What is your most favourite answer for any new task that you probably are not doing day in and day out?
Yes, that’s the title of this post – “I don’t have enough time”.
So where is this mythical time crunch is coming from? Let’s look at a few scenarios.
Lack of time scenarios
Her: How about learning this new course/technology/easier way to do stuff?
You: [thinking] Oh my God, I cannot stand another change. My grandfather always used to say “don’t fix’em if they ain’t broken”. Why do people want to “learn stuff” all the time?
[aloud] Oh, I don’t have enough time.
Him: Would you like to join in my new venture to create an awesome new business?
You: [thinking] I cannot commit to the new venture. I cannot take the risk of spending more money at this time with no returns in sight.
[aloud] I don’t have enough time.
Her: Learn to be fit by doing these simple exercises for 30 min each day.
You: [thinking] Here we go – yet another way to keep fit and promising everything including a loyal dog when I am fit.
[aloud] Sorry, cannot spare time in the mornings.
And, it goes on and on and on.. (yes, “on” repeats itself).
At some point you would have found yourself challenged with similar questions, and you would have answered on similar lines.
Why the lack of time?
So, why does this happen?
To be fair, the situation may be genuine. You may have been working 16 hrs a day and there is little you can do otherwise. But, most of those times you have got into that situation because you *want* to be in that situation.
You are unwilling to do the task.
You resist change. You do not want to be part of the evil empire that changes itself every now and then, and throws surprises at others. You do not want to “take the risk” of changing something and “breaking it” in the process.
You are afraid of commitment.
There are things in the past you have committed to, and which spectacularly failed because you could not bring yourself to go on. So, why commit and suffer when you have the luxury of not committing to the task?
You do not want to dilute your current focus.
You do not want to commit on something when you have other “stuff” to do right now. You don’t want to take up new work unless the current commitments are met.
You do not like to work with people who have “popped the question”.
You just cannot bring yourself to like the person enough to work with her. So, instead of antagonizing the person by going into the nitty-gritty, you bring up the lack of time factor.
How you need to change?
First off, you need to understand that you are not helping yourself or others around you by quoting lack of time as the reason to avoid trying something new.
When you are given an opportunity to embrace a change –
- you evaluate what the change means to you and your world
- ask the person/people advocating the change on what they think of post change future, how it helps them and the people around them, the positives and negatives of change, and what do they make of your role in that process
- get to know more about your role, get your own perspective on that, and decide whether you like it
- evaluate the kind of work you will be doing vis-a-vis your current priorities
Only then you decide how, and when you are getting involved. Don’t be afraid to commit to a proposal when you like the end result but you don’t like to push yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
Also, don’t be afraid of the proposal since you very much like the status quo. Keep in mind that if you don’t change, others will – and that may become a much harder world to live in.
You make time for the new venture if that is going to help you further your objectives, or create new objective hitherto unknown to you.
Finally, it is perfectly OK to not like the proposal. But instead of making up blaming the time factor, you MUST answer to yourself and to others about the reasons you will not be taking something up.
Quoting the actual reasons will give an opportunity for yourself to know where you are going with life, your positives, and shortcomings, and also give out a strong signal to others that you give the proposal a serious thought before committing to/rejecting it.