You Are Not a Time Victim

As I type, I am waiting for my annual physical in a doctor’s office.

When I saw this appointment on my calendar yesterday, my initial reaction was, “I don’t have time for that.” 

This is partly because doctor’s offices generally exist in a time warp. Time functions differently here. You can have an appointment at 8 AM and not see a doctor until 9:10 AM. Everyone complains about it but also expects it. 

There is some irony in our perception of time. On the one hand, we claim to be time-starved, but on the other hand, we waste mass amounts of it.

For example, GWI’s research finds that “the ‘typical’ social media user now spends 2 hours and 23 minutes per day using social platforms. On average, that means that social media accounts for 35.8 percent of our daily online activities, meaning that more than 1 in 3 internet minutes can be attributed to social media platforms.” 

I don’t waste much time on social media. I used to be on the platform formerly known as Twitter, but I realized it was just making me angry and frustrated. To keep myself out of that time vacuum, I changed my password to a string of characters so complex that I couldn’t remember them. 

I now waste time reading about Ohio State football and scrolling sports web pages. 

Two weeks ago, I did have an actual busy week. 

My youngest child finished her first year of college and was moving home, and we had a death in our extended family. I drove over 1000 miles (16 hours) that week and slept in my bed every night. I also had time to work four full days, play basketball, walk my dog, clean the house, mow the yard, and volunteer a couple of hours at the coop. (I did sleep a little less than I should have.)

It made me realize that when I want or need to do something I consider a priority, I MAKE time for it. 

For instance, I have a full week this week, but if my oldest child, who lives three hours away, called and said, “Dad, I need your help with something. Can you drive out here to help me?”  I would MAKE the time. 

We MAKE time for what is important to us. Therefore, we are not time victims. 

So, let’s stop using victim language when it comes to time.

  • When someone asks how you are doing, don’t say, “I am just sooooo busy.”  Be honest and say, “I have made choices that have kept me busier than I want to be.”
  • Don’t say, “I don’t have time for that.” Be honest and say, “That is not a high enough priority for me to do.”
  • And don’t complain about your lack of time. 

And if you think you are genuinely that busy, set up your smartphone to report how much screen time you have had in the last week. Mine sends me a report every Sunday morning, and I never like what I see.

So Tuesday’s Takeaway is this: Don’t act like a time victim. You MAKE time for what’s important. 

Sooooooo, what’s important?


Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is the Chief Operating Officer for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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