Josh Kaufman at the Personal MBA has a post about finding time. Josh echoes my own thoughts on the issue. You don’t make time; you take it. Sometimes taking time is like hammering a square peg in a round hole, but it HAS to be forced. Have you ever been required to attend a pointless meeting? You know, the kind of meeting that is either for the glorification of self-important people? Or the kind of meeting that does nothing more than facilitate in-fighting among another group? Have you ever tried to fight to get out of that meeting to get real work done? Yeah, square peg.
Way back in 1996 when I read “10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management”, I learned that the statement “I don’t have time” is a lie. It really means “I value something else more than whatever you’re asking for during that time slot”. Because of that, I avoid telling people “I don’t have time”. I also avoid the feeling-hurting “I value something else more during that time slot.” I’ll sometimes say “I have to do x” or “I’m busy with x at that time”. Sometimes I’ll use the more general “I’m busy with other things”.
I try to be honest with people, without being a jerk and without using the clichéd “I don’t have time”. I also realize that my priorities can be fluid, and I will sometimes reprioritize accordingly.
I’m starting a blog post about silly things we say without really thinking about what they mean. I think “I don’t have time” is one of them.