Many of us have been guilty of overusing this excuse during a difficult year.
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December 23, 2020 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
For many, the pandemic has shown us that the phrase “I don’t have time” is really just an excuse. How many times have we stopped going with friends, learning a new skill, exercising, or even starting our own business because we say we don’t have time? Surely, you, like me, several.
These months of confinement have changed the routines for most of us. Although there have been cases of people who have had to even double their working hours, others have seen our working hours greatly reduced. I’m used to having lots of slopes, to being from 9 to 7 in front of the computer and, even, not disconnecting, even on weekends. Also, my office is not close to my house (at least an hour commute), so it is true: before, I did not have much time to dedicate myself to other things beyond what my life as an employee imposed.
The sector in which I operate (entertainment) has been one of the most affected by the pandemic and for eight months I have been a home office . I have always been in favor of this scheme, as I am convinced that it allows workers to have a better personal / professional life balance, and that it is particularly convenient for mothers and fathers. I recognize that saving hours in traffic, added to the reduction in tasks, have given me more free hours than I have had since I finished university. The typical “I don’t have time” excuse not to do the things “I’ve always wanted to do” has become untenable.
In this year I have not started a master’s degree, nor did I learn to speak a language (I am at a basic level of German on Duolingo), nor did I improve any skills. I dedicate a good part of this new free time to reading, exercising, helping with housework and helping my mother with her business. The belief that “24 hours a day is not enough” is over, because my situation is more or less the same as at the beginning of 2020.
This reflection a few days after the end of the year, led me to wonder about what I really want and what I don’t, but that I have always found justifications for not doing them. I have noticed that I greatly value the moments that I can dedicate to my intellectual development (I have read about 30 books on this pandemic, blessed Kindle!), To doing things that make me happy and others too, such as preparing a dessert; take up activities that I love and had forgotten, like writing, and venture into relatively new ones, for which I didn’t have enough time before, like teaching.
I hope that many of us take time to understand the importance of time itself. This should not be an excuse to stop doing things, but something that we value and take advantage of to do what we enjoy and make us better versions of ourselves … and that often means looking for moments to connect with ourselves. It is not necessary to learn a new language or play a musical instrument, unless you want to, but it is necessary to achieve balance and ways to improve ourselves as people. Finally, for me one of the best lessons from this eternal quarantine has been that any impediment to doing or not doing is only an excuse.