I just do not have the time….
It’s a story we hear so often – I am busy, I do not have time, I am just so swamped.
I can say that I am one of the worst when it comes to the “I have no time” excuse. I talk about how I want to train to run a half-marathon, how I want to read more books, how I want to get more done around the house or at work, but I often cop out to the excuse that “I just do not seem to have the time.”
When I was thinking about this recently, I thought of one of the most revealing moments I have had in the past few years.
I, like most everyone I know, gets slight addictions to certain iPhone games for short periods of time. I was guilty of this when it came to Angry Birds. I was a late adopter for the game, but once I got ahold of it, I could not put it down for a while.
One day, I received a notification through Angry Birds on my iPhone congratulating me on completing 8-hours of playtime…. 8 hours! I looked at my phone and then became very convicted about my “lack of time” excuses. 8 hours is an entire work day that I have spent sliding my finger across a screen to launch cartoon birds through the air to knock down blocks. Seriously?
I still have things that I allow to take up and waste a lot of my time, but let’s look at a few that we may all be guilty of:
- Did you know the average user spends 2-hours a month on Google?
- Or that in August 2011 the average Facebook user spent nearly 8-hours on the social media site in one month?
- How about the average Internet user in the US spent 30 hours online in August 2011 alone?
- Or, collectively, Americans spend the sum of 100,000 years on Facebook each month?
That is staggering to me and convicting as well. I love social media and the way we can all connect, but how much time am I wasting by being on these sites? How much of my life am I wasting in front of a screen when I need to be investing in front of my family? How much further could I be at work if I eliminated some of my distractions and focused on the tasks at hand?
I am not saying that we should never relax, catch up online, etc. but what I do think we need to be aware of is how much time we are wasting doing things that lead to nothing productive?
You and I could accomplish so much more – more with family, more with our faith, more with our friends, more with our community, more with our work – if we worked to take away the excuse of “I do not have the time” and stop to ask why you do not have the time. What can you remove from your life that is eating your time and energy?
We all have time-wasters. For you it may not be Facebook and Angry Birds, but I encourage you to figure out what they are for you and make a plan to control these to accomplish what you really want to do.
What would you work to do if you changed your priorities and took out some time wasters?