrong question. They ask “Given that I’m working 70 hours per week, how can I find time to date?” But working 70 hours per week does not have to be a “given.” Seriously. No matter who you are, no matter how big and important your job is, no matter how many people depend upon you. The right question (for your happiness) is, “I want to make finding my mate a priority so I will spend 20 hours per week on datingrelated activities. Given that commitment, how can I scale back at work in the short term?” A good reality check is to look around you and evaluate how many hours others are working or doing similar tasks such as parenting. Are you working so hard to keep ahead of schedule? Then why not work only to keep on schedule (or, gasp, even a little behind) instead of ahead? Do married people leave the office at 6pm? If so, why can’t you? The key is finding a balanced perspective that physically and mentally allows you more time to date.

Tip #3: The Triage Approach

In hospital emergency rooms, patients are treated not on a first-come, first-served basis, but rather based on whose ailment is in most urgent need of care. This “Triage Approach” should be applied to dating as well. What area of your life is in most urgent need of care? For most singles I know, it’s their dating life. Especially if you’re a woman and want your own children, you know the truth is (now don’t shoot the messenger…) that your eggs have an expiration date and your career (or home renovation or travel plans or whatever) doesn’t. If you want to find your mate quickly and efficiently, you have to make dating your #1 priority. This is Dating 9-1-1. Put those plans and projects that are keeping you so busy on the back burner for now. Really. You’ve been conditioned to put everything else first before your mate search, but using The Triage Approach, you can decline that new promotion right now, postpone changing those kitchen cabinets and fly to Australia on vacation for 3 weeks next year.

Tip #4: Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency

In real estate, it’s all about ‘location, location, location.” For busy singles in the dating world, it’s all about efficiency. You have to be extremely vigilant about not wasting your time when you’re looking for The One. Dating efficiently is not just going through the motions of “getting out there.” It means no dating or flirting with unavailable candidates: not the married woman, nor the never-married man who told you upfront he wants to have his own kids (but you’re 47, divorced with 2 kids, and not interested in adoption)… even though he’s just soooo cute! It means not going to a party with 3 girlfriends and standing in the corner talking to them all night (go alone, you’ll meet new people, and the evening will be more productive). It also means not falling in love with an online fantasy for months (when you connect with someone online who seems promising, meet within two weeks and make sure reality is as good as fantasy). Because you’re busy, you have to constantly monitor that you are putting your limited time to the best possible use.

By following these four tips, you will definitely find more time to date. The challenge now is: will you do it?