What we devote our time to is a direct reflection of our priorities, hobbies, and interests. We can usually find time for what we want, and excuses for what we’d rather avoid.
“I just don’t have the time” is an oft-used excuse for not doing the things that we don’t care about, or for not starting tasks that seem too long, dull, or arduous. But the truth is “I just don’t have the time,” is about as honest as “I have nothing to wear.” I have clients who come to me because their time management is in complete shambles and they have spent the past weeks, months, or even years seemingly getting nothing of importance done. When such situations are presented to me, the first question I ask is “What does your average day look like?” I have them walk me through a day in their lives, from the moment they open their eyes, to the moment they go back to sleep. Almost always, people will conveniently leave out the 4+ hours spent on social media, the 2+ hours spent watching reality television, or the entire day wasted near a video game console.
There is no stopwatch or pause button to push when we are actively, consciously wasting our time. If something is a priority to you, whether it be your partner, your child, or a new habit that you’d like to establish, your time must go there first and last, with anything superfluous getting in where it can fit in. Unfortunately, so many of us live just the opposite; we cram our days with ultimately meaningless activities which drain us mentally and emotionally, and call ourselves too exhausted to do the things which would move us closer to our goals. Time, while finite for all of us, simply isn’t as elusive as so many of us make it out to be. It doesn’t just magically get away from us. Nor is it suspended while we’re engaged in activities which do not serve, grow, or enrich us. It keeps marching on, regardless of how we choose to spend it.