What do you mean, ‘You don’t have time?’

Last Friday, my son hosted a 25th anniversary party for his long-time friends, Brian and Gail, at his studio. And memories came flooding back.
I recalled when he and Brian spent most of their waking hours in the college clay studio. And then when Monica was born, Brian called saying, “Conrad, you’re an uncle.”
He was an uncle again four years later when Carson was born.
Our family owns several pieces of Brian’s pottery and Gail decorated our house 19 years ago. It is so classic that I never want to redecorate again.
All that water over the dam, yet it seems impossible that it has been 25 years.
The party was scheduled for 6 p.m., so my daughter and I went to the studio to look around at four. What impressed me was how relaxed Conrad was. Every room was perfect and he had lots of time to give us a tour.
I thought about myself. If I would have 80 guests coming in two hours, I would be in a tizzy. So, I asked a few questions. “Don’t you have a lot to do before they come?”
Calmly, he said he had to start the barbecue and Hanna had to put flowers on the tables.
My next question was, “Did you put lots of clutter away in closets and drawers?” I knew the answer before I asked the question. The answer was “No.”
How does he do it? How does he get so much work done with so little mess? Why doesn’t he have any piles on his desk or dirty dishes in his sink? And how does he always have time for fun?
It must be good time management—even though he never mentions those words.
Unlike my son, I’m always searching for tips on how to get my time under control. Earlier that same day, I had bought a book on the topic: “10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management” by Hyrum Smith.
The first sentence in the book is “Someday, when I get time, I’m going to . . .”—get rid of the piles on my desk, organize my years of pictures, clean all my closets, and throw a great big party.
Smith says there are two time fallacies. The first fallacy is that we think we’re going to have more time at some unspecified future date than we do now. Next week, next month, or when we retire.
The second fallacy is that we can somehow save time. But the truth is we have all the time there is.
“You’re given a check every day for 24 hours, and you have to spend every last second. You get 86,400 seconds each day, no more, no less, and you can’t save any of them to spend at a later date.”
So when you say, “I don’t have time,” what do you mean? You have as much time as anyone else and it’s up to you how you spend it.
Smith says you control your life by controlling your time. So when you set priorities and write your “to do” list, you are doing more than making good use of the hours in the day.
You are creating a life that brings you happiness.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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