I don't have time to save time

The question I get asked most often is “How do you get so much done?”

I’m working on a proposal for a book that answers that very question in great detail.

But until the book is written and published, I’m always willing to offer advice on becoming more productive and more efficient, and people are typically receptive toward my suggestions.

Occasionally, however, people become annoyed and frustrated with my suggestions because they involve changing a habit or routine.

I find this odd.

How do you expect to become more productive and efficient without instituting a certain degree of change in your life?

I honestly think these people wanted me to give them a magic pill.

The most frequent comment I receive from these annoyed folks is this:

“I don’t have time to do that.”

Which is to say:

“I don’t have time to save time so I would have more free time to do the things I want to do.”

This also strikes me as odd. I offer a strategy that admittedly might take some time to implement, but upon completion of the implementation, the person would then have even more free time, and yet the person can’t see how the initial investment would offer an enormous return.


These people would prefer to continue to waste time and operate inefficiently rather than investing a small amount of time in order to stop wasting time.

But I see this unfortunate pattern all the time. These are the folks who allow chores to pile up and become all day affairs rather than taking the small amount of time required to stay on top of things. These are the people who won’t spend the two or three minutes getting organized but will then waste 20 minutes as a result of their disorganization.

It makes no sense.

I think that in the end, some people are resistant to change, even if the change promises a better, more productive, more efficient life. It’s hard for them to see beyond their own life, and it’s exceptionally hard for some to break the habits and routines that they have established.

But telling me that you don’t have time to be more productive?

That is ridiculous.