“I don’t have time.”
It sounds true. It feels true. We all say it. It must be true.
But it’s not.
So, I’ve stopped saying it. Sometimes I catch myself, old habits dying hard and all. But I’ve brought my attention to the time issue because I want to take responsibility for my choices. It brings focus to my intention.
When we say “I don’t have time” what we mean is either “I don’t have room in my schedule” or “I don’t want to.” In the first case, we’re not being honest with ourselves. In the latter, we’re not being honest with the other person.
If this feels harsh, stick with me.
What we’re really saying is “something else is more important.” And that’s okay if our choices are purposeful and we’re being honest about it. Let’s look at the two scenarios.
I don’t have time = I don’t have room: this is when you want to do something, but your schedule is already full. If you say you don’t have time to make a salad for lunch or do a morning workout, what you really mean is that other things take priority in your schedule. You need to look and decide if you like that. Because if you simply tell yourself you don’t have time, you never will. You’re saying you have no control over what goes on your calendar. You’re lying to yourself.
I don’t have time = I don’t want to: this one’s tough if you’re a people pleaser who doesn’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. But the truth is that sometimes you’re asked to do a task, work on a project, or go to an event that you have no interest in. Now, you can be polite and respectful to the person making the request. A simple “no thank you” or “I have other priorities I’m focused on right now” will do. But using the time excuse is a lie.
As we enter the season where it’s easy to feel more pressed for time, I invite you to look at what’s true. The I-don’t-have-time mantra is so woven into the fabric of our culture that we don’t question it. Consider what you want to make room for during this time, including caring for your health and well-being. Decide what you want to do and what you don’t want to do, and who you want to spend time with and who you’d rather just exchange cards with. Being honest with yourself is the first step. And when you can truly show up as yourself and be in integrity, you’ll have plenty of time for everything.
You and I have 1440 minutes each day. Let’s intentionally invest it in what matters most. 😊
2 thoughts on “The truth about not enough time”
I so enjoy your weekly emails. I just wanted to add something to your thoughts today. You haven’t seen me around lately not because of Covid but because I’ve diagnosed with brain cancer. I had two weeks of radiation lately up in San Francisco and will start chemotherapy treatment this Friday. Going through this reminds me that it’s not how much time you have to do things, as you said , it’s how you spend your time on what matters and who matters. This applies to everyone- those who are healthy and those who are not.(Hopefully only temporarily) Thank you for your weekly inspiration. and I wish you the best of luck in the upcoming election!
Hello, Cheryl. Thank you for your insight as you’re going through a diagnosis and upcoming treatment. I appreciate your kind words. Many blessings as you care for your health in a very deep way these coming months. Prayers for healing and peace. ~ Heather