Productivity tip #11: What "I didn't have enough time" really means.

Remember: When you say you didn’t have enough time, you are actually saying that there are other things more important to you. On your list of priorities, other things were higher on the list than the thing you didn’t have time to complete.

“I didn’t have enough time” actually means it wasn't important enough to you.

“I didn’t have enough time” means it wasn't fun, distracting, profitable, or urgent enough to place it at the top of you to-do list.

My friend, Bill, recently quoted something that I apparently say often enough to be quoted:

“You can sleep seven hours a night and not write a book, or you can sleep six hours a night and become an author.”

I like this one better. It’s one of my favorites:


But it’s true. If you wake up one hour earlier than you currently do and spend that time writing, you’ll have yourself a book in a year or two. But if you are looking for more time to accomplish your goals, there are things in your life that you can probably eliminate before sleep.

The average American watches five hours of television a day. So much of this is spent watching shows and (even worse) the reruns of shows that will be entirely forgotten six months later.

The average American spends three hours per day on social media. Where did that time come from? What did we do before social media was born? Weren't we just as busy ten years ago when Facebook and Twitter and Instagram didn’t exist for most of us?

It’s perfectly acceptable to say that you didn’t have enough time to do something, but remember that time is (for most of us) simply a matter of choice and allocation. Most of us are blessed with a certain amount of free time each day. This time should be viewed as the most precious commodity we possess. More important than the money in our bank accounts or the things we own.

Choose how you spend that leisure time for carefully than anything else in your life. It is the most important choice that you make every day. Don’t allow things like television and social media mindlessly fill the time for you as it does for so many.

“I didn’t have enough time” often means that you didn’t make thoughtful choices about how to spend your time and allowed your non-decisions to determine the course of your life.