When people ask why you haven’t worked out with them lately or shopped around for lower quotes for auto insurance, what is an easy response to get them off your case? “I haven’t had any time.” A person that responds with that statement is just looking to change the topic of conversation. Maybe they feel guilty that they haven’t got around to doing whatever they told someone else (or themselves) they would do.
“I haven’t had any time.” That’s much easier to say than the truth. “Sorry I haven’t gotten to that lately, I’ve been really lazy.” “Sorry I haven’t done that, I just didn’t think it was important.” “Sorry, I just said I would do it so you would leave me alone.” What are we really trying to say when we say we don’t have time for something. We really mean that it is not a priority to us at that time. We have chosen to do other things, such as work, sleep, Netflix and chill, workout, read, go out and drink, etc.
People, overall, do not like confrontation. We do/say whatever is the path of least resistance to get us out of those awkward and perhaps confrontational situations. We don’t want to disappoint our family and friends, so we instead say things to please them in that moment. Saying that we don’t have time for something is a sorry excuse. I mean look at what Elon Musk can accomplish in the same 24 hours as us mortals… there is ALWAYS more time. We really mean that it is not a priority for us right now, so therefore we are not going to do it.
In the last couple years, I’ve tried to be more thoughtful about how I spend my time. Things that didn’t make me a better person (how I define that) or make me happy just were not as important anymore, no matter that others might have different expectations of me.
People say to find what someone’s priorities are, look at their bank statements or look at what they do between the hours of 5pm on Friday and 8am on Monday. I believe this to be true. I did some reflection and made things that were important to me a priority. Now, the reason I can’t do X on Friday night is not because I don’t have time, it’s because that’s time I spend with my fiancee. If you want me to do something with my Tuesday evening, good luck, that’s my workout time. Time is finite, and while it may seem like we have plenty of it, it’s good to have priorities that fill many of the slots your day and week.
Being more honest with friends and family can at first seem a tad unkind, but sometimes that is the price of being honest rather pleasing others in that moment. Personally, I plan on ditching the sorry excuse of “I don’t have time,” and being more honest about what is important to me and how I spend my time.
7 thoughts on “It Is Not a Priority”
You’d do well here in the Netherlands, we are more direct (blunt?). Albeit I still notice that I have the occasional time that I’m trying to be polite instead of honest. Something with “hurt” and “feelings” 🙂
I like your attitude though!
Haha, you’re right I think I’d do well there. My fiancee tells me I need to be less blunt here in our area.
In law school I had a professor who was an Olympic level sprinter. Her system was that she had 5 big life goals. If an action or opportunity did not further one of those 5 goals, she said no. I’m not sure I would have the focus to maintain that type of system, but it seemed to work for her.
Sounds like it paid off well for her! I’m trying to live more in the moment than set big goals, but I also like to be able to focus on certain things. It’s all a balancing act.
SO true… the “I have no time” is a fake one. It indeed means: I do not find it important compared to other things. Saying the truth to your boos, family or friends is not easy.
Definitely not easy. But something I think worth practicing.
Sometimes it’s even difficult to tell the truth to yourself, but I think that’s most important of all. One of the best things I ever did was deciding to stop telling myself the “I don’t have time” lie.