How many times have I heard a client, friend, myself, my children say, “Oh but I don’t have the time.” (Not for a lover in particular of course!)
I’ve been looking into this for many years now with much curiosity – in a bid to strengthen my position of integrity with myself. What I have to say to myself, and to you about this is. “Ahem. Bullshit.”
Saying “I don’t have time,” for anything you want or don’t want to do is just a blah, imprecise, disempowering cop out.
Every time you say “Yes but/no,” followed by “I don’t have the time” you’re consciously or unconsciously kidding yourself and acting from fear, avoidance or out of concern for looking good socially or to your inner critic, rather than intentionally choosing to manage your time.
Is that confronting for you? Are you indignantly complaining inside ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m not like that. Oh, but you don’t understand my busy life’
Let me ask you that question that’s in the title above darling…
Have you ever had a lover? Or, – much more acceptable – do you remember what it was like to have a new partner, a love of your life as well as allllllllll the responsibilities that come with a holding a leadership position, managing a career and family.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known any person in a position of responsibility in an organization – whether it be corporate, government, not for profit or family, sometimes all of the above – and the agenda of an overbooked, popular head of state, that couldn’t find time for a lover when the running narrative was already, “I’m so busy, I don’t have time.”
My point is, not that you turn to infidelity or morally questionable pastimes. But, I do want to draw your attention to the fact that the words, “I don’t have time” are a fallacy. When given the prospect of lusciousness, intimacy, connection, a raunchy time with your new love and all the new happy hormones flooding your veins, those words just disappear from our vocabulary. Just as the “I don’t have time” excuse also disappears when you have a loved one fall ill, or when your own exhausted body breaks down and you finally become forced to listen to it. And, I really hope that doesn’t happen to you.
Let’s go back to the lover analogy. I’m adventurous that way.
All this to say, we all have the same 24 hours a day. And we all make time on a daily basis for what we subconsciously believe is important, in other words, what we think will bring us the outcomes we want. ‘I don’t have time’ is a weak, socially acceptable excuse to not look closer at your life. Not to be responsible for your choices.
The sooner we face up to that, and get in integrity with it, the better.
So, what to do?
If you “don’t have time” … practice saying, “I choose!” or “No!”
Saying a clear, unequivocal NO (including to yourself) is a form of love and respect, for yourself, for other, for time, for the truth for how you spend your life.
No thank you.
I have other priorities at this time
I choose not to.
Alternatively, if you find yourself slipping back into your ‘I don’t have time’ habits you could:
If it’s time for yourself you don’t have – try treating yourself as you would your own delicious, awesome lover and see what seas time might part in your already full schedule.
If you keep thinking you “don’t have time” for what you say “you really want to do,” or for some person, for that meeting, that project, to make a healthy dinner, those holidays, that much needed day off, that family gathering, to make an impact, create impossible, that “whatever it is you don’t have time for,” either love it like a lover, and give it a dedicated rendez-vous, or go back to choosing NO.
In any case, for pity’s sake, stop saying you don’t have time. Because, come on, you know that time expands for what feels vital and important. You do actually get to choose what you spend your time on. Get clear on what you are choosing and make it yours.
If you don’t know what’s most important to you, take a good, hard look at what you are using your time for and you’ll have a pretty good idea. Your actions don’t lie as much as your mind does. Sometimes that’s not what you want to see.
But at least it’s the truth – and the truth is the best basis for making powerful and impactful decisions.
Decide what’s important to you. Pretend it’s your lover. (Go on!) Own it! Then enjoy lavishing your precious time on it.
You have all the time of your one precious life.