No more excuses

“I don’t have time.”

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

“If only I could clone myself.”

I know I have said all of these things, and probably all of them in the course of a single day. You probably have too.

As lawyers, we deal with emergencies, short turnaround times, and conflicting deadlines. Add career-related obligations on top of that (such as administrative obligations, bar association activities, networking events, writing for publications, lunch meetings, happy hours, etc.), and it can very quickly feel like there is no time left for a personal life.

It is all too easy to stop going to the gym or yoga because you don’t have time. It’s easy not to go for that run because you don’t have time. It’s easy to stop eating healthy because you don’t have time. It’s easy to stop getting a full night’s sleep because you don’t have time.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve done all of these.

A Wall Street Journal article from earlier this year claimed that most people are unconsciously overestimating how busy they are and that they can re-prioritize their lives by taking back that lost time — the time spent checking Facebook, watching TV, etc.

Well, those of us who log our lives in six-minute increments couldn’t possibly be guilty of that, right?

A Nerd Fitness blog post built on the Wall Street Journal article’s comments bluntly proclaimed “‘I don’t have time’ is a big fat lie.” It isn’t a matter of not having time, Nerd Fitness said, it is a matter of priorities.

When you look at it that way, “I don’t have time to work out” becomes “exercising isn’t a priority.” I don’t have time to eat healthy” becomes “eating healthy isn’t a priority.” “I don’t have time to get 8 hours of sleep” becomes “adequate sleep isn’t a priority.”

Now, you will always have competing priorities. And your priorities can and will change. There will be times when some things that are normally a priority are temporarily bumped out of line by higher priorities.

But while “I don’t have time” may sound like a valid excuse, “it isn’t a priority” will at least make you think twice about whether you are prioritizing things correctly.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take 10 minutes to grab a salad instead of raiding someone’s candy jar for lunch.

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