Instead of saying "I don't have time" try saying "it's not a priority" and see how that feels. Often that's a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to. But other things are harder. Try it:
"I'm not going to edit your resume, sweetie, because it's not a priority."
"I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority."
If these phrases don't sit well, that's the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently.
Think of how stingy you are with your money: if someone on the street asks for $10, you're not giving it to them. There's no way you're giving a 30% tip for a normal dining experience. And so on.
And yet so many of us just waste ungodly amounts of our time. We throw it away, every day. I know I do unless I'm careful. What helps me to not waste time is to see it as an investment, and to keep track of the returns I get for my investment.
This approach has led me to recognize that some things offer incredible immediate return on investment: a night spent learning a new song on my preferred instruments, for example, gives me a lifetime of being able to play that song. That's an incredible return. Other investments are more like low-interest, high security, long-term investments: going to the gym, eating right, etc. Some, like reading good books, are kind of a combination of both.
But many activities are worthless from an investment perspective: whatever benefit they seem to give doesn't last any longer than the activity itself."Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." - Warren Buffett. This applies to everything: money, relationships, time. Knowing this changes your life.
It was many years ago. I was a young dad sitting on the couch reading a fairy tale to my little girl. She sat next to me with her head on my arm as I told the tale. When it came to the end I finished with those famous words: "And they lived happily ever after." As I looked over to her with her wavy, brown hair and big, innocent eyes I could see the smile on her face and I never wanted it to end. It dawned on me then that the ending of the book was what I wanted for her. I wanted her to "live happily ever after."
Still, deep in my heart I knew that this couldn't always be so. I knew that there would be times when her heart was broken. I knew there would be times when she cried in grief and I couldn't comfort her. I knew there would be times when all she felt was fear, sadness, sorrow, and despair. As I stroked her hair and smiled at her I hoped that those times would be brief and that she would have joy in her life more often than not. Living happily ever after, though, seemed out of the question.
It took me a lot of years to realize that it IS possible to live happily ever after. You just have to do it "one day at a time." Happiness you see isn't some reward that you get at the end of your journey. Happiness isn't something dependent on what life hands you. Happiness is something you create in your life choice by choice and day by day.
The truth is happiness comes when you love. Love is a gift from God. It is love that mends broken hearts. It is love that heals grief. It is love that gives us joy. Choose to "live happily ever after, one day at a time."