You don’t have time? Really?

Someone posted a link to this story on Facebook the other day. It was one of the most insightful things I’ve read in a long time.

This paragraph stood out the most:

Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

I have definitely over-estimated the time I spend doing things in the past. I have definitely used the phrase “I’m just so busy! Too busy to do ____” when what I really meant was that I didn’t want to do ____ or that it wasn’t a priority.

And the point that we live in a competitive society that seems to place more value and appreciation on those who are busy is really sad. For example, I’ve worked with people who always talk about how busy they are. Are they really that busy? Are they using their time inefficiently? Are they making more work for themselves than is really necessary in order to seem worthy and important? I know I’ve done that in the past. But I’m stopping that crap right now. I have plenty of time!

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