If You Have Time To Do X, You Have Time To Do Y
In the past few months, I have prayed the Rosary and read the Bible more times than I could count. This is more than I've ever done during the last 10 years of my existence. How did I manage to do it? I did it by telling myself this statement as I settle down at my desk at night:
If you have time to play video-games, then you have time to pray the Rosary or read the Bible.
As you can see from the example above, I'm simply following the format for this statement: “If you have time to do X, you have time to do Y.”
At first glance it sounds like I'm only guilt tripping myself into doing said activity. It might even look like I'm only tricking myself with the use of the statement. And maybe I am. But I like to look at it a different way. It as a way to refocus on my priorities. Playing video-games is a past time of mine, but it is not a priority for me — working on my relationship with God is.
Some other examples of using this trick to refocus on my priorities are:
- If you have time to browse the internet, you have time to wash the bottles.
- If you have time to scroll through Instagram, you have time to read a book.
- If you have time to write a blog post, you have time to play with your kid.
- If you have time to watch a TV show, you have time to learn something new.
While my first example in this post was a spiritual one, the other examples above show that it will work for any activity that you want to focus on. The key is to define what falls under X and Y for you.
In my case, I like to think of X as an activity that I do for entertainment, or to pass the time. Prime examples of that would be playing video-games, browsing the internet and watching TV shows.
Y, on the other hand, is an activity that I want to prioritize in my everyday life. So, examples of Y for me would be activities related to self-improvement, personal growth and even daily chores.
Once you have the definitions of X and Y in place, you can start using the same trick to refocus on your priorities. Just tell yourself this statement any time you find yourself with some free time:
If you have time to do X, you have time to do Y.