I hear this a lot. I just cannot find the time to keep my commitments. Finding Time. A funny statement, I have said it myself on thousands of occasions. As if we could actually go open up a box in the attic, and voila, there is that extra time that I have been looking for! One thing I have been doing every morning consistently for a long time is making a list of what is the most important for me to accomplish today. That list supersedes everything. Of course, there are times when I have to do something else. An emergency, a family member needs something, my employers need me to handle something or my favorite, something unexpected happens – usually with something inside my house. Other times, a gift will be handed to me. Something that I can do that really progresses me toward my future vision. I may not have planned on doing that particular thing that day, but I want to be able to recognize that I have an opportunity to advance and should not squander that just because I have a list that day.
Back to the concept of finding time. The other favorite phrase we use, is that we need to make time. I need to make more time to get a workout in the morning is one that I hear frequently. That is funny too. It is as if we have a makeshift amateur chemical lab in our garage and one of these days, we will go out there and experiment around and finally figure out how to make time. Then I will start exercising. So we need to find time, make time both of which are impossible – so why do we say it? For the same reason our default response is to everyone that we are busy. How are you doing? Oh, I am really busy. How is the family doing, we are really busy! You know, busy doing this and busy doing that. Your boss asks you – how are things going – busy! you reply. Are you going to start keeping your commitments today, this morning? I am just too busy! I cannot find the time! I cannot make enough time!
Why do we say these things? Because we are lying. Yup, I just said that. You, we, me are just absolutely lying. Not to others, but to ourselves. We say this as a way to affirm our way out of doing something we know that we should be doing. We let out a long sigh, a shrug of the shoulders and just shake our head slightly and claim to be just too busy, out of time. It is out of our control you see. We are a victim, just barely surviving in this high pressure situation we find ourselves in. Time is against us and we are doing everything we can just to survive. There is no time to do anything else other then just to remain busy. Liar.
I know that you are lying when you say you are too busy, because I am equally as guilty of this as well. We all are. Just because we have a project we are working on, or a task to accomplish, or more then one person asking us for help – does not mean that we are busy. The family across the street from me has a billion kids, we only have three. I never have the right to say I am too busy with the kids for anything else in my life. The point is that we are not too busy to do what is important. We do not need to find or make time, we just need to do it and stop making excuses.
I prefer to say – I am anxiously engaged rather then busy. Busy sort of implies that I am doing a bunch of useless things and that I am generally unproductive. Engaged means that I am working on something really important, and that I am doing so anxiously. I like that better!
As far as time to do your commitments. You have the time. Believe me. Prior to me starting my commitments, I also had this frequent lie going on in my head. I am too busy! I need more time! Aaaa! Reality is, I had a lot more time, in fact, I daresay I was wasting time. Death by a thousand cuts was the main reason. I would wake up and then the time delays would start. It is amazing how inefficient I was. How much time I spent on stupid non-productive things. When I put myself under gradually increasing pressure to accomplish things, I had to just figure out how to fit things in. Covey was right – you put the big rocks in first and somehow all the little sand finds its way into your day. I still waste time. I have plenty to spare. If I really think about what I am doing and why, I can find a lot of things that I do during the day that are generally meaningless.
Hard reality for me to face. I generally have always believed that I am a efficient and productive person. That I work hard and am diligent in what I focus on. That may be true, but I still have a lot of inefficiencies going on, and to deny that is to deny being human. So to try to pretend that I could not find 30 minutes in the morning to do a little bit of exercise is hilarious now. Looking back to over a year ago – when I was lying to myself about time. I seriously thought I could not possible do even 20 minutes of physical activity in the morning. Compared to where I am at now – that is amazing.
You can find the time and you can make time. The way that you do it, is by simply doing it. Require yourself to keep a commitment everyday, without fail for 90 days at a minimum. Your life will naturally adapt, suddenly, you will not even remember what it was you were doing that was preventing you from keeping your commitments.
The day before you is full of opportunity for you to choose to focus on the most important, to focus on what you really should be focused on. The power of those choices are completely in your hands. We should all stop lying to ourselves and seize everyday with energy and enthusiasm. We should all be anxiously engaged everyday.
Guy Reams (504)
49 Days Left to 1st Marathon