Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

Stop Saying “I Don’t Have Enough Time”

I did not sleep much last night—in bed after midnight and up before 5:00AM. Last night my wife and I played a concert with my sister, Bethany, and her husband, Abe. They were in town all week visiting us on the way back to their home in India. The past five days were filled with fun excursions and family activities. The concert capped off a busy and enjoyable week.

This morning I drove them to the airport before the sun came up.

In the past, I would have skipped out on writing this week. I don’t have enough time. However, I am learning something about time.

Time is not what keeps me from reaching my goals.

Photo by Toni Verdú Carbó (Creative Commons)

Photo by Toni Verdú Carbó (Creative Commons)

“I don’t have enough time.”

I hate to admit it, but I complain too much about not having enough time.

“Sorry, I don’t have enough time.”
“Imagine what I could do if I had more time.”
“Let me just make it through this week and I will have enough time.”

Sort of ironic, since time is the only resource we all have the same amount of.

Kings and paupers, presidents and street sweepers all have the same amount of time. 24 hours a day. 128 hours a week. 8,760 hours a year. It is a daily gift from our Creator. It is a trust fund that delivers interest each morning without fail. It is a resource evenly delivered to everyone in the world, without discrimination.

We all have the same amount of time. The difference is what we do with it.

We invest it.
We waste it.
We save it.
We lose it.
We run out of it.
We spend it.
We count it.
86,400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, 24 hours a day.

Although we all have the same amount of time, it is a limited resource. No amount of money can buy more of it. Once spent, it cannot be retrieved. A day will never have more than 24 hours. Therefore, time is valuable—the most valuable resource we handle each day. It is the doorway to all other resources.

If you doubt the value of time, ask someone who just ran out of it.

And, no matter how much time we have, we feel we never have enough of it.

Don’t say “I don’t have enough time.”

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As the father of three small children and the leader of our 13-person team, time is scarce. “I don’t have enough time” is my go-to excuse.

Last year I quit writing because I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. My five-month-old blog went into hibernation. When I awoke it again in August, I knew I needed a different perspective of time. Instead of complaining about how little time I have, I need to make the most of the time I’m given.

The truth is, we have time for what we value. If I don’t have any time, then why have I not missed an episode of Downton Abbey or The Office? I have time. The question, is HOW I will use it.

In the West, we have more leisure time than ever before (perhaps more than any other time in history). What do we do with it? TV. Video games. Facebook. Movies. Our prosperity has become our undoing. We spend buckets of cash to assuage our boredom while simultaneously bemoaning our busyness. (you can tweet that)

If you want to stay up until 2:00AM watching a Jersey Shore marathon, than that’s your choice. It’s OK. Just stop whining about not having enough time.

Photo credit Sybren Stüvel (Creative Commons)

Photo credit Sybren Stüvel (Creative Commons)

I have enough time 

Here is my logic:

A.  God gives me a limited amount of time
B.  God gives me a purpose and calling in life.

EITHER

C.  God is playing a sick joke on me and is laughing himself off his heavenly cloud as he and the angels watch me try to accomplish my purpose when he knows he hasn’t given me enough time to do it.

OR

D.  I have enough time to do what God is calling me to do.

 I know the logic is simple, but the conclusion is transformative:

We don’t have enough time to do everything we want to do, but we have enough time to do everything we are called to do. (you can tweet that too)

This means our problem is not our limited time but our inability to limit what we do with our time. We have entangled ourselves in the unrealistic expectations and endless demands of our culture, leaving us no time for what we really want to do—live a life of purpose and meaning. The time has come to break free.

This means making some difficult choices.

  1. What does God actually want me to do with my life? What is my purpose?
  2. What roles has God given me?
  3. What do I need to cut out to truly fulfill those roles?

The world does not need one more busy person running from activity to activity. Find your purpose and focus your energy towards that end.

Now is the time.

Just enough time

I read about a guy who died in his early thirties. Three years before his death he started his “life’s work.” He was just beginning to gain influence when he died. His life looks sad on paper. He didn’t have much time to accomplish anything. He was only just beginning to live.

However, the night before he died, he was recorded as saying, “I have accomplished everything that God has given me to do.”

A different perspective of time.

You might have heard of him. His name was Jesus.

What are you going to cut out of your life this week? Let me know in the comments.

You might want to also read:
What keeps you from reaching your goals? It’s not people.
What’s keeping you from reaching your goals? It’s not circumstances.

About Josh