Are your commitments strong enough to justify your time?

Are your commitments strong enough to justify your time?

Do you have a commitment to any of these things: To be healthy and fit? To advance at work? To have a nurturing relationship and/or family?

Are you spending enough time doing the things you want and need to do in these areas in order to be as successful and happy as you would want?

If not, are you one of those people who say: “I know, I have to find the time to exercise…” or “I have to make the time to spend with my family…”???

Too often I hear people give the excuse of “I don’t have the time…”, “I can’t find the time…” or “I need to make the time…” when they don’t live up to their prime commitments.

I understand how busy people feel. I talk to so many busy people who want to do things in other areas of their life and they feel that “they don’t have the time for that commitment.”

Perhaps people who don’t have enough time for their commitment, don’t have a commitment at all!

Perhaps you need to look at the commitment and time equation the other way around:


It is not that you don’t have enough time for your commitment, but you don’t have enough commitment for your time.

Time is an interesting phenomenon. Every hour of the day is equal in length as the next hour. However, our experience of an hour could be quite different depending on the circumstances and what we are up to. Not for naught, people say: “Time flies when you are having fun” or “Time moves at a snail’s pace when you are not enjoying what you are doing”.

I live in Canada, and every year around January my wife turns to me and says with a sigh, “This winter is so long. Seems like it is taking forever.” In fact, we are in that phase right now… And, around mid-to-end of July, she says in a panic: “I can’t believe how fast the summer has passed by. I wish I could slow down time!”

I have noticed that on the day before the weekend or a vacation when I feel like “I must get everything done in order to have the peace of mind during my time off”, I seem to be much more productive and I have much more time to spare too.

If you Google “People are most productive when they are happy in their lives” you’ll find a host of articles and surveys that provide more insight into this topic.

Perhaps if you really want to be healthy and fit or have a very intimate relationship at home you should think about how serious you are about your commitment. Be honest about it. Is it something you “must” achieve, or merely a “nice to have”? If it is a ‘nice to have’ you most likely won’t have enough time for it. However, if you honestly declare that being healthy or intimate are critical to you in order to live up to your most precious values, make the commitment and then live by it.

Pick a few commitments that are “must haves” and create the time for them in your calendar. Schedule the activities associated with fulfilling your top priority commitment in your calendar – for example: exercising 3 times a week, date night with your spouse, quality time with kids, etc.

Then, keep your schedule, “religiously” no matter what. Don’t cancel your exercise or time with your kids because of workload.

Say no to others who want to double-book things with you when you have personal activities planned. Be kind, firm and responsible about it and offer alternative times.

I am not saying that it is easy to manage multiple commitments in a busy life with high integrity. However, I can promise you that if this is important to you and you take it on after you get through the initial phase of – doubting, feeling like you are dropping the ball and perhaps anxiety associated with all that – your activities would start adjusting themselves to your new routine. Most importantly, you will start seeing and experiencing the benefits of fulfilling your commitments and that will give you a tremendous amount of added sense of happiness, confidence and self-fulfillment.

Remember, people always find and make time for things that are really important to them.

Founder and President of Quantum Performance Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in generating total alignment and engagement in organizations.

His work has encompassed a broad range of industries including banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, entertainment, real estate, retail, startups and non-profits.

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