“I haven’t got time” is a lie (March 2020)

Of course it is. You just haven’t got time for what I’m asking you for, because you don’t see it as important enough to prioritise. And that may be the right decision, or it might be a poor decision based on misconception, disorganisation, lack of assertiveness.

But telling someone they are not important enough is far too blunt, so we disguise the reason. Too busy and I haven’t got time becomes the norm. The trouble is that the lie slowly becomes our “truth” and we end up lying to ourselves about the reality. What we are often prioritizing is the urgent and urgent doesn’t equal important.

Important tasks often have no deadline and so are easy to put off until another day. When do you need to do more for your health? When to invest in a relationship? When to spend quality time with a child?

Let’s be more honest with ourselves and have a look at what we are deeming important. It’s only when things go wrong that we may realise we’ve prioritised the wrong things.

Richard Wentworth Ping is CEO and owner of Wentworth People. With offices in Singapore and Australia and a network of consultants across Asia, they help clients handle change, build leaders and shape culture. Contact him on richard.wping@wentworthpeople.com or +61 425 262580 or visit the website www.wentworthpeople.com