The lie of 'no time'

September 4, 2011

We all fall prey to it at some point. And while there may be legitimate periods of time that are completely full and inflexible, our lives as a whole are not.

A young mother, in reviewing UYL! at Amazon, stated that she would NEVER be able to transform her kitchen in the way that I suggest in the book. She simply doesn't have the time -- and listed her two children, including 'a one-year old who likes to get into everything' and a full-time job as her explanation.

'I don't have time, EVER, to take out everything from my kitchen. I need a process that I can work on a little each day after the kids go to bed, and this was not it for me. I don't know how I would ever implement the system as he designed it.'

I do.

How about a day or two of daycare over a weekend? If money would prevent that from being an option, how about a local relative who could watch the kids? How about a relative who isn't local that would take the kids for a weekend sleepover? Or how about a friend? Perhaps even someone who ALSO wants to makeover her kitchen and could trade either babysitting or help with the makeover, and then our 'no time' gal could help her friend do the same at HER home.

I'm willing to bet that she COULD have the time.

I'm also willing to accept that she may very well be overwhelmed, exhausted, challenged with time management and other things. She may FEEL she doesn't have the time or THINK she doesn't have the time or both.

But that doesn't mean she actually DOESN'T have any time.

After all, she wrote a review on Amazon (that didn't move her any closer to getting organized) so she clearly has SOME unstructured time :)

When we dig in our heels and state with some intensity that we have absolutely no time, what are we really doing?

We're trying to regain some control.

Perhaps we're experiencing such a strong loss of control that the cure for our discomfort becomes a strident declaration of 'no time.'

We draw a line in the sand -- a boundary for ourselves, and by extension, others, who we may see as part of the problem of 'no time.'

We're restating our claim to our time -- albeit in a slightly blustery and desperate way.

Hopefully, the declaration will get some folks' attention and provide at least temporary relief for our perceived problem.

But the solution is actually simpler and more difficult.

It requires a different approach to time. And if we're already feeling stretched and threatened, it's that much harder to remain open enough to take a risk on anything.

Even an alternative that MIGHT work better than what we're currently doing that isn't working so well.

It's a curious thing -- when we most need to make a change, we're often the least open TO change.

So perhaps the strongest antidote to 'no time' is an attitude adjustment and rather than digging in our heels, a softening of our grasp and a request for help.

Not more control, but less control of the type we're used to.

And then perhaps a NEW kind of control, or actually a new way of running our lives, will have room to appear.

Declutter Your Life Podcast by Andrew Mellen. Available on iTunes!