“Having Time” vs. “Making Time”

When I talk about balancing life I often think about the concept of “having time” vs. “making time.” A while back I caught myself using the excuse that I don’t have time to volunteer to the excess that the other class moms do. Then I found out that they both work full time. Oops. Guess they are busy too. I realized that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all “have” time, it’s just how we decide to use it that differs.

It has become a pet peeve of mine to hear people use the term “I don’t have time” because it’s just not true. It’s usually either an excuse meaning they don’t want to do something, they are afraid to try something new, or they are unnecessarily overcommitted. When it comes to a project at work, volunteering as a team mom, exercising, going back to school, reading, playing with our kids, whatever- we have a choice to MAKE time if we really want to achieve it. I now say instead, “I don’t make time for that.” I think it sounds less confrontational. I’m not telling someone that my time is more precious than theirs or claiming to be more busy, I just don’t choose to spend my time that way.

Today I MADE time to swim laps to strengthen my ailing hip. I MADE time to make a homemade dinner and I am making time to write. Other days I have to make time to call my aunt to catch up; I have to make time to see my girlfriends because our schedules don’t always line up; I really need to make more time to exercise; and I could really make some time for a date night. But don’t forget that I HAVE the time to do these things.

And so do you.

Perhaps you have to have cereal for dinner tonight to make time for the gym.

Maybe you have to sacrifice watching Game of Thrones to take that online class you’ve been wanting to check out.

There is a good chance that you need to put work aside and get silly with your kids because they are going to be just a little bit older tomorrow.

Stop using the excuse that you don’t have time. The best use of your time is to evaluate where you are spending your precious 24 hours a day to figure out how you can do the things that are really important.

Fit in some sleep (God knows I struggle with this), write down the MUST do’s (work), the should do’s (clean your house), and the want to-do’s.

Then ask, can you hire someone to help with house or yard work? Can the family get involved to make it go faster? Can you join a carpool or commute via bus to have more time to read (or study, or nap)? Can you alternate days of kid carpools or child care to free up some time? Do you really have to stay late, again? Do you have to say “yes” to every committee? Find ways to fit in the want to-do’s!

Evaluate your days, your weeks, and realize that they are quickly going to add up to your entire life. Then go MAKE some time to enjoy it!


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