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I don’t have time

That magical phrase that gives you permission to brush off the things you really want to do.

Recently, I’ve tried to stop saying, “I don’t have time.” It insinuates that I’m a helpless victim to the all-powerful stream of hours that mightily passes me by. It’s easy to adopt an “Oh well” attitude to what you’re giving up. It authorizes my apathy.

Instead, I’ve replaced it with the phrase, “That’s not a priority.” Suddenly, I’ve taken control of my own decisions. I’ve taken responsibility for what I do and don’t do. I’ve added clarity, condemnation, and encouragement, all in 4 short words.

“Watching another episode is not a priority.”

“Taking my wife on a date is not a priority.”

“Writing a blog post is not a priority.”

“Building that side project is not a priority.”

“Going to the gym this morning is not a priority.”

It’s different for everyone, and priorities change daily, hourly. But thinking about it this way puts me in the driver’s seat and makes me conscious of how I’m shaping my own life. We all have the same amount of time and can’t make more of it, but we can be active about how we use the time we have.

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