Don’t Have Time

“I don’t have time” is a euphemism for “I have other priorities.”

Every time I hear someone say they don’t have the time to do something, I cringe. That statement is a lie. Nobody is busy twenty-four hours in a day. Even if someone claims they are, they aren’t using all that time for tasks absolutely necessary for survival.

At a minimum, everyone needs to make time to eat and sleep in order to survive. The majority of us also spend at least a few minutes of leisure/downtime each day to refresh and stay sane. Outside of that, every other task is by choice.

So why would anyone say they don’t have time for something?

If you’re at work and your son has been trying to reach you over the phone but you don’t answer because you’re busy, that is not a lack of time. Rather, it’s a priority.

It might sound harsh that you’re prioritizing your work over answering your son on the phone, but it’s the truth, and it can actually be justified. Maybe, if you answer the phone during work when you’re not supposed to, you risk losing your job. And if you lose your job then you won’t be able to provide for your family. So you had the time to answer the phone, but you just had other legitimate priorities.

In another situation, if your son was calling you during work but you knew he was in great danger and needed your immediate help, you would answer the phone no matter what. In that event, he is your top priority, so you choose to spend your time on that.

The most common excuse I hear people say for not going to the gym is “I don’t have time.” Okay, what if your body would shut down and you would die if you didn’t exercise for at least five minutes every day? Would you suddenly have the time to go to the gym, or would you then prioritize and make the time?

“I don’t have time” is a euphemism for “I have other priorities at the moment.” And there is nothing wrong with having other priorities. Sometimes we have a good reason for doing something else. However, too often people lie by saying they don’t have the time to do something when in reality, it’s just not a high enough priority for them to sacrifice alternatives.

Spend twenty minutes less sleeping and then you’ll have twenty minutes to exercise. Spend ten minutes less on your phone and that’s ten minutes you can use to read. You don’t have to make those sacrifices, but do not lie to yourself and say you don’t have the time to do it.