I don't have time (and other myths you tell yourself)

I had drinks last night with a dear friend who I had not seen in a while. I was able to have drinks because the person, who they came to town to meet, told them they “didn’t have time.” I cannot in words tell you how much this phrase angers me, but I am going to try.

“I don’t have time for_____________”

I am going to let you in on a secret.

That is bullshit.

An excuse we use when we have no other excuse. The reason 90% of us say we don’t have time is because we don’t actually know what truly matters to us. Each person gets 24 hours in a day to do with as we please, take an hour lunch, binge watch Netflix, go to the gym, spend 2 hours on Instagram, we can do with our time as we please.

What we don’t get to do is complain about the decisions we make and how we spend that time. What we don’t get to do is say that we don’t have time, because you do. If you want something bad enough you will find another gear, you will cut something out of your life, you will find the time. I know this because I used to think my job was busy, right up until I took this job.

In business today there are really only two currencies that matter more than money, time and relationships — because both can bring you money, but you cannot buy time or meaningful relationships. So ask yourself how much time do you have in a given day and with whom are you going to spend it. Because every time you tell someone you “don’t have time” for him or her, you spend a bit of relationship currency until you run out and he or she stops answering your calls and in the connection economy that can be a deadly habit.

Instead of using the tired line “I don’t have time” or the more insulting alternative “I am too busy.” Try taking an honest look at your day and see what you can cut out to do what actually matters. Relationships matter, they are difficult, hard to manage, they take time, they are messy, but that is what our economy is built on.

We use “social” mediums built around the idea of crafting relationships to share content, to work through issues, celebrate life events, share cat videos, or pictures of dinner and all of this is built around using time in order to accomplish it.

You cannot make time, but you can find time — every time. How do I know this? Because there is always someone who is working harder than you are, there is always someone who hustles while you sleep, there is always someone who will never say “I don’t have time.” That person is going to beat you to the finish, that person is going to close the deal, that person will write a book, start a speaker series, that person is going to win — every time.

Eric HultgrenComment