Choosing to MAKE Time

posted by Andrea | 03/21/2012

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In my line of work, you can probably imagine how often I hear people complain about “not having enough time…”  Yup, it happens a lot!  And while I too wish I had more time for certain activities… in most situations, I know that I COULD have that time if I wanted it bad enough. The real issue is that I’m not choosing to MAKE time…

Do you choose to MAKE time?

We all have 24 hours every day — and how we choose to spend those 24 hours is up to us. Most of the time, no one is forcing us to do something… and if we really stop to think about it, almost everything we do comes back to a specific choice we made at one point or another.

Here are some examples from my own life:

1. I don’t HAVE enough time to watch TV at night…

I don’t MAKE enough time because I choose to spend a lot of time working and I go to bed on time.

2. I don’t HAVE enough time to go to a certain event…

I don’t MAKE enough time to go because I choose to do other things instead.

3. I don’t HAVE enough time to do fun craft, sewing, or decorating projects…

I don’t MAKE enough time because I choose to spend time with family and working on my blog.

4. I don’t HAVE enough time to go on vacation…

I don’t make enough time because I choose to stay home and do yard work and house projects.

5. I don’t HAVE enough time to do things with friends…

I don’t MAKE enough time because I choose to stay home and relax or catch up on housework.

I make these choices based on what is important to me {my family, my blog, our house, church, etc.}

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And here are some examples I hear frequently from others:

{Please know that I’m not judging anyone here — just encouraging you to think about some of the ways you spend your time!} 1. I don’t HAVE enough time to clean/organize the house….

They don’t MAKE the time because they choose do something else {friends, family, activites, TV, etc.}

2. I don’t HAVE the time to cook meals, make meal plans, or fill my freezer with healthy foods…

They don’t MAKE the time because they choose to do _________ or eat out at restaurants.

3. I don’t HAVE the time to play with my kids…

They don’t MAKE the time because they choose to _________ (and even if their excuse is a job, they are still CHOOSING to do that job — even if it is for financial reasons)

4. I don’t HAVE the time to be on that committee…

They don’t MAKE the time because they feel _________ is more a more important use of their time.

5. I don’t HAVE enough time to exercise, clip coupons, finish this, start that, etc, etc…

They don’t MAKE enough time because they choose to do _________________ instead.

NONE of these choices are particularly bad — but they ARE choices. 

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While I understand every situation is different (and there are some events when we really might not have a choice) I know that in my own life, the main reason I don’t HAVE enough time for something is because I don’t choose to MAKE the time for it.

  • Sometimes it’s a planned choice {not making time for a vacation because we have other projects we want to do instead}
  • Sometimes it’s not planned {not making time for a fun event because we stayed home with a sick kid}
  • Sometimes it’s a responsible choice {not making time for TV because we need to get work done or I want to go to bed on time}
  • Sometimes it’s not so responsible {not making time to exercise because we’re tired}

But they are all still choices we made. Yes, we’d probably get fired if we chose to skip work several days in a row… and yes, we probably wouldn’t get the “best parent award” if we chose to go off and have fun while our child was home sick — but they are choices. If something is important enough to me, I will most definitely make the time for it — and I assume you will to. So the next time you catch yourself starting to complain about “not having enough time”, stop and think if it’s something that really is important to you. If it is — see if there’s a way you can MAKE time for it. If it’s not — then stop complaining about it! And I’m talking to myself here too :)

Do you choose to MAKE time?

And maybe an even better question is — are we choosing to MAKE time for what’s important?

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13 comments

  1. Emily

    03/21/2012

    Well said! :)

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  2. Alana @ Domestic Bliss Diaries

    03/21/2012

    So true! People always do what they want to do. Great reminder to make time for what is most important.

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  3. Amy

    03/21/2012

    I have definitely been guilty of this myself! One day I calculated up how many hours a week I spent watching the news programs in the evenings. I wouldn’t even tell you the number because it was quite embarrassing :( When I decided to turn the tube off, it’s AMAZING how much more time I had…and how much more at peace I was. Common sense really…..but sometimes we get stuck in a rut and can’t see out I suppose.

    I have a friend who is CONSTANTLY telling me how tired they are and how they don’t have time to eat healthily, clean house, exercise, or have hobbies…and she tries to make me feel bad because I do have the time and she doesn’t. This same person watches loads of tv and spends hours on Facebook.

    I had a minister tell me once that Devil wouldn’t bother trying to convince anyone there wasn’t a God. He just skillfully tells us there is no rush. Distracts us with tv, the Internet, and various other things that stand in the way of a relationship with God and a peace filled life. I think that same premise is true even for those who don’t believe in God regarding peace in our lives.

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  4. WendyJahns

    03/21/2012

    So true Andrea! I used to complain about time, and now I’m just going to keep my mouth shut :) It’s so true about having time and don’t make the time for it in a productive way.

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  5. Carolyn

    03/21/2012

    Bravo! I love this post. It’s blunt and it’s true!! I’ve never really thought about my choosing to make time for some things and choosing to ignore others. We have a lot more control over our own lives than I thought! Thanks for helping to wake me up to this! Excellently written. And, by the way, I love your organizational tips! :)

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  6. Miranda @ A ThankFULL Heart

    03/21/2012

    This is very true! It always kind of bothers me when people lets say see a scrapbook page I’ve done and just say ‘Oh, I’d never have time for that!’. Its all about making time for things you find important. I somehow always manage to keep up with my tv shows {DVR} but never have time to read a book ;).

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  7. Grace

    03/21/2012

    This is true for me too. I find my biggest problem is wasting time on the computer and complaining I don’t have enough time for work. I get on to check e-mail and 30 minutes later I’m still clicking on links. Or if it’s on and I’m working, I’ll think of something run to the computer to check it out and before I know it, another 30 minutes has blown by. If I keep the computer turned off I’m much more productive. But I miss it – always looking for reasons to turn it on – I think I’m a little addicted.

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  8. Crystal

    03/21/2012

    You nailed me today!! I am so thankful for the reminder!! Lately I have felt God calling me to routines and self-discipline. In fact, the bible verse on my fridge is :

    “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
    2 Tim 1:7

    It takes courage/tenacity to be mindful of our time. If dawdling isn’t from God, where is it from? The thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

    You have written before that tackling one task leads to another- gives life, if you will, in productivity land. The lazies beget lazies in my world!!!

    Thanks for the reminder!! Choosing is more powerful than passively thinking you don’t have time!

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    Edie Reply:

    Love your comment! That verse hits home!

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  9. Ruth

    03/22/2012

    Absolutely! I whole heartedly agree! My mother has always said “you always have time for what you want to do!” She is the hardest working, world changing woman I know :)

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  10. ShannonP

    03/22/2012

    My mom and I have had many conversations about, “Why can’t we keep our homes as clean as (my) in-laws?” But then we talk about how we have made it more important in our lives to spend time together (my mom, myself, and my kids) and that is why we get to do so many fun things together. My kids have clean socks and undies and there aren’t any moldy dishes in the sink, and that’s good enough for me.

    My in-laws are always too busy cleaning XYZ to come do fun things with us (Highland Games, Renaissance Faire, State Fare, etc) because cleaning always comes first. At the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I would have done more fun things with the kids, but at least my home was always immaculate.”

    Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t other times that I am choosing to do things instead of cleaning because there absolutely are, but the weekends in my world are not for cleaning (usually), they are for spending time as a family out of the house, creating memories that don’t involve a broom or a laundry basket.

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  11. My 2013 Goals – a Year of Ultra Simplicity « Andrea Dekker

    03/27/2013

    [...] Choosing to make time for family, friends, hobbies, rest, and leisure (because we all know that time doesn’t just appear) [...]

  12. Luba

    04/23/2013

    Thank you for this great post. I need it greatly since I was not taught much of this elsewhere. :)

    [Reply]

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