As we continue to be overwhelmed by technologies that take more time to learn than the time they save us to implement, not to mention expanded professional and personal duties, I am hearing another favorite phrase more frequently: I don’t have time.

A friend recently engaged me to do some strategy work.  I came up with some important items that he needed to focus on in order to take his business to the next level, which included producing some marketing collateral.  We set a deadline to make the goal concrete.

A few days later, he called me personally to chat.  He wanted to say hello and told me about the Food Network marathon he had been watching for the better part of the evening.  I asked how the collateral was coming.  He lamented, “Oh, I haven’t had any free time”.

While I understand that we are people, not robots, so we need downtime, often, it’s not that we don’t have the time, we just haven’t prioritized our time appropriately.

Some of the likely culprits of your time could include:

  • Surfing the internet
  • Television
  • Networking events
  • Social media
  • Responding to unnecessary emails (or responding to ones quickly that can wait)
  • Talking to or texting friends
  • Blogging
  • Going out to dinner or drinks

Or countless others

If you have items that are critical to getting your business on track, then you have to prioritize those first and foremost and let everything else go by the wayside.  Instead of eating out for lunch and/or dinner, grab something quick and eat at your desk while working.  Take a few day long breaks from Twitter and Google+.  Don’t go to an event to try to meet new people when you have critical current work left undone.

Take a break when you need to recharge, but make sure that you are in fact spending your time on the most important tasks, clients and factors that will drive your business forward.