The Time Ruse

“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death..”

~Pink Floyd – “Time”

Let’s be clear. Time is not a resource issue. It’s a priority issue. We all get 24 hours a day of time. Donald Trump can’t even buy any more of the valuable commodity. We all treat time as something to save; something to manage; something to find; and something to look forward to. The ruse is that if we give in to this thinking, we are just kidding ourselves.

It never ceases to amaze me when someone says, “When I have more time, that’s when I’ll do X!” OR ~ “My time is so busy now because it’s our busiest time of year. When this is over, I will have more time and will do X.” Or ~ When I tell my wife, “I didn’t have time to unload the dishwasher. Oops.”

Memo – X (whatever X is) is simply not that important to you. X might be writing a book, going back to college, investing in yourself through coaching, or dealing with an important yet not urgent item. (X might be that I simply didn’t want to empty the dishwasher and that soon became an urgent item for me!) The bad news is that non-urgent item normally becomes urgent at the worst possible time! I often tell my clients that crisis doesn’t schedule it’s events on a calender. It comes when it wants to and doesn’t send an announcement.

There is never a good time to do anything. Our lives are busy and we do a pretty good job of filling them beyond capacity. We complain when sitting in a doctor’s office when they overbook on purpose expecting cancellations. We complain when an airline books more passengers than the plane can hold. Yet when we can’t control our own time, aren’t we just as much to blame?

Do yourself a favor and be honest with you. When you really don’t want to do something, don’t use time as an excuse. Say it’s not a priority. This works in your personal life as much as your professional life (actually we only have one life, which makes this conversation even more important). The result should be that you take a harder look at your priorities and start considering upsides and downsides to your decisions. It only takes a second…you are all smart. If you refuse to use time as your excuse and candidly admit you’re constantly making priorities, you might just find that the things that need to get done, get done and on time.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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