Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Motivation: The "I don't have enough time excuse."

There's one thing I gotta stop doing.  I need to stop lying to myself every time I make a statement about not having time to do something.  This happens regularly.  When my travel schedule gets hectic then "I don't have time to work out."  When work hours seem long then:

  • "I don't have time for a social life."
  • "I don't have time to visit my family."
  • "I don't have time to take care of myself."
  • "I don't have time to........."
I can go on forever.  Seems like not having enough time has because a reason an excuse for me not to do the things I know I should.  It's like I give myself a free pass under the guise of being the victim of having so little time.  Truth is that time is constant.  Each person on this planet is blessed with exactly the same amount of time. So saying that I don't have enough of it is a false statement. Holding on to that way of thinking only serves to keep me in my comfort zone.  
The COO of my organization stopped by to visit our team. When we were all together he asked, "if you had one more hour in the day, what would you do with it?"  As we went around the table, everyone gave a normal response like "work out," "read for an hour," "study," "spend time with my family."  Truth is, None of that is likely time happen if we had an extra hour. Why?  Because time isn't the real driver in what we choose to do.  What really drives our actions is how much of a priority that "thing" is to us.  For example, on a different occasion, the COO asked our team, "how many people worked out this morning?"  A couple of hands raised.  If those who didn't work out were asked why, everyone would share a reason an excuse.  The COO challenged us with a clear reminder that the difference between him (a 50 year old man who works out everyday) and the rest of us is how much of a priority we place on working out.  Time has absolutely nothing to do with it. 

As a matter of fact, the more we responsibilities we fit into our lives, the more time we'll seem to have.  Why?  Because there will be little time left to fill with low value activities.  Truth is that our days are filled with time wasting, low level activities.  Grant Cardone in his book, The 10X Rule said reaching our goals will require massive action.  He goes on to say that all of us are constantly taking massive action whether it's in spending time on the internet, watching tv, etc.  If I can invest hours doing the unimportant, I can just as easily have time to do the things that "I don't have time for."  I worked with a life coach for the first few months of the year. She tasked me to do a daily time log of all my activities.  After several weeks of maintaining this log, I realized how much "free time" I actually had. Even with all the traveling, the 14 hour days, I still had time to fit in more or to become more effective with my time.   

From that point I began to include some time management techniques that work well for me.  First thing I did was identify priorities and started doing them first.  The more I focused on my priorities, the more I was able to accomplish.  Interestingly enough, it seemed like I had more time. All I had to do was complete the most important things first.  Best of all, it felt effortless.  So it all came down to identifying priorities and doing them first.  If you find yourself constantly repeating the mantra of "I don't have enough time" to do something that you've been constantly putting off, try doing it first.  

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