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You’re Not Really as Busy as You Claim

Back in my CPA review days, freaked out candidates would call me up and ask me how to make time to study for the exam. I mean, with jobs and lives and possibly spouses and/or needy children to worry about, how is a person supposed to find the time?

I would advise them to keep an accurate journal of their time for the next week. Down to the minute if they had to. That includes eating, working, time spent screwing around on the Internet, playing games on their phone, checking Facebook, commuting, sleeping… all of it.

It would surprise them to look at it when the week was over and see just how much time they actually had that was spent dicking around on things other than studying.

The same concept applies to "The Cult of Busy," those people you know who are chronically short on time but seem to spend a lot of it aimlessly screwing around.

Dina Kaplan writes on Medium:

Over a leisurely lunch recently, a good friend lamented that he was “too busy” to read.

I smiled.

Our meal lasted an hour and a half. We then strolled to a nearby restaurant, evaluating the menu for an upcoming dinner party. My friend then headed to a meeting about a conference – he’s a successful entrepreneur – he didn’t actually plan to attend. By the time he returned to work it would be 4:30pm, more than four hours after he had left for lunch.

My friend had filled the day. He was busy. But the things that made him busy were the result of his own decisions. He didn’t lack the time to read. He was simply choosing not to.

You know this guy. I know this guy. Shit, sometimes I am this guy.

You have time for what you want to make time for. And maybe you want to waste time dicking around. That's totally fine, just be real with yourself about it. You have time, you simply choose to use it dicking around. No shame in that. Unless, of course, you have things to do (like study for the CPA exam) and no time left to do it.

Are you really as busy as you say you are?