When people say they don’t have time to exercise, visit with friends, or just relax, they’re likely telling the truth. Their calendar is full and things can get tight.
A big (somewhat hidden) reason for this is social media, which on average consumes nearly 2-1/2 hours every single day (source). Where did that time come from? People were plenty busy before social media came along, but we’ve found ways to squeeze an extra 147 minutes into every single day.
I think the reasoning behind this is two-fold:
First, you have Parkinson’s Law (“work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion“) coming into effect. People may take more time every day to mess around on social media, but still find ways to get their work done. In a way, you could say it enhances their productivity because they have to get more done in less time.
This was shown in a funny manner on “The Office” back in season 3. When Jan (the big boss) showed up unexpectedly, while most of the staff was watching a movie, she asked “How would a movie increase productivity?”.
Michael’s response? “People would work faster after. They’d have to, to make up for the time lost watching the movie.”
Here’s the clip if you’ve never seen it:
The other side is that people’s priorities shift around, which is really the appropriate response to someone being too busy. You are absolutely not “too busy” to make that change in your life, but it’s just not a priority for you.
Take your time back
For most of us, we’re on social media more often that we probably should be, so that time is easy to take back. Seth Godin famously isn’t on social media at all, which helps explain why he’s able to produce so many books, podcasts and blog posts.
You’ve made room in your life for social media (and hundreds of other things), so if you want to make room for something more important you have some low-hanging fruit that you can move out of the way to get things started.
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