“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “its not a priority,” and see how that feels.” – Laura Vanderkam
I was scrolling through Pinterest one day when I came across that quote, and it was as if someone slapped me right across the face. I had never had someone’s words stop me in my tracks quite like that before. I stopped and I started to think to myself. How often am I constantly saying “Oh I just didn’t have the time for that today.” or “I just can’t seem to find the time to get that done.” I will be honest and say that I felt that I was using that excuse daily, and the truth is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, its how we manage that time that truly matters.
So with that I set out to start thinking about all the things that I was not finding the “time” for. Things like daily scripture study, reading business or other motivational books, exercise, and spending QUALITY time as a family. I mean I couldn’t find the time to read for 30 minutes every day, yet I was easily spending that much time daily on unnecessary social media time.
The average person has 5 social media accounts and spends nearly 2 hours every day browsing these networks. Usually checking their social media accounts around 20 times a day! And according to CNN the average adult spends 10 hours of their day staring at screens (TV, personal computer, tablets, phones, etc.)
And I can definitely say that I was one of those people. Checking my Facebook and Instagram account literally any time I even caught a second. Whether it was at a stoplight, going to the restroom (oh come on, you know you do it too) or pretty much any other time throughout the day when really my attention would have been better turned elsewhere.
It was right around Thanksgiving when Beau and I sat down to have a real conversation about these distractions. We can’t just delete our social media accounts, and we don’t hate social media. We are forever grateful for the amazing opportunities that our business has been able to have because of the connections and advertising that comes through these networks. But we were devoting WAY too much time to the people on the other side of the screen and too little time on the people who were under our own roof, and something had to change.
It was during that time that we decided to delete all social media off of our phones. No Facebook app, no Instagram app. And because I had such a problem, I made Beau block me from getting on those networks through my web browser app. haha We still have messenger on our phones, and we still have our Pages manager app, but everything else we have on our iPad and we check it maybe once a day, sometimes more, and sometimes I miss a day or two. We also try really hard not to take our phones to bed with us. We wanted to break the habit of our phones being the last thing we look at before going to bed and the first thing we look at when we get up.
I was nervous about doing this. We rely so much on social media in our business I thought for sure if we became more disconnected through it that we would see things suffer. But in fact, I feel the opposite has happened. We’ve gained more followers and have been more intentional with what we post and with our interactions. Rather than just doing some mindless scrolling 20 times a day – we try to focus on what is really important in our lives.
It was around that same time that Beau and I sat down and created a daily priorities list. These were things that no matter what our day consisted of we needed to find the time to do these things, every single day. It was no longer a matter of “If” we had the time, but it was the only things we had time for. And the rest of the time throughout the day is ours to do things like work, grocery shop, clean, watch tv, etc.
This blog post has been in the works for over a month. I would start it, delete stuff, come back, delete it again. Let it sit on the back burner for a week or more, and then come back to it again. And then last week I had the opportunity to speak at our local ward in our church, and I shared our recent priority changes during that talk and I had so many people tell me how encouraged they were by the things that I shared, that I knew it was time for me to get the courage up and publish this post.
Beau and I don’t have it all together. In fact most days we feel like we fall short in most areas of our life, but we’ve decided that none of it really matters if we aren’t keeping our priorities in check. We have truly seen a huge difference in our lives since we’ve made these changes. And we hope that by sharing this with you that you may find areas in your life that you could make some small changes to help really impact your life and your families lives!
We’d love to hear your suggestions for ways you try to focus on the priorities in your own individual families! Share in the comments below! 🙂