Haven’t Had Time to Blog

People say the strangest things to me.

I met with someone yesterday who said to me that he didn’t have any time to blog. Moments later, he told me what was happening on “Ice Loves Coco.” Earlier in the day, a woman explained that she didn’t really have the time for another social network, and then she explained how she volunteers for six different organizations in her town for various purposes.

I also met with the talented Deirdre Breakenridge, who told me about how strong her business is getting, and what 2012 holds. I met with Jay Baer and heard some of what’s got him occupied, including a huge tour for the book he wrote with Amber Naslund. I spoke with Jason Sprenger, who works for a big company by day, but blogs passionately about the intersection of sports and PR, too.

We Choose Our Own Adventures

We pick our paths. We decide what we make time to do. We choose our own adventures every single day. Each and every day, we have the chance to make choices.

Parents complain that they can’t work when their kids are home, and so I ask about what they do with the few hours the kids are at school, and/or what happens after the kids go to bed? Employees complain that they just don’t want to look at a screen after a long day at work, and so they prefer to take a break and… look at a screen.

We have time to do what we want to do. Tomorrow, I will have time to go to the gym in this hotel, and I will have time to find somewhere good to run. I signed up for CrossFit classes for the next four months, and so I will have time for those. I’m making more time for my kids in and around my business work. I have time to work with Julien Smith on our new book.

I want to do those things, so I will find the time.

What do you not have time to do? My guess? You could answer in the comments with three things you commit to stopping so that you’d find the time you want. What do you think?

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  • http://twitter.com/digitalie Natalie Vijlbrief

    Darn it that is so true! I stopped working out and don’t blog nearly as much as I want. So it’s time to think about what i can stop doing to start doing those again!

  • Anonymous

    Chris Hi, 

    i like your paragraph WE CHOSE OUR OWN ADVENTURES, and so we do with our time. IMO i think is more about our passion, consistency and self confidence. But we all know is much more easy to say i don’t have time or I can’t find time. Self confidence is key to our own success and I learn that from you :) 

     

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Exactly so. It’s motivation and passion. 

  • http://www.stevefogg.com Steve Fogg

    I’ve started to write more frequently on my branding and marketing blog. I’ve decided to carve out the time to live in the adventure rather than get it squeezed out by other things. 

    Being so busy in my marketing day job I had blogged at the end of my working day when my energy is down and some days I lose the inspiration to blog because I’m tired. I’ve changed the routine and put some thoughts down at the right time of day when I’m feeling inspired and have more creative energy.
    The old saying that we all have the same 24 hours in a day is right I guess!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Time to live in the adventure is a great thing to find time for, Steve. As for all the time marketing, I often ask people to look at what they’re doing, specifically, with that time. What parts of it are wasted? 

  • http://theviewfromhere.ca/ Rdopping

    It’s tough finding things to quit. I fit into the category of “works at a big company and blogs passionately about arts & culture” whenver I get a moment. Just working my way through Jon Acuff’s book Quitters which has some brilliant insights for maing time to pursue your dream. Go to bead earlier, get up earlier. Work on your dream. I have to quit TV to do that. There’s nothing on anyway.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      TV is the easiest thing to quit, once you have something that matters more to you. 

  • Dr, Bob Clarke

    Wow Chris… this is so true.  I work full time as a Professor at a medical school in NYC and am building an online business in my “spare” time.  People often ask me how I possibly find the time for both, together with family obligations and having some time for myself.  The answer I always give is — there’s always time.  As you said, if you really want something, you make time for it.  My career is important to me, but my business is my future, what I aspire to transition to a bit later in my life.  I make time for both, and it works. 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’ve nailed it, Doctor. And as you learned from my email reply, the other way to find time to do what you do is to have to decline things that sound fun. : ) 

  • http://twitter.com/Belinda_Pollard Belinda Pollard

    I was just writing a post for my sadly-neglected blog when your post kerplopped into my inbox and I stopped writing and read it instead. Ha. 

    But fortunately I am very focused so I’m bound to get back to it soon-ish, if no other shiny things distract me, and nothing good comes on TV.

    Love the Rapunzel sand sculpture by the way. Wonder how they felt when it rained after all that hard work? Might google sand sculptures…

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      There are many neat sand sculptures on the web. As for raining on them, I think that’s part of the excitement. If you can finish it, the entropy becomes part of the reward. 

  • Jackie Cameron

    Getting a balance is always a challenge. And when my coaching clients say that they don’t have time to do something very often the conversation moves into the area of motivation to do it  - not time. The power comes from knowing that though. And then deciding whether or not to take the decision to change it. We have a saying here in Scotland  ”if you want something done ask a busy person” – which more often than not means people who know what they are doing, want to be doing it and are getting on with it.
    At the moment I am “buddying” clients who have become aware of the potential of social media but are not sure where to start. Most will tell me that they don’t really have time to add something else to their already busy lives. My suggestion is to decide how much time they do have – or are willing to commit – and go from there. 
    But if it was that easy though there would be no need for the huge market in time management programmes!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I agree, Jackie. Motivation stands in for the word “time” a lot. I’m not a fan of balance. I don’t believe in it. What do you think of that? 

      • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

        No, no such thing as ‘balance.’ That concept is what keeps people tied up in “shoulds” and stuck trying to meet some perceived life that no one lives. Around here we call it ‘life’ and it looks like me writing an article at the laptop while my kid sits across the table and does his reading for school, dinner in the crock pot and my walking the track while kid has soccer practice.  We all sleep well at night : ).

      • Jackie Cameron

        Ahh…interesting. My use of “balance” here is probably really means “control ” – and that’s not really the right word either. Balance gives a sort of safe impression and in my own experience the most exciting things happen when things are a wee bit “out of control”. 

  • http://twitter.com/chrisjkeaton Chris Keaton

    Great post, Chris.  

    For me it comes down to this: It’s easy to find time to blog….it’s also easy NOT to find time to blog.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Exactly. You can pick what you want. 

  • http://twitter.com/cmcphillips Cathy McPhillips

    I can find time for it, certainly not the issue. Right now, if I had to pinpoint a challenge it would be stopping working to squeeze in some writing time. There is so much to do with my current project load that I could be doing that constantly. 12 years of self employment later, I have learned the art of shutting down work and finding a balance with family and/or personal time. (Learned, not mastered). I’m a new blogger but have enjoyed the time I have spent writing so far. I look forward to that time every week.

  • http://www.davemadethat.com Dave Delaney

    I’ve run into this too. We all do.
    I’ve been writing lately about finding white space, about unplugging and using silence to get my priorities clear. It’s helped a lot. Take the time to find the time to do the things that are most important. And yes, Chris… family and health are the most important. Everything else is second… third…fourth…

    And yep, I also still waste time on some things. The trick is staying true to the list of priorities. Refer to it regularly and it’ll help. 

    Now… what the hell is “Ice Loves Coco”?

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I agree, sir. We have to pick what we want to do. : ) 

  • http://hannahsharvest.com Hannah Marcotti

    I use to blog while my baby nursed and that was a lot!

    Getting rid of the tv was the best thing I ever did. And I’m a big fan of devoting certain times of day to tasks, that way that become part of your routine. Just like coffee and Chris Brogan in the morning. (This one deserves a bit of an amen!)

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Super glad you liked it, Hannah. : ) 

  • http://twitter.com/GrumpyWookie Chris OConnor

    Have re-discovered CYCLING – as well as three kids – taking up my time. Blogging is something ‘down the list’. I like to say “there are no SHOULDS”. If you HAVE to do something, then do it. If you WANT to do something, then do it. No “shoulds”.

    I kinda feel a little guilty watching TV. “Isn’t there something I could be doing ??” I do get TV shows that I want to watch – but never sit and flick and say “there’s nothing good on !”

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      It’s all choices. 

  • http://www.johnstonsearch.com Bkjrecruiter

    So True.. I am in business because I refuse to lose, whine, or bitch about anything…. Rather, “think and grow rich”.

    I WILL write a complimentary Report for my Engineer audience.  I WILL write a complimentary report for my recruiter audience.  I WILL take my wife out to a nice dinner…

    Best, Brian-

  • http://blog.openviewpartners.com/blog/the-open-marketer Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks)

    Chris,

    I hear “I don’t have time to blog” at least once a week from my colleagues.  From time to time, we all are swamped which makes participating in blogging and social media challenging.  It is all about setting priorities and fulfilling responsibilities. 

    Amanda

  • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

    I haven’t been blogging because after the full time job, and the book projects I don’t want to blog. I want to spend time with my family. My blog isn’t my livelihood anymore and right now it’s more important to spend time with my family – especially since I travel so much lately – and also, in getting myself healthy. It’s about balance and priorities – and everyone’s are different. But it’s funny how we all seem to find the same excuses.

    It looks like you’re finding your balance as well.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      When you say that your blog isn’t your livelihood anymore, my only caution is that to let a blog lie fallow for quite a while because times are good means that you’ve not sewn seeds for the future, and put up any extra stores in case of a bad winter. 

      • http://kommein.com Deb Ng

        I absolutely agree – and I don’t let my blog languish. During these really busy times, it’s simply not my top priority. I sold my income producing blog, but I kept the blog I’m most passionate about because I can’t stay away.

        Also? I just enjoy blogging.

  • http://limecubemarketing.com/blog Simon Mason

    Do or do not. There is no should.

  • http://www.mobiversal.com Flavius Saracut

    A friend of mine asked at one time Seth Godin, how do you have time to do all the things you do? His answers was: “I don’t watch TV and I don’t do meetings” . Pretty much what you mentioned Chris, and I guess these 2 work for most of us. 

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Meetings. Ah, the bane. : ) 

  • http://twitter.com/tyachilles Ty Achilles

    While I agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying, I find that for some people, and for me, it can be hard to “break the cycle”. I’ve started blocking off time in my schedule to do the things that I think are important so that I have a routine and so that I can ensure that I’m consistent. Once consistency is established, it’s easier to stop making excuses.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Routines definitely help. The Heath brothers taught us that. 

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    Chris,

    I will the rough draft of my book by the end of October… a promise open and public, now you can hold me to it.

    Ryan H.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Then get off here and write. : ) 

      • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

        haha… point taken, signing off…

  • http://twitter.com/tishpiper Pat Zalewski

    Chris,
    I think it is about inspiration. People who are inspired followed through on their dreams, goals, whatever is their particular vision. Motivation helps but it is the inspiration that takes the commitment to the next level. I don’t think I have ever been inspired to watched tv but I have been inspired to read books. And now I’m inspired to write.

    Thanks, Pat

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Write like the wind, Pat. : ) 

  • http://www.thercom.com.br Gildo Bittemcourt

    A falta de tempo são o escudo dos preguiçosos,o motivado ao trabalho sempre tem tempo 
    tudo. Chris você sabe muito bem sobre assunto.

  • http://www.doodlehaus.com Mark Anderson

    Thanks for the inspiration, Chris. I’m going to commit my lunch hours to working on my illustrations/cartoons. That, and memorizing more of “Bring the Noise” so we can perform it together next time you’re in Madison.

  • http://twitter.com/nandoism nandoism®

    I had to start getting up at the crack of daw to start fitting it all in–but so far so good.
    Priorities shift–and sometimes you have to realign–it’s the ever-evolving person that will do well…always. 

  • Mike

    I’ve heard it said this way as well… that people will always do exactly what they want to do, no matter how much they complain about not having time. I recently cut out TV in favor of reading, so I can learn and reach goals.

    Thought provoking post, thanks Chris!

    Mike

  • http://www.qaqn.com Daniel M. Clark

    “I don’t have time, I’m supposed to be raiding with my guild in World of Warcraft”.
    “How long will that take?”
    “About six hours.”

    *headdesk*

  • Celene Harrelson

    Ooohh! Good one Chris.  I can give up the news in the morning.  It’s rarely good anyway.  I did just let everyone know I’m unavailable between 10 an 3 and stopped all masterminding, Skyping, etc  within that time frame. That’s helped a lot. I’m getting tons more done. I’ll have to think a bit for a 3rd one.

    • http://twitter.com/KellyTirman Kelly Tirman

      I honestly can’t remember the last time I “watched” the news. Honestly it is so depressing. You can get all the news you need from the internet in less than half the time.

  • Gregorychilds

    Thanks for the much needed jolt of inspiration

  • Anonymous

    Does everyone need to blog? No. I think that those little excuses people make often save us from a hell of a lot more boring blogs. That said, I wish there was a magic way of giving encouragement to those whom Id actually to learn more from ;)

    • http://twitter.com/KellyTirman Kelly Tirman

      I agree with your comment regarding “blogs” except for the fact that the exercise of blogging often teaches people how to write for a social media format.

      If you extend this comment to “social media” I don’t agree. In the near future social media will be how things actually get done vs. how people waste time. Corporations will all have closed social networks were employees work together to complete tasks. 

  • kate

    you are right in that there are always choices to be made.  however, time is still finite and i get frustrated that i run out of time.  I went so far as to write out a ‘dream day’ with time to do everything and uh there was no time to sleep!  Unfortunately that is one item on which all of the rest hinge (i do not function without sleep).  The difference, i think, is that instead of giving up, people who want to accomplish their goals find other ways to make things work, they are problem solvers, work-a-round smarties.  not everyone does that naturally and it’s harder to do when you have to learn it.  In my case i just said HUH well i guess i will just have to make a list of items to choose from every evening and try to get to each a few times a week.  shockingly, work tends to happen a lot more than exercise haha!

    I think the hard part about being a motivated/inspired/driven/etc. type person is actually forcing ourselves to do something just for fun or relaxation once in a while. I dont know about you all but i feel terribly guilty for watching 30 min. of tv – more guilty than making brownies and licking the bowl! (which beats out tv every.time.)

  • Troolsocial

    Its so very true Chris, our time is what we make it. Sometimes I let myself get overwhelmed by things I need to do.. I eventually stop.. take a deep breath and go on; knowing that there are things that can wait or be passed off to someone else..we each have 24 hrs and it is up to us how we use them. I have recently had to reassess how I allotted my time, this makes things a bit clearer.
    The three things I choose to make time for is my hubby, my family and exercise.. everything else must take a back seat as I am confident in my priorities..    

  • Kathy Lisiewicz

    It’s definitely about choices. But it’s also true that time is finite–hence the need for choices. So people are telling the truth when they say, “I don’t have time for X.” They don’t have time because they made other choices.

    For example, I don’t have time to cook. If I quit my job, I would, but there are all kinds of reasons why that’s a bad idea at this point. Many of us still don’t have full control of our schedules. I’d rather cut people a little slack on how they use their time, and how they describe the results of that.

    • http://twitter.com/KellyTirman Kelly Tirman

      I am the kind of person that naturally burns the candle at both ends. I have been this way my whole life.

      When I met my husband he taught me a very important lesson – one that drives all my daily decisions to this day. He said you have 100 credits each day, that is all you get, choose how you are going to spend them and spend them wisely.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Chris,

    I just want to say “Hell yeah!” for signing up for CrossFit. I “can’t” afford it but have somehow managed to find the time and the money to commit to it 4-6 times a week for over a year now. You’re going to LOVE it! Well, at first, you may cuss it, but then, you’re going to LOVE it!

    As for the other stuff, it’s not that I don’t have time it’s that I don’t make time. And, usually, when I don’t make time, it’s because I’m doubting myself and it takes me outside my comfort zone. So, yeah, that would be called avoidance. And it is REALLY such a loss because I have so much amazing insight to share.

    I am working everyday to become more disciplined at eliminating distractions and having more courage to just go for it!

    Thanks for all you do!
    Shannon

  • Pete Scott

    I guess I wasn’t the only one who told you I didn’t have time to blog. Thanks for the time and kick in the ass to get me started.

  • Bobby

    I believe it was Alan Weiss who said “The problem is not that we don’t have enough time, but what we choose to spend our time on.”

  • Jay Baer

    Thanks Chris. Great seeing you this week. Everyone HAS time. For all of it. It’s what we choose to do that matters. And I don’t begrudge anyone’s choices. But everytime I hear “I don’t have time” I tune out. You DO.

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  • Andre Natta

    Eerily enough I just published a post on my personal blog about disconnecting and making time. People do need to be deliberate and recognize that they’ve got to make time; they can’t just assume it will become available magically. I did find myself realizing that the farther I got away from the folks that didn’t have time, the more time I actually had.

  • http://www.wflconsulting.com Jane Boyd

    Recently I moved heaven and earth to create a significant window of time to focus on the work that is really important to me related to my current and future blogging plans. Along with this, I am focusing on my health and my eating. I am working on my family relationships.  I am doing all of this along with serious planning AND actioning right now. Far to often, we get caught up in the day to day, which can turn to week to week, month to month and year to year.  Before you know it, ten years can go by and you still have not found the time to do the things that are the most important for your mind, body and soul.  I have been reminded that the time will not find you…you need to stop and make the time.  The results will feed you in more ways that you can count.

  • Xatomic

    I guess I would have to respond to Chris with “I don’t have time to invent a good excuse for not having time to do productive things.”

  • http://twitter.com/danyork Dan York

    Awesome post, Chris… and dead on!  We have before us a choice of futures… and it is up to *us* to decide how we want to spend what precious little time we have. Thanks for posting the reminder!

  • Dave Mariano

    Chris, Crossfit is the best fitness philosophy/program I’ve ever found. Good for you for signing up. You won’t be disappointed. Good luck.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/ashleydweber Ashley

    I think this post is extremely well written. 

    The truth is, I (as well as I’m sure most people do as well) say they “don’t have time for something” for various reasons.  One of course, on of the most obvious: because they actually don’t.  And the second is also very obvious: because they didn’t care to, or it just wasn’t high enough up on their priority list.  Which is fine.  When it becomes a problem however, is when the individual says that is something that is not really of interest. 

    I have things like that in my everyday life.  There are things that I am very passionate about and make an everyday priority to make sure it gets done.  And then there are things that just…..slip my mind because they are beyond out of my realm.  Which again, there is nothing wrong with.  UNLESS you consider it to be a “TOP PRIORITY” and are neglecting it. 

    Personally, I choose most of my adventures day by day.  It makes things more exciting to live that way, but at the same time, I find myself getting stressed because I didn’t choose my adventures earlier on to be able to make time for everything to get done.  For example, I’ve had an assignment for an entire week and instead of planning to do it all over the weekend or little bits per day, here I am waiting until the last 2 days to get them done.  Again, it’s something I chose, and made my own destiny with my adventurous choices….

  • http://www.leadingeveryday.com Juan Cruz Jr.

    Thankfully I have dispensed with all the excuses as to why I don’t have time. This year has been a year of making no excuses and doing the things that I’ve been saying for months and years that I wanted to do. In April I started going to the gym faithfully. If I miss one of my days, I will say I didn’t make the time, but I won’t say I didn’t have the time. In July I started my  blog. I now post 1 – 2 times a week, and read other wonderful blogs as well. I make time for my kids schoolwork. I have cut back on a lot of TV and spent more time reading books. It’s wonderful to make time for the important things and not make excuses.

  • http://www.contentequalsmoney.com Emma Richardson

    Sometimes, it’s hard to lead an exciting life if you’re pausing to write about it. The life itself should come before the writing does. A blogging latency is hardly a top offense if the distractions at play are as exciting as these.

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  • http://www.hogarismo.es Hogarismo

    I think that it depends on the period of your life, I have stopped and started writing a few times  this year. There is always enough time to do what you REALLY want to do. think about it.

  • http://beheardd.wordpress.com/ kisazaidi

    Its about distinguishing between your ‘urgent’ vs “important’ needs

  • Anonymous

    Pfff, this is a hard nut to crack. I am building up my own consulting/writing business right now, while at the same time I am writing a book, working in local politics, preparing to run marathons again and also building up a new relationship. And I am a blogger, of course. I like all those things and manage to keep on doing all of it… but not with the effort I want to put in all of it. The difficulty is being efficient with your precious time and being able to make choices. Do you have any ideas about combining so many things without quitting one of these acitivities?