I Don’t Have Enough Time??

The biggest deterrent I hear to starting a new business, writing a new book, becoming an expert in one area, or moving up the ladder of achievement in any way is – “I don’t have enough time.” 

I just got the Nov/Dec issue of The Futurist magazine.  In an article on How Americans Spend Their Time it reports a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics survey.  Among other findings it shows:

Watching television remains the single most common and most time-consuming leisure activity among Americans.  Both men and women spend an average of 2.6 hours per day surfing channels from the couch.

Holy Moley!  2.6 hours a day.  What are these people thinking?  That’s 18.2 hours a week, 78.8 hours a month, or 949 hours a year.  A typical work week only accounts for 2000 hours a year – so we’re talking about almost half as much time spent watching TV!  You know what you could learn and accomplish in that same amount of time?

I’m convinced a person could take that TV time, read a great business book every week, spend 4-5 hours focused on developing a new business, 30 minutes a day in quiet meditation that would explode their creativity, and still catch 10 minutes of daily news on TV.  In 90 days that person would have clarity about their passion, purpose and calling, in six months they could put themselves in the top 3% in income, and after one year would look back in amazement that they waited so long to release the meaning, fulfillment and prosperity that was there all along.

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25 Responses to “I Don’t Have Enough Time??”

  1. Marla Martenson Says:

    This is so true. After work I immediately turn on the TV to catch up on the news, then I don’t feel like writing. Instead of watching other people make millions on TV, we can tune in less and work on our own creativity.

  2. steve tarde Says:

    A better question is. You are running out of time if you don’t start your own business……..Steve Tarde, author of WORD PICTURES

  3. Jay Peroni Says:

    I cut out watching TV and have written my first book and am close to finishing my second. You don’t realize how much you watched until you stop watching. You suddenly find so many extra hours in the week.

    Jay Peroni, CFP
    Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire

  4. DJ Says:

    It’s not automatic, Dan and Jay. Many of us eschewed television a long time ago to study and work those extra thousand hours a year. Unfortunately, they don’t automatically result in top 3% income, meaning, fulflllment, and prosperity. I support your message, but please don’t make it sound so simple. You end up discouraging more people than you encourage.

  5. Cookeville Weather Guy Says:

    Fantastic Post Dan….keep up with the events of the day, but don’t sit in front of it for 3-4 hours every single night taking in garbage.

    I do admit, however, to enjoying watching my Titans and taking in college football games every now and then!

    I’d rather spend time sharpening my skills with as a weather observer/ weather blog/marketing skills and communicating with my loyal readers.

    Thank you for making us realize what wastes our time.

    Michael D

  6. I don't have enough money Says:

    Just one problem. I know exactly what I want to do, but I have NO money to get started. I live on less than $800 per month (of which $650 goes to rent a room in a house with nine people).

    I am living on a disability income, am over 50, lost my job a year ago, and have not been able to find a job since then. Thinking that I am probably now unemployable (since I haven’t even obtained one job interview in the past year), I have identified a self-employment niche (CFP) I wish to occupy…but with no money I can’t get started – I certainly cannot afford the required training and certification.

  7. Steve Crenshaw Says:

    I deal with this same syndrome in church life. People want a deeper faith or more knowledge of the bible and complain about not having enough time. In the same breath they talk about not being able to wait to find out the outcome of a CSI episode or House. I think the major factor with this is exhibited in the second precept of the millionaire mind…Discipline.

  8. I Don’t Have Enough Time?? « Dan Miller’s Blog | Spiritual Disciplines Says:

    […] I Don’t Have Enough Time?? « Dan Miller’s Blog. […]

  9. Doug Says:

    i think it’s much more than just time that is wasted, I have to really control my television watching, because watching the news especially, leads my brain into a recession…. so much doom and gloom, when really there are opportunities all over the place..

  10. Audrey pawl Says:

    I’m a big believer in the saying “people have time for the things they make time for”. Plain and simple. At the same time, it is easy to get distracted if you don’t figure out what it is that you really want to make time for. I have started by writing out 3 things that I want to accomplish today. Three is the perfect amount where it doesn’t seem overwhelming, so you get those things done and it doesn’t feel like you have no flex time in the day so that your whole days is scheduled…a perfect balance.

  11. Mike Says:


    I couldn’t agree more with your synopsis of the TV problem in America. I think that people who over indulge in television are actually living their lives in a state of self-hypnosis by which they actually trick their minds into believing that they are experincing what is on the screen. This is great for educational programs like Nature and National Geographic but when it comes to Paris Hilton’s new BFF, an actual TV show by they way, then it is just destructive. I hope people can break the addiction.

  12. Ann Musico Says:

    There is no such thing as time management. Regardless of what we do, time marches on – we can’t delay it, stop it or make it move more slowly or quickly. But there is definitely such a thing as “self management” and I think that’s what’s sorely missing. People are too lazy to manage themselves and sacrifice and delay gratification. We have to get back to self-discipline and working toward our goals instead of making excuses. Excellent post!

  13. Larry Says:

    I just recently really got a hold of this and have begun a very strict TV diet. I thought, “Why am I surfing through endless channels of mindless & negative garbage when I could be learning about how to change my life?” Like Dan said- in short order, you could learn so much by just reading. The best TV has to offer is the new trend in “reality” shows…. I’d rather invest in my own reality. And just like some food diets, I allow myself a free day- usually Saturday- to watch some college football. And I’ll tell you what really got me started in this- all the negative news stories about the terrible financial crisis. Well, I’m not having a crisis, I’m doing fine, and I choose not to participate in their gloom and doom, nor am I going to let them talk me into it.

  14. jane Says:

    yeah, for being one who “doesn’t watch much TV”, I sure get more than I should in, especially after a brain – draining workday. There’s other stuff I want to do, ie draw or work with photos on Photoshop,things that are in keeping with what I REALLY want to do, but there’s that job that sucks the energy out of me… Now, isn’t that a typical excuse?That’s why we need the encouragement of 48 days and No More Mondays……

  15. Eldred Says:

    Hi Dan –
    Although I agree with you in theory, it isn’t as easy as you assume it to be. Even studying business books for 3 hours a day won’t automatically increase your income to the top 3%… It still takes luck, connections, and circumstances, unfortunately.

  16. richard Says:

    It is amazing how much time is wasted on TV. I recently come to the realization that I don’t make enough time to do the things I enjoy or the things that bring fulfillment, such as drawing or painting. I had set a goal of journaling, reading, spiritual time, drawing, painting and learning something new each day. Even if it were one or some of these. I haven’t cut the TV out yet so there is a lot of room for time to be spent enriching myself. Still like that amazing race though.

  17. Ken Says:

    Great information Dan!

    Years ago I started a TV log. I had a note pad by the remote. I wrote down the start watching TV time and the time I turned the TV off.

    Added up the hours. Wrote down the most important, useful, or meaningful thing that I watched during that time.

    I did this for only a couple of weeks before I saw a pattern.

    18 hours a week spent.

    One good rerun of Sienfield.

    I haven’t turned it on in six years.

  18. Susan Says:

    The 4 Hour work week guy says to schedule 1 hour of pleasure viewing each day.
    It seem sot help Men wind down and get their mind off stressful events.
    I never used to watch TV. Then I moved in with my fiance. It is on every hour he is home. He likes the background noise. He bought headphones so I dont have to be tortured. I have found my enthusiasm and drive have declined since the TV has been introduced to my living space. We are both entrepreneurs, I get much more one than he.

  19. Jana Says:

    Wonderful post, Dan! My husband and I have only old-fashioned TV (going away next February) and still watch too much. With the negativity of all the ads for the election – we are watching less and less! It’ll be interesting to see how much more we get done in the next few weeks by AVOIDING the television!

    I am curious about what your day (and other successful people) looks like! I still feel like I have too much to do and too little time – even without the TV on.

  20. Shel Says:

    I really like this idea! I noticed myself watching endless hours of nothing this past Saturday and then my whole day was over. What a waste! I think I’m going to take Ken’s idea and keep a log of what is really useful. I can get my news on the internet without commercials anyways. I like Audrey’s idea of listing three things to get done every day too, I’m an avid list maker but I tend to overwhelm myself and make a list that is a mile long. Great stuff here!!

  21. greatchristianmovies.com Says:

    That’s a great idea Dan!
    Our time is our most precious resource, not to be wasted.

  22. About-Nothing » Blog Archive » Time our biggest enemy Says:

    […] a society we waste a lot of time.  To get a prospective on this, check this post out from Dan Miller.  If that post is true think of how more productive we could be by making a […]

  23. Faith Says:

    Along with my tv time comes two other useless tme wasters that compliment each other and contribute to my sloth right now:coffee and cigarettes.
    When I was little and even into early adulthood I HAD NO TIME FOR TV! I was always doing something. In my case, the better the technology becomes, DVR etc and the more programming choices there are the more I watch. Granted I do have serious energy drain issues related to a verified medical condition in my middle age so I need more rest, but the tube and all that goes with it really does compound matters and needs to go. Plus I add up all the money I would save if I dumped cable and quit smoking, unbelievable.

  24. Selma Glime Says:

    Hello could I use some of the content from this blog if I link back to you?

  25. Dan Miller Says:

    Selma – sure, I’d be happy to have you share it.

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