We often tell ourselves a simple lie:
“I don’t have time.”
Are you sure? What would happen if an emergency needed your attention for 7 hours this week – would you “find” time? Chances are you would.
So, instead of telling ourselves that we “don’t have time”, we could start telling ourselves more precisely “It’s not a priority.”
In the end, it all comes down to this. What we don’t do is simply not a priority.
This doesn’t mean that everything has to be a priority. Because it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, we don’t “have time” for a coffee or a party with friends, because we need to study, work or exercise. That’s fine. These activities are simply not a priority at that point in time. It’s also totally appropriate to tell others that meeting them is not a priority. If they are friends who want the best for you, they will understand and even support you if they can.
But, there are other, less obvious parts of our lives where we let ourselves off the hook for “not having time” way too often.
How does it feel if you’re honest to yourself and instead of saying that you don’t have time, you say “it’s not a priority”?
“It’s not a priority to eat healthy.”
“It’s not a priority to care for my body and exercise.”
“It’s not a priority to think about what I want to do with my life.”
“It’s not a priority to get enough quality and quantity of sleep.”
How does that feel?
Lastly, Laura Vanderkam goes into more detail about this topic in her TEDTalk:
In Tools of Titans, there’s a related quote that fits this different way of thinking very well:
“Lack of time is lack of priorities.”Tim Ferris, “Tools of Titans”
Since I’ve realized this about the common excuse of “not having time”, I stopped using this phrase and replaced it with “it’s not a priority.”
Try it for six days and let me know what you think!