Sunday, March 4, 2012

There's no TIME

I don't have time to wash the dishes or clean my room
I don't have time to balance my finances
I don't have time to travel
I don't have time to go to the gym

I've written about procrastination before.  We're all given the same amount of time: 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.  We each choose what we do to fill the majority of that time.  
Close your eyes and imagine locking yourself into an empty bathroom. Then imagine what you would do to preoccupy yourself for a whole day, a whole month, or even a whole year.  You would have nothing to read or write, no job to go to, no restaurants to eat out at, no television to watch, and no communication with the outside world.  The time you spend in this bathroom prison would feel like an eternity.  

Now imagine your life and all the activities you fill every hour of every day with: studying for exams, commuting in traffic, staying overtime at work, watching television, going out to bars and restaurants and clubs, reading books, surfing the internet, cleaning up the house, going shopping, etc.  The activities we choose to participate in govern most of our time.  

I recently read a great article on the Wall Street Journal about time.  The author talks about keeping a time log to see what activities consumed the most amount of her time.  While I did not agree completely with her tracking of time (which may make sense for certain individuals in certain professions), below is the message that really appealed to me:

Instead of saying "I don't have time" try saying "it's not a priority," and see how that feels.

Here's a quote from the article:

"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."

This helps you decide what really is a priority in your life.  We're all busy in our own way.  If you don't really want to go to the gym, that's fine.  But don't convince yourself that the reason you're not going is because you don't have any time to go.  Accept the fact that you're not going to the gym because it simply is not a priority for you.

Are there any time commitments that you've signed away your time to do? Ask yourself if this obligation and expense of time is truly a priority for your life goals.  Then ask your self: what will I choose to do with the time that I'm given?

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