Stop Using Lack of Time As Your Excuse

Aaron McHugh

Oral B Floss

It’s easy to tell ourselves

If I only I had more time then I would (fill in the blank)

  • Balance my checkbook
  • Stretch my back
  • Clean out the garage
  • Floss my teeth

Today, we woke up with an extra hour in the bank (here in the US-daylight savings time change).

So what did you do with your extra hour?

I am guessing that you didn’t wake up and make a list of five of your least favorite things.

Of course you didn’t, I didn’t either.

Nor did I start building that open ocean kayak that I’ve dreamed about building in my garage.

I didn’t schedule three more podcast guests or read that book I keep intending to start.

If I’m honest with myself, having more time really isn’t the reason I don’t pursue my dreams or floss my teeth daily.

I prioritize what I love

I don’t enjoy flossing my teeth.  I never have and yet I know full well that as the dentist preaches “Just floss the one’s you want to keep“.

Isn’t that a persuasive argument?

Today my teeth are all present and accounted for so I simply choose something else for the three minutes it would take me to battle gingivitis.

We prioritize the things, the people, the experiences that we love above the things we simply don’t want to do.  We use the excuse that we lack time and therefore we appease and comfort ourselves for ignoring those peripheral priorities.

The root is deeper than lacking time.

How am I going to change? 

I’ve found that it is unrealistic to say

Starting tomorrow I’m going to start doing or stop doing (fill in your challenge) every single day“.

No I’m not.

When approaching change like this we obligate ourselves to a zero to 100% compliance overnight.

Most of the time, it just doesn’t work like that. For most people they start with a beginning, some small movement forward, then a bit of consistency over time and a lot of grace for when you fall off the wagon.

My encouragement to you this week is ask yourself,

Where am I using the lack of time
as the bogus reason that I cannot...?

Ok ready for the drum roll?  

I cured my flossing aversion by putting the floss in the shower instead of at the sink.  Yep, that’s all it took.  Now when I take a shower, I pull out the floss dispenser and I knock out two things at once.  Super Type-A I know.

That was all it took, to change the thirty-eight year trend of not flossing my teeth.

I moved it to a place in my daily routine where I couldn’t use my list of iron clad excuses.

Ridiculous I know, but it really taught me something about myself.

I learned that flossing was the peephole to places that I am stuck, resistant, reluctant, or indifferent to change.

Good luck on your list.

Keep going.

  • Road my bike to work for the first time in months. You are right. It’s small. And it’s huge. “The peep hole to the places I am stuck.” Huckadoo. Thanks for validating the choice to be cold in the dark this am and know that there was someone else besides me with a new found shit eatin grin today. Keep bringing it. We need it. Thanks.

    • Huckadoo. Road bike in the dark. Whose tougher than you?

      • “The only easy day was yesterday.” The Navy Seals are right. Huckadoo.

  • Aaron, i found that using a red solo cup at work, instead of a transparent disappears-on-my-desk glass, is the difference between drinking water during the day. Ridiculous, but it works. Also started using http://www.lift.do site
    Thanks for the post, friend.

    • Aaron I took a peak at the Lift site. very cool. I also have been intrigued by the http://www.Fitbit.com and Up.com and http://www.jawbone.com/up for tracking your daily activity. little nudges throughout the day that get you off your duff. I’m pulling out my water bottle to put on my desk now. Good call.