Thursday, March 15, 2012

Time suck solution?

As one of the world's great procrastinators and the Boston Queen of Being 5 Minutes Late To Everywhere, I was interested in this summation of a recent Wall Street Journal article about time management. 

It's overly simplistic yet compelling if true:
We lead busy lives and use our limited time as an excuse to procrastinate and avoid getting things done, but often claiming we don't have time is a lie. It's a lie we tell others and ourselves. It helps us believe we'll never get anything done, and this is a problem.

Fortunately, the solution might be as simple as changing your language. Wall Street Journal writer Laura Vanderkam explains:

Instead of saying "I don't have time" try saying "it's not a priority," and see how that feels. Often, that's a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to. But other things are harder. Try it: "I'm not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it's not a priority." "I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority." If these phrases don't sit well, that's the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently.
It's a simple idea, and a great one. Our language is often used to provide a polite answer when the truth might be hard to hear. Sometimes we even subject ourselves to more polite language and end up in situations like this one. How you use your time is very important. It's a limited resource and shouldn't be wasted. Don't risk putting it to poor use by failing to be honest with yourself and others about your priorities in life. Alter your language and you may just discover what's most important.


klk said...

Zowie! While reading the quote within your post, I started thinking about that in my own life. That kind of stings. But, truth hurts sometimes, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing it! I see some changes on the horizon for this procrastinator right here.

Joy said...

This is pretty powerful stuff to me, a chronic procrastinator.
I do put extra stuff into my life to make excuses for not doing the stuff I don't want to do. I tell myself I don't have enough time. But it's really all about priorities. Yep, painful to face.

Thanks for the good dose of honest truth!