One of my least favorite phrases that people use is “I’m too busy for that”. I don’t really believe that any of us are too busy for anything that’s important to us. We all have the same 24x7x365 to work with, and we all have a large say in how we spend it. What you’re really saying (and what other people hear) when you say “I’m too busy” is “I don’t want to”, or “I’m too important for that”. It sends the wrong message to the people around you.
One thing I’ve come to realize lately is that the vast majority of people who constantly say they’re too busy, really just suck at time management. “I’m too busy to cook” or “I’m too busy to exercise” or “I’m too busy to keep in touch with my friends” and on and on. It’s total BS. None of those things take very much time and effort at all. In particular, I remember seeing this a lot in the corporate world. Guys that would work 6 AM – 6 PM and somehow take pride in not taking a lunch, never going to the gym, and missing their kids Little League games…yet spent half of the work day conversing at the water cooler, managing their fantasy football teams, boning around on YouTube, texting every 30 seconds, and sending chain emails. Then the next day they’d know every single thing about last night’s episode of Lost or Survivor or 24.
It blew my mind. Every day we’re faced with a multitude of choices on how to spend our time. In reality, those guys could have worked 8 AM – 4 PM and taken an hour-long lunch and two 30 minute breaks with the same productive output. They just have to cut out the 2 hour conversations at the water cooler. And the 1 hour spent on ESPN.com. And quit whining and complaining about how “busy” they are.
In reality, they were trading potential time doing things they want with their friends, wife, and kids for time spent complaining, procrastinating, and staring at the TV.