“I don’t have time to ______.”
I’ve been saying this phrase a little more than usual lately.
Sure, work is pretty busy. We also have a lot going on personally. And luckily, we also have few fun trips planned this year and potentially a big move. There’s definitely some stuff happening.
But to say that I don’t have time is false. The time is there for the taking. A more accurate statement would be that I don’t make time. And the shift then is really that I need to start making time.
This realization came to me after a conversation with my friend Shannon where we talked about our passions and dreams. I think I said something like, “I just don’t have enough time to pursue X, X, and X.” And her response was, “You should try and make time for the things that are important to you because when you do that you’ll be better at everything else.”
Shannon is completely right. We’re all given 24 hours each day, but how we choose to use our time is up to us.
Our conversation reminded me of Habit 3 from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In a nutshell, this habit is about prioritizing your time around the things that are important to you but not urgent. These are not tick-the-box type tasks. These items are derived from your principles and core values. In Parita speak, Habit 3 is all about the things that make your soul happy.
Now of course, we still need to pay attention to the things that are important and urgent (DUH!), not important but urgent, and even not important and not urgent. But the idea here is that maybe we feel like we don’t have time because we’re not prioritizing the things that need doing. Personally, I tend to put everything on the important and urgent list, and ironically enough, the things that are truly important [to me] (but not super urgent) get pushed to the bottom. The very things I feel like I never have time to do.
Obviously this needs to change because if you don’t make time for the things that make your soul sing, it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone – you, your significant other, your family, your friends, your colleagues, etc.
Now it’s time to identify the how. How do I make time for the things that are important but not urgent. To be honest, this may take a little bit of time to figure out. I’ve been compiling a mental list as I make my way through The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Once I’m done with the book, I plan to commit to 2-3 things/habits that will help me prioritize my to do list and ultimately make time for things like reading, writing, volunteering, working on my blog, etc.
For now, I’m going to work on changing the language I use to describe my time. Instead of saying, “I don’t have time,” I’m going to say “I need to/will make time.” Hopefully that subtle change will help.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I share the 2-3 helping me make time…hopefully!