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The single biggest “push back” I get from people when I share about how building practices into their life can unleash new ideas and help them be more productive goes something like this: “Yeah, that’s great, but I really just don’t have the time.”

After collecting myself, I reply…
Did you at any point in the last week:

Watch TV?
Read for pleasure?
Check Facebook/Twitter?
Spend any time at work where you weren’t really working?
Take a lunch break?
Chat with friends?
Exercise?
etc.
etc.
etc.

The inevitable response: “yes“.

“OK,” I reply, “then you didn’t mean to say you ‘don’t have time.’ What you really meant to say was that doing brilliant work is not as important as watching TV or checking your Twitter feed. And that’s OK, I just want to make sure we’re having an honest dialogue here.”

Stares. Then a smile. Then acknowledgment. Point made.

Each of us has 168 hours in a week. If you spend 8 hours per day sleeping (generous!), and 10 hours per day (x 5 days) working/commuting, and 2 hours per day eating, that leaves 48 hours per week for discretionary activity.

48. Two full days.

4 hours per day every single day for family activity? No problem. Now you have 20 hours left.

5 hours per week for hanging out with friends? Now you have 15 hours left.

You can still watch TV, read and do other things if you’d like. How about an hour a day? You still have 8 hours left.

The point is this: you have time to do things that matter, that create value and that help you get where you want to be in your life and career. It’s not a matter of quantity of time, it’s a matter of willpower.

We need to overcome the fear of the unknown and simply get moving on what matters. Make time. Put it on the calendar. Get moving. Start with an hour this week to do create something valuable. Ready? Go!

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