Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Am Too Busy To ...

Yesterday, I bought a new road bike. I know this sounds trivial, especially considering I have three mountain bikes in the garage, and ride 4+ days every week. It is significant because I have been saying that I want to purchase a road bike for more than two years. I never found the time to make this purchase. I have just been too busy.

When you hear someone say "I am too busy to ...", what do you think? Often, "I am too busy" is a rationalization for "I have higher priorities." These other priorities can be work, family, exercise, hobbies, watching television, playing games, or any of a multitude of activities in our busy lifestyles. There is never enough time to do all the things that we would like to do, so setting priorities is critical.

Purchasing a road bike was de-prioritized for other things that I prefer doing. Instead of spending the two hours at a bike shop to select and purchase a bike, I chose to do other things. What finally made me purchase a new bike was my telling a group a friends that I was going to do so before the next road race in November. The additional peer pressure of a public commitment made the difference. Within a week, one of those friends invited me to meet him at the local bike shop, and I now have a bike.

If you truly want to make a change, here is my advice:
1) First, commit to yourself a very specific and measurable goal.
2) Make this same commitment to your peers.
3) Ask them to follow-up and hold you accountable.

So, come November when I ride the long road race, I will be riding a sleek new road bike instead of slogging it out on a mountain bike for more than four hours. I cannot wait!


  1. We *always* find the time to do the things we really want to do. Whenever I hear someone say "I don't have time" I know it's just an excuse. We make a lot of excuses for things that don't really matter. That's OK, I guess, except that we can become so accustomed to making excuses that when it does matter, and we need to make the time to do something, it's too easy to avoid.

  2. Great points, Bret. It is especially worrisome when you find yourself making those excuses!

  3. So if someone says "I'm really very busy" when they are on facebook making comments to profile pics of theirs, posting on their pages, twitter, etc constantly, and they give that as a reason why they cannot talk to someone.... Is that rationalization?

    1. In your example, "I'm really very busy" probably means "I have higher priorities" than talking to that someone. What people do tells you what they choose to spend their time on.