Once upon a time, there was a fork in the road… only no one saw it was there.
“I wish I could ___, but I don’t have the time.” Do you ever catch yourself saying this? This came up several times in the past week or so and I meant to blog about it sooner… but I “didn’t have enough time.” Truth is, I was extremely busy preparing for my husband’s graduation and party, but I did find time to play a few games on Facebook. I made the choice, whether purposeful or not, to do things other than write a blog post. I needed mindless, and that’s what I got. Now I need to be productive, so here I am.
I find myself saying “I wish I had time to ___” more times than I care to admit. But last week, I ended up reading blogs and getting into conversations about choices. And what we all came to agree upon was that “not having time” had nothing to do with the finite hours of the day, but in our choices in how to manage our time and what we choose to prioritize ahead of those things we “don’t have time for.” It’s also about the time-stealers that we don’t see coming and often underestimate.
Have you ever taken an accounting of the time choices you made in a day? It might surprise you to see where you are putting in your time. Toggl is a great site I found with a free time tracker. It’s so easy to lose time when you jump online. How many times have you gone online to check something specific and been side-tracked by emails, games, checking friends status updates, etc. only to find that an hour later you still haven’t pulled the information you intended to gather in the first place? As a WAHM (work-at-home mom), these time-stealers can make or break us. How many potential customers could you have called instead of tending your online farm? How many emails could you have drafted in the time it took for you to locate something because your work area was disorganized? Or how many books could you have read with your child instead of randomly reading status updates? I’m far from judging those who do those things, because I do them too. But, I think we all need to be aware that everything we do is a choice of that activity at the expense of another. We need to be more aware of our choices and be purposeful in what we choose to do.
So the next time you catch yourself saying “I wish I had time to ___,” stop and think about what you could take off your current priority list so that you now have time to do what you really want to do. Maybe that online farm or cafe aren’t quite at the top of your priority list when you sit down and write it out… and if they are, then that is your rightful choice.
What did you “not have time for” in the past week? What did you spend time on that could have been skipped? My challenge to you is to think about this every time you say that you don’t have time. It’s my challenge to myself as well.