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Change the “I Don’t Have Time” Mentality

I heard something in a meeting recently that I thought was genius and wanted to share it with you. There were some individuals in the meeting I was attending that were complaining about not having time for self-care, stating that they were too busy to plan out their meals and get to the gym. The meeting facilitator told them to replace the phrase “I don’t have time” with “it’s not important” and then try again. They did and were quite embarrassed about all the complaining that they just got done doing in front of all of the attendees.

Let’s make this a new tool in our tool bag (if you don’t use it already, of course!) Think about it – instead of saying “I don’t have time to go to the gym,” say “it’s not important to go to the gym.” Or instead of saying “I don’t have time to engage in professional growth, such as read a book, take an online class, and so on,” say, “it’s not important to engage in professional growth.” Or, instead of “I don’t have time to focus on my relationship with my spouse, partner, or whatever they are to you,” say, “it’s not important to focus on my relationships.” Wow! That has quite a different feeling to it.

It’s so true, and one of the secrets to superachieving in my book Quit Bleeping Around: 77 Secrets to Superachieving. The secret is titled, “Don’t have time? Bull$#!@” because we make time for what is important in our lives. Think about it – if I told you that I was going to give you two million dollars if you showed up in the town square at 2 pm – it doesn’t matter what you had on your schedule that day, you’d be there and probably a half hour early. No matter what our schedules are like (or rather how poorly we manage them), we make time for what we consider a priority in our lives. So my request of you is to do just what that meeting facilitator suggested – any time you find yourself saying “I don’t have time” replace it with “it’s not important” and see what comes up for you. If you find yourself wincing, it might be time to get your priorities straight.

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