I Don’t Have Time for That

“I don’t have time for that.”

We all hear–and use–this phrase a lot these days.

The next time you catch yourself saying this, try to take some think-time to evaluate what you mean.

Sometimes, we don’t really want to do it, so it’s not something we will ever make time for.  This is okay.
Sometimes this phrase is our way of saying, “I would like to do that, but it’s not a priority for me at this time.”  This is great!  We have limited time and resources and can truly only do so many things.
At other times, however, we say this phrase when there is something that we really want, but we don’t believe we can have it.  In short, we use the phrase, “I don’t have time for that,” to shortcut our dreams and to soften the blow.
We really want something, but we don’t feel like we could have it because we don’t have time for it.
It is this third response that I’d like to discuss today.
In the process of Think Time, we look at those things that we really want and sometimes we ask ourselves, “Is there a way I can still have it – even if I don’t have the time?”
Perhaps there may be.
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Let’s say that you are a parent and see an Instagram photo of couple having an elaborate picnic with their kids in matching coordinating outfits at the botanical gardens and you find yourself secretly wanting that moment for your kids too.
You guys are in a busy season, and you feel like a picnic in a garden is the farthest thing from entering your reality.
But, it is a great desire–worth holding onto!  Connecting with your children, being in nature, creating memories together…these are wonderful desires.  But the coordinating outfits?  A bit far from your reality.
What if you kept the same heart and vision just reduced it a bit?
The main point is that you want to connect with your child and build a memory of feeling connected with you –preferably outside and preferably with something yummy to eat.
Would it be possible to grab some grapes from the fridge, snag a blanket, and ask your kids who have dirt under their fingernails and all over their clothes to pick out a favorite book each and meet you in the backyard?
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Seriously, if it helps, set a timer for five or 10 minutes and go have that moment.  It doesn’t have to be long.  It just has to BE.
Let’s look at another example.

Let’s say that you are a manager at work.  You are fresh back from a motivational conference that is a wee out of touch with the reality you live day by day.  They talked of team meetings, retreats, off-site lunches, and communication that was flawless.  They drew it on the whiteboards.  Arrows.  Formulas.  Strategy.

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It all worked.
At the retreat.
Now you are back in your real life.
You are drowning.
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You feel that if you take a lunch, you will be home late and not see your kids before they go to bed.  You can’t even imagine a retreat at this point.  The next deadline is in two weeks, and you want to deliver excellent results.  You want your team to have excellent communication, but everyone is head down, frantic to finish their work.
Is it possible to keep the vision of connection and communication, but reduce the scope to fit your team’s season?
What if you caught a walk with one of your team members to the Keurig and grabbed a one-minute chat? Ask a simple open ended question like, “How’s it going?” or “Need anything?”
It’s not a one hour meeting scheduled on the books with an agenda, flow chart, and white board.  BUT, it is moving toward your vision.
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You are closer to having a better connected and communicating team.
Your team members know that you care and are available.
Goal achieved.
So next time you hear yourself saying the phrase, “I don’t have time for that” just give it a little think-time and ask yourself if there’s a way to reduce it and move it into your life and, if so, #goforit!

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Christine Wilson, LPC
Think Time Co-Founder
Blog Highlights:
We have limited time and resources and can truly only do so many things.
We use the phrase, “I don’t have time for that,” to shortcut our dreams and to soften the blow.
We really want something, but we don’t feel like we could have it because we don’t have time for it.
Is there a way I can still have what I want – even if I don’t have the time?
What if you kept the same heart and vision just reduced it a bit?
Go have that moment!
Move toward your vision.
Ask yourself if there’s a way to move a goal into your life by reducing it.
Reduce the vision to fit your life, and go for it!
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We have a serious problem.  We are wasting valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people clarify their vision and move it into their lives so they can live their lives focused on what matters most.
Shop Purpose Planners and more at think-time.com.

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2 thoughts on “I Don’t Have Time for That

  1. YES! This is something I have to battle all the time – too many things to do in do short a space of time….and what about all those future plans floating around in my head. AAAGH! That said, I find that starting my day with quiet time is a must. Second to that, taking time out once a week to #taketimetothinktime has become a key time in my week and has so reduced stress, as well as increasing productivity. One question? Do you #taketimetothinktime with your family, or just do it personally, taking all their activities into account? I’ve tried doing it with my son and he just won’t participate! I have yet to try with my husband…I think he’ll be reticent but I think it would be hugely useful for him. Thanks, Christine!

    • Hi Heather! You have been able to reduce your stress and increase your productivity by taking time once a week to get some think-time! Yay!!
      To answer your question, “Do you #taketimetothinktime with your family, or just do it personally, taking all their activities into account?”
      I personally complete my weekly think-time. In time, I will teach my young children how to do it, but for now I ask them questions like, “What is the best thing that could happen this week?” to help discover their perspective and to try to incorporate their sweet dreams into our days as well.
      That being said, Think Time is always more powerful in the context of supportive relationships. You may ask a friend to do it with you and share your weekly “big threes” with each other over text or polo. The accountability is great for achieving your ideas and goals.
      If you find resistance from anyone, just continue to be diligent to get your think-time. Once people see your life change, they will be more likely to jump on. My friends and family can always tell when I am doing my Think Time. : )