If Only Time Really Was an Issue

<start rant here>

I’m tired….the end of the school year is drawing near and I’m tired of……

“If only I had more time”

I have news for you….you have just as much time as everyone else in the world. We all get 24 hours a day, 7 days every week, and 52 weeks a year. Nobody gets one minute more or one minute less.

Don’t tell me you wish you had more time to learn this tech skill.

Don’t tell me you wish you had time to learn how to use Twitter, RSS, Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts.

Don’t tell me you’re too busy, cause I haven’t met a person yet that isn’t.

You choose how to spend your time, just like everyone else in the world. You choose whether or not you ‘have time’ to learn a new skill, read that book, or be on Facebook for 3 hours a night.

You choose whether you reflect or not.

You choose how much TV you consume.

You choose to learn, or not learn, to be active or not be active.

It’s a choice…..so please don’t tell me you don’t have time.

We all don’t have time…..if we could blame time…wouldn’t life be so much easier.

</end rant here>

14 Comments

  1. Wow, someone’s feeling feisty. I wish I had more time to comment but…

  2. I should have had you share this viewpoint with my students last week over Skype…. I am hearing this refrain often this term.

  3. Right with you, Jeff. “I don’t have time” is a mindset that needs to be vanquished from educators’ vocabulary.

    • Yeah…not just educators…..kids, parents, the world. We make choices we are in control of what we do….time is just way to easy to blame cause it can’t defend itself…it just keeps on tickin’. :)

  4. Spot on! That’s the number one complaint I hear, too. How can you blame something that is a constant? Choices are the variable.

  5. I hear this way too often from coworkers and even my own administrators…and students…and many other people. It is so frustrating. You MAKE time for what is meaningful to you.

  6. Looks like someone missed out on his herbal tea. Putting this to one side, time is the issue; the value of time, the priorities of time, time that waits for no man (sorry but if you’re going to quote John Rawles). Time is a personal construct. Achieving support for your values requires so much more – including empathy with other educational values that others hold dear and realistically working for small steps forward through ground that is hard and rocky.

  7. I understand your frustration. When my students tell me they couldn’t finish their projects because they had a lot of practices that week, or I overhear them discussing their latest marathon gaming session, I feel the same way.

    However, I do feel that this is a slightly narrow view of time management and choice. I know — it’s a rant; venting is by its nature thematically limited. I’ve gone on virtually the same rant, and this is what I end up realizing, once I’ve calmed down.

    1. “Choice” is relative. For some kids, playing a sport or going to practice is not truly a choice. From our viewpoint, of course it is, but consider the child of a deeply committed athlete. Haven’t we all known kids who don’t really want to be in football but feel that quitting simply isn’t an option? Sometimes “Dad’ll freak” is literal. He *will* become enraged or bitterly disappointed.

    2. Any choice can lead to unintended consequences. I chose to have children. I knew this would be an immense time commitment, but felt that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks (I make it sound so cold and logical!). What I didn’t choose was having a son with autism and another with possible autism. I didn’t choose my husband’s struggle with depression to begin after our younger son was born. Your colleagues didn’t choose to battle cancer, divorce, abuse, menopause, anxiety . . . the list is too long. Do all of them face extreme hurdles? Of course not. But then again, adversity is also relative.

    Yes, many people manage their time badly. I’m one of them. But I also often don’t have viable options. When my kid is sick, or anxious, or overwhelmed, I’m not going to choose to work on a Prezi instead.

    Maybe the larger issue is taking responsibility for the consequences of our choices. When I don’t get something in on time, I try to not offer excuses; I just figure out how to make a situation better or to learn from it.

    Sorry to answer your rant with a rant of my own. Sometimes being told to “make time” just sets me off. If only I could. . . Hey, even The Doctor can’t MAKE time. No one can, anymore than we can create matter or energy. (I think. Can you tell I’m not a physics teacher?)

    • I appreciate your reply and thoughts and get where you are coming from. You make some valid points and many of your “excuses” I would except as time you need to spend doing something else. I guess I’m talking about the time we have that we waste. I’ve written two blog posts tonight in the span of 5 hours. I, like everyone else have a million other things that need to get done, but tonight I chose to write blog posts. I haven’t written as much as I would like to this year and it’s because I have not made the time/effort to do it. Part of that rant was aimed at myself for not blogging, for not working out regularly, for not keeping up with my guitar playing. All things that I have chosen not to do.

      Thanks for your thoughts, they’ve helped. :)

  8. I agree with you completely and quite guilty of using the term myself. Mostly not having time to learn something is just an excuse for everyone not to do something. You made an excellent point, we all certainly have the same amount of time to get things done and what we choose to do with our time is up to us, so we should use this time wisely especially for those of us who strive to become educators.

    My name is Sheree Orso and I’m a student at the University of South Alabama.

  9. Jeff,
    Are you ranting against the excuse? Would you rather hear from a teacher/student/parent/administrator that you have not made the case for them being passionate about what you are teaching them so they are therefore choosing not to do it? If that is your point, then I agree.

    If however your thought is that everyone should have the time to be intrinsically motivated to follow your advice, then I am not so sure I agree. As tech leaders I think it is our job to take the time argument as a challenge to make that person want to turn off the TV and turn on their laptop. Just like as a teacher I need to motivate my students to learn in my classroom.

    • Jim,

      I think my rant is more about the excuse. Not necessary about education or technology. We make choices what we do with our time and the excuse “I don’t have enough time” just is frustrating me lately. I choose to watch TV with my wife rather than write a blog post. I choose to go play basketball on Sunday’s rather than watch TV. I choose to sleep in instead of going for a run. They are choices that I make freely….just like everyone else does.

      Motivation is a big part of all of this. Yes my job is to motivate both students and teachers to want to learn these things, and I’m successful sometimes and sometimes I’m not. Just like there are times I do get up and workout. :)

      Just don’t come to me and tell my you’ve been meaning to do this, or do that, or learn this or learn that but you haven’t had the time. No…you’ve chosen not to make the time to do those things. We need to take responsibility for our actions….and that goes beyond time excuses. :)

  10. Jeff,
    Love it.
    I wrote this a few weeks back “my plate is full”

    enjoy

    Tim in El Paso (learning to type on an ipad)

    link to web.me.com

  11. Nice rant, Jeff – this is a topic Mark and I frequently discuss. We are taking time “off” from our careers to travel, and yet finding we don’t have time to do many of the things we also say we want to do: write a book (me), learn golf (Mark), learn Spanish (both), work on our website (me again)…

    Time is the most precious resource we have. Trying to align our values with our goals and with how we actually spend our time is an ongoing exercise in awareness and discipline.

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