Time, I Don’t Have Enough.
Every time this excuse is given when a person is asked to do something – EVERY time, it is an excuse. It is worse – it is a lie.
We all have all the time in the world, as the saying goes, as many hours in any day as the richest busiest politician, or multibillionaire business person.
Recently I was told this lie by a person I know to be busy – on call 24 hours per day, a person I respect greatly. But not enough time? I was asking a favour that would have taken a total of 12 – 15 hours total, spread over a period of 2 weeks, and about almost 21/2 months in the future.
This was obviously something this person did not want to do. Either the task itself or for me? It is really irrelevant. Why did they just say, “Nope. Sorry. No can do.”
It would have been true and a straightforward answer.
We tell what my mum would have called ‘white lies’ these untruths, many times each day of our lives. Most of us, anyway.
It made me think.
Why do we put ourselves through these guilt trips? Are we of the opinion that it makes the let down easier, “Oh yeah, I know. They are very busy. It was a shot in the dark anyway.”
Hardly. Most, if not all the time the listener knows it not to be true. Sometimes, as in my case, the time commitment is very small and not actually limited to specific days. Well, most of it anyway. So ‘too busy’ doesn’t make sense. ‘I don’t really want to do it.’ does though.
In the end, the asker still has to find another volunteer. Nothing changes. So letting a person down easy as an excuse is not valid. A let down is let down. The asker can rant about it, moan and groan, react angrily and all of that, but at the end of all that negative reaction, the asker still has to find a new person to ask. So it hasn’t helped.
A thought, perhaps, if there was a reason why this person did not WANT to do the task, then a kind word explaining why the required task could not be done might be very useful. I can’t do it because what you are asking conflicts with my values, or I do not have the required skills to climb that particular mountain. (If that were, in fact, true) Or, perhaps, “I’m afraid, I don’t really want to work with you on this or any task for [insert a VALID reason here.]”
This way the asker can request said assistance from another with a greater chance of success, knowing a couple of reasons why one person said no.
We prioritise our time, for sure, but we can ALWAYS find time to chat on the phone, have a beer/smoke, or update social media, or be involved in work or other meetings. But we can MAKE time for something we want to do.
Think about your life over the last few days – week or so. I bet there have been a number of ‘white lies’ of this nature in your recent past.
Perhaps you have not really figured out WHY you do not want to do something, but there will be a really good and valid reason which relates to anything other than TIME.
Time is the age-old EXCUSE. You do have time, you just do not wish to do what you have been asked to do.
Think about it and be honest. Say, “Nope. Not this time, mate.”
And don’t offer the, “Perhaps another time.” comment. It will never happen. It is not, almost always, a matter of time anyway.
That is to say, as long as you are physically available/able to do the task and not for example away on an unalterable trip. Even then if the task is compelling enough, you will make time.
Be straight up-front and tell it like it is.