“I just don’t have time”

This phrase has crept its way into my speech and thoughts more and more over the last five months. My favorite variant is the sarcastic “Oh I should do that in my spare time.” I’m trying to eradicate this attitude. It reeks of martyrdom and the truth is we all pretty much have the time to do what we want to do. It’s a matter of choices and priorities.
Right now I’m choosing to write this blog post rather than dust a living room that currently looks like somewhere Miss Havisham would happily ensconce herself. It’s not that I don’t have time to dust, but that it isn’t as important to me right now as blogging.
Exercise is my biggest trigger for this thought process. Every other day I lament about the time it takes to go for a run when in truth I just don’t like physical exercise. I’ll choose a household chore or organization project every time over pounding the pavement.
Of course not everything can be as easily dismissed as dusty furniture or a jog. You can’t choose to take a bubble bath rather than feed you hungry kids or shop for antiques rather than go to work (unless you are trying to get fired), but how often do we say “I don’t have time” when we really mean “I haven’t made time.”
The next time someone asks when you’re going to get the kids together for a play date or says they’ve missed you at church why not answer with something a little more honest like “I’m sorry, I just haven’t taken the time yet.” Not only is this more truthful, but it gives others the impression of someone who is in control rather than someone who is a harried victim. We are all give 24 hours everyday and when we moan to others about our lack of time we are basically saying “my time is more valuable than yours.” Nobody likes a martyr.

It’s important to be more honest with yourself about time management too. Even if you aren’t vocalizing your perceived lack of time, your thinking process can weigh you down. The next time you discover a cool project on someone’s blog that you’d like to attempt or a fun class a friend is taking, instead of lamenting that you don’t have time for such things try thinking something like this: I’d like to take time to do this in the future. Maybe I can skip ______ tomorrow and feed the family something prepackaged for dinner in order to find time to work on it.

Right now I’m going to cut this post short to email some friends that I’ve neglected in favor of reading, blogging, couponing, grocery shopping and other things I’ve chosen to do instead. What are you going to make time for today?

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