The ‘No Time’ Myth

I recently attended my 25th high school reunion (You want to feel old? Go to your 25th reunion. Wow.) :) All in all, it was a very fun experience. I got to see people who I haven’t seen in years. I chatted with folks I didn’t know well back in the day. And I learned how everyone was balancing work/home/family/other obligations.

One of the sentiments frequently expressed was, “I would love to do X, but I don’t have time.” Some of the “X’s” were as simple as getting away for the weekend or reading a new book. Others were more serious. I don’t know how many conversations I had with people who said, “My doctor said that I should work out more, but I don’t have the time.”

The discussions made me think of how many site owners and marketing departments want to launch an SEO content initiative – but their excuse is “no time.”

  • Instead of rewriting sales pages with super-high bounce rates, they let them sit on the site because “they don’t have time.”
  • Instead of finally starting an organic SEO campaign, they do what they’ve always done because “they don’t have time.”
  • Instead of outsourcing their writing to update their years-old Web copy – or hiring a freelance SEO copywriter to help produce pages – folks get stuck and do nothing.  Why? You guessed it. They don’t even feel like they have time to figure out a plan, much less do anything else.

I get it. I really do. We’re all doing more with less and time is at a premium. If you have a choice between cranking out a new sales page and leaving the office at a decent hour, what sounds the most appealing?

It’s amazing how we can find the time – if we really want to.

I used to fall into this trap. Heck, before I met my husband, I said that “I didn’t have time to date.” Then I met my man – and suddenly, I made time. Hanging out with him became a priority. Needless to say, my life took a major turn for the better – and I really did have the time to make it happen.

Then, I used to say that I “didn’t have time to work out.” After a major paradigm shift, I worked working out into my daily routine. Today, I’m healthier and happier than I’ve ever been. Sure, my workday can be crunchy some days – but I found that I do have the time.

You’ve probably experienced the same thing. You find that you do have the time for certain things – and when you do them, you feel so, so much better (and see some amazing results.)

Your SEO copywriting challenge…

Today, I challenge you to pinpoint ONE SEO content-related thing that “you don’t have time for” and see how you CAN make time for it.

  • Maybe that means you spend 25 minutes a day working towards your goal (check out my post on the Pomodoro technique – it’s a great way to baby-step your goals.)
  • Maybe that means you outsource some writing so you can realize the benefits a bit faster.
  • Maybe that means slicing your non-productive Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Angry Birds usage so you can free up a few minutes here and there.

The trick is: You identify what you want to accomplish, and figure out how to make it happen.

What’s cool about this technique is – it’s addictive. Once you’ve sliced one longstanding to-do off your list and realized the results, other opportunities seem much more “do-able.” There’s nothing like seeing the fruits (and profits) of your labor to shake you out of your “no time” comfort zone and help you see new opportunities.

So, choose one “no time” task to focus on this August and get ‘er done. If you’d like, post your to-do in the comments field (after all, writing down your goals and holding yourself accountable is a great way to start.) Hopefully, you’ll see that you can make time to focus on these highly-important tasks – and you’ll start seeing more traffic, more followers – and yes, more of that Internet money.

‘Cause who doesn’t have time for more money? :)

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1 reply
  1. Amy C. Teeple says:

    Great post Heather.

    Your examples about not having time to date or work out ring so true. Sometimes, I find when I put more on my plate I am so much more productive. For example, when I went back to school for my master’s degree, I was able to create a routine that allowed me to work full-time, complete my degree in 15 months, and find time to spend with family and friends. I just had to make all three priorities.

    It reminds me of the story of a college professor who takes a jar, fills it with rocks, and asks his students if the jar is full. They answer, “yes,” but then he dumped pebbles into the jar to fill in the gaps. When he asks, “Now is it full?” less students answer, “yes.” He then adds sand (and/or water) to completely fill the jar. The point of the story is if you put all of the small to medium things (minor priorities) into your jar (life) first, there would be no room to add the rocks (major priorities). But, if you put the rocks (important parts of life) in first, you will always be able to find space (time) for the little things.

    Thanks for the post.


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