Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Don't bloody tell me 'you haven't got time' to DO something!

It's a phrase that is infecting the English language and it's p*ssing me off.

'I am so busy I haven't got time to...' Fill in the blank. So far I have friends/acquaintances/ heard it on the telly who haven't the time to:
  • Read a book

  • Exercise

  • Keep in touch, even with a quick email

  • Cook a fresh meal for their family, so the kids live on chips and kebabs

  • Clean

  • Read a newspaper

  • Put their feet up

  • Go see a film

  • Have a date with their other half

  • Take their kids to the park

  • Calling you back to say they won't be able to come/meet after all

This list goes on, and on, and on.

Now. I am not saying that we should all be doing all those things on the list. Exercising and keeping in touch are sometimes my weak points. And cleaning. And ironing. But please, could we start calling it what it really is? For 'I haven't the time' please from now on say 'I CANNOT BE ARSED.'

My friend who can't be arsed to read a book or take her kids to the park, goes on three 10 km runs a week and never cooks anything other than beautiful organic food for their children. She also hoovers every day. (gasp)

Another friend can't be arsed to tell you she won't be coming, until 15 minutes after you have arrived at the arranged spot. Yet she is able to have lots of fun making crafts with her children and gardening .She also is able to watch Eastenders, Corrie and Emmerdale. (Something I am 'too busy' to do - watch soaps.)

We all have our priorities. I 'haven't the time' to go on a date with my husband or wash windows. I also 'haven't the time' to do paperwork, but I read two newspapers a day and go to the gym three times a week. I love to cook for the kids but 'have no time' to trim my hair every 6 weeks. Could we all please though start telling people like it is?

This whole 'such a busy person' thing is just a load of chaff. Even when I was working three long days a week, taking a degree and raising the two mini-ones I still ploughed through about 2 crappy novels a week and otherwise lived in the park with the kids. Because that was where my priorities were. I was terrible at going to the gym then, not because I didn't have time, but because my enormous butt was not a priority. My paperwork mountain was a sight to behold and my laundry mountain even higher.

There is almost a feeling of competitive business between people, even friends:

'Sooooo sorry for not getting back to you about that thing last week, I was just sooooo busy.' I tend to read it as 'You are just sooooo low priority in my life that you didn't even factor in my to-do list.'

I would much rather hear: 'Sorry didn't call, I had lots to do and couldn't be arsed. Hey-ho, I'm here now though.'

So let's all just stop being so bloody busy the whole time. Down tools, relax and do something that perhaps you are too busy to be arsed to do.

Umm...in my case that would be paperwork. Bit too busy for doing that at the moment, it would seem...


  1. I'm very much in the 'can't be arsed' camp.

  2. @VBIC - hurray!

    Think I might be coming down with a cold or something. Bit grumpy today and think it came out in this post.

  3. I don't think you sounded grumpy at all, how about you are in a 'say it as it is' mood? It's a fair point. I regularly say 'I don't have time to read' but truth is I would rather be on the computer and if I read a book I know I will stay up until 3 am reading (not good, I need my sleep). Make a deal with you, I will use 'I can't be arsed' for a week and see just how much I really mean 'don't have time/can't be arsed'. It will be very interesting :) Jen.

  4. This post is spot on! There are so many things in my life that "I don't have time to do" when really I mean I either forgot or it just wasn't high on my list of priorities to do.

    One of the main ones is reading. I used to commute to work and get loads of reading done but now I am a stay-at-home mum I just don't get the time to read. Of course if I spent less time on the computer or watching telly of an evening I could read a book!

  5. It is the most commonly used phrase by me and by my friends. And my family. Priorities, priorities, priorities. I used to wonder what I did with my time before children, now I wonder what I did with my time before blogging.

  6. Morning! I couldn't agree with you more. I couldn't be arsed this morning to fight with my ex as he came to collect the children for the day as quite simply it would have wasted precious moments! I have run out of coffee so sadly I am 'too busy' to do anything else this morning until I have at least found caffeine.
    Have a good day!

  7. What a great post! I do agree with you that a lot of time its a question of "can't be arsed" (aka so far down my priority list) rather than "I'm sooooo busy" for many people.

    Its now at the point, as soon as someone says to me "I'm so busy blah blah blah" I start to switch off. Its the newest form of competitive adults and competitive parenting. It bores me bloody stupid.

    I'm all for supporting one another, accepting other people's life choices yadda yadda yadda but I start to get p'd off when its a lack of respect for friendship. Not returning calls, texts, emails etc. I've experienced this, got mad then got complacent and friendships fizzle out. Makes me sad but I guess its the way of the world. I work hard at maintaining friendships spread across the world because of the life we've led and by and large that effort is reciprocated. When it isn't I understand but for the odd few why give the "busy" excuse.....as above, switch off time.

    I hope you feel better for writing this post. I find a good rant makes me so much happier! And this was definitely a good one. I did lots of joining in head-nodding.

    MD xx

  8. love this! i'm going to share it on facebook.

  9. sometimes too busy means can't be arsed, but sometimes too busy means can't be arsed because I am too tired from being too busy. Every day I rush around doing loads of stuff and promise myself that I will do just one hour of ironing whilst watching the TV in the evening. But once I've eaten and sat down I just seem to run out of steam!

  10. Brilliant post, so so true you must have met all my friends. You can always make time for at least some of the things you want to do.