You Think You Don’t Have Time, But Really, It Just Isn’t A Priority Right Now

My latest email newsletter is all about productivity, and I got into a bit of “preaching” about rethinking time as learned from Laura Vanderkam (one of my favorite authors on time management and productivity).

I wanted to share my own story about struggling with this battle of I Don’t Have Time vs. It Isn’t A Priority.

Here’s the deal—if something is a priority, we will make time for it. If it isn’t a priority, we won’t. And here’s the other thing—it’s okay for something not to be a priority right now. Just don’t blame it on not having time.

Here’s My Story

After having my son in 2015, it took me a long time to make exercise a priority again. I knew it was important and something I should be doing and it frustrated me that I wasn’t making it a priority. Sports and fitness have always been such a big part of my life. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, run marathons and triathlons, done century rides.

I kept thinking, “Why can’t I figure out how to make time for this?” It was frustrating because I knew making the time would make me a better wife and mom, more productive at work, more confident, happier, etc. We live in one of the most active places in the country, had a gym membership, live next to a walking/running trail. Knowing all of those things just made me more frustrated.

Looking back, I now know in hindsight that it just wasn’t what I was focused on prioritizing. I had a lot of other things I was putting in front of it—my clients, my kid, my family, friends, “relaxing”. It was easy for me to use any “extra” time I had to get more work done. That’s the life of the self-employed workaholic.

Last summer I trained for a half marathon, but I don’t think I’ve run since. (insert blushing emoji)

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

So, last winter I took extreme measures to make certain fitness was a part of my every day life once again. What did I do? I became a spinning instructor. Crazy, right?

photo credit: wheelie creative

I have always loved spinning and cycling, and took the opportunity to join the team a new local beat-based cycling studio—SOBBACYCLE. There have been so many things I have loved about the last (almost) year of teaching spinning:

  1. It got me out of my comfort zone. As a 35-year-old woman with a young child, I don’t find myself with many opportunities to get out of my comfort zone these days (unless you count going to demolition derbies and monster truck jams). This whole fitness instructor and being on a “stage” with a microphone and leading a group of people thing? Totally new. And fun!
  2. Pushing off a workout is no longer an option. I know for sure I will get at least 4 workouts in a week because that’s how many classes I teach. People are counting on me to be there, whether I’m motivated or not. Yay accountability!
  3. Meeting new people. My husband and I love our community and where we live and feel so connected here. Being part of the team at SOBBACYCLE has just expanded our community and group of friends even more, which is awesome.

This post about prioritizing and looking at time differently kind of took a turn, but it’s just one example of how it’s okay to not have the same priorities right now that you used to. If something truly is a priority, it will find it’s way back on your plate. Or you can take extreme measures to get it there, like I did. It’s all good!

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