(Note – this is a 2017 summer addition ‘best of the best’ blog from the past.)
You’ve heard the expressions “I’m so busy,” “I’m too busy to do that,” or “I just can’t find the time …” I believe that these phrases have caused an epidemic of excuses in our society. It has become a sign of prestige to say how busy you are when someone asks, “How are things?” When was the last time you answered that question with “Things are pretty slow right now” or “Fantastic, I’m spending my time on things most important to me”? The reality is you are never too busy to do anything. You spend our time on what seems to be the most important thing to you right now.
Think about the last time you told someone you were too busy to do something. I’m willing to bet you weren’t too busy at all; you just placed a lower priority on the task you were talking about than the one that was filling your time. An honest response would have been, “I’m sorry but that isn’t a high priority for me right now and I have other tasks that are more important to me taking up my time.”
That brings us to the priority list. A priority list allows you to rank the importance of the tasks, which fill your time. I love writing these lists (and thinking about them even more) and ranking them so that I always know what I should be doing with my time.
You are what you did today. (Tweet That)
Sure, you have long-range hopes, dreams, and goals, but the reality is you are what you did today because that is what you made your priority. Most of us have elements you would like to incorporate into our lives but have put them aside for now because you are “too busy.” There’s a good chance you’ve been “too busy” for a long time to get to these things. If you really want to make them a part of your life, they must become a priority for you. For me, health and fitness have always been, and will always be, priorities. I should be able to look at my day and see that it involved eating healthy meals and getting some form of exercise. For a long time I thought I was too busy to keep up with writing a regular blog, when it really doesn’t take that much time at all—I just wasn’t ready to make it a priority. It is now! That’s why I’m writing this at 10 a.m. on the first day in my (new in Calgary) office after six weeks of moving and vacationing with my family. I wonder how many of us realize that watching TV is a priority in our lives? Nielsen reports that the average American watches five hours of TV a day.
I challenge you to stop saying “I’m too busy,” and think about your priority list instead. You’ll be much happier when you release the pressure of being “busy.” You can’t expect to be everywhere or do everything, but you can be true to your priorities—that is what you are doing right now. The next time someone asks you to do something that is not high enough on your priority list to use your time, how will you respond? Please share in the comment section below.
Until next week… Embrace the Adventure
Shawn Stratton is an international leadership and team building consultant, professional speaker, bestselling author and Ironman competitor.
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© 2017 Shawn Stratton. All rights reserved.