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I haven't got time

People often say they haven't got time. You may even find yourself saying it to others and even to yourself. In some cases it may be true, for instance, if you are on your way to an appointment you may not have time to speak to a Charity worker who stops you on the street. If you stop, you may then be late.

So there are certainly times when the excuse of not having time is justified. Yet I would suggest that as a whole, the times when it is justified are small in comparison to the times when we just use this as an excuse.

There is a big difference between not truly having the time and those that just do not prioritise their time effectively. As a society, we have become all about not having time instead of just being either honest with others about what we want to use our time for. Or being honest to ourselves about whether we really are using the time we have for what is important. Not just important for us in a selfish way, but using it in ways that show others around us that we value them and we are prepared to give time for them when they ask us for it.

For example, we often ask those around us "Have you got time to.............."? do whatever it is we are asking them. Those might be the words that we use but they aren't actually what we feel we are asking. By asking someone if they have the time to do something, you are often asking them if they will give up time based on how important we are to them.

"Have you got time to have a Coffee with me"? That doesn't really mean, have you got time to buy a hot beverage and let it slowly cool and then consume it. It means, have you got time to spend with me. The having a Coffee part is merley applying a rough timescale on how much time is being requested.

Have you ever asked someone for time, whether it be dinner or a drink or just a quick coffee and they have said they don't have time. A few days later, you hear from them again and they have completely forgotten you asked them to say, have a coffee Tuesday evening. They then proceed to tell you that on Tuesday evening they did nothing other than sit in front of the TV all evening. So it wasn't that they didn't have time was it? They just prioritised sitting in front of the TV all night over catching up with you.

There in lies the problem. None of us are so stupid that we believe this is not having time. So we feel exactly what we should feel. Not worth more than watching junk on TV.

We need to understand that communication isn't just Verbal, there is Non Verbal Communication and the meaning of the message is the response it elicits. I haven't got time doesn't just mean I haven't got time. Especially when followed up by what appears to be something far less valuable.

So next time you find yourself rolling out the excuse of "I don't have time", step back and think a little more carefully about whether you really don't have time and what you prioritise your time on. And whether the person who is asking for some of your time is really just checking whther you have time to let a hot beverage slowly cool down. My guess is, that isn't what they are asking.


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