Our calendars call us on the lies we all tell.

“I’d rather binge watch Netflix than see a book I wrote on a shelf in a store.”

“I’d rather follow the plots of seven different television shows than cut the grand opening ribbon at a store I own.”

“I’d rather play Candy Crush than get in shape.”

“I’d rather stare at my phone until I get lost in a digital haze than build a relationship with the people I’m actually in the same room with.”

No one ever says horrible things like this.

No one ever makes such proclamations.

At least not with our mouths.

Most of us declare things like that with hands though.

Most of us proclaim things like that with our calendars.

Most of us shout things like that with our phones.

Most of us would cringe if we were honest for 30 seconds about the things we donate our time to.

That’s the scary thing. None of the things I mentioned above take our time. We give it to them.

Which is actually not such a scary thing at all when you think about it, because it means at any moment, you can stop giving them your time. You have that power. You don’t need permission from anyone. You get to make that decision.

I binge watched an entire season of Blacklist last fall in about 6 days. I can’t just watch one episode of a television show on Netflix, it’s like trying to eat one potato chip. Finally, I got tired of donating time to things that ultimately don’t matter.

That’s why I created the DO Summer checklist. I knew that when I was traveling and tempted to relax with some mindless hours of TV, that simple piece of paper would haunt me. I knew that sitting on an airplane, instead of playing Plants vs. Zombies, my go to app, I would think about that checklist. And I’d write. I’d read. I’d do the things I promised to do, because I wanted to finish 1,500 minutes of focused time this summer.

You don’t have to DO Summer with me. You might have a different tool that works for you, but if you don’t, download it today.

Be honest about where you’re donating your time. Don’t let your mouth shout a promise your calendar isn’t keeping. Do your work. You’re the one giving the gift of time to someone or something. Make sure it’s the best recipient.

12 Comments
  • Milan Ford
    Posted at 06:13h, 21 July Reply

    Excellent post today Jon!

  • Steve
    Posted at 07:25h, 21 July Reply

    Really hits home for me and how I focus throughout the day. Good to get back on track

  • Charles
    Posted at 07:30h, 21 July Reply

    What a not so gentle reminder of the truth. We claim to be things like writers, bloggers or whatever but what are we doing? If our actions matcheddar our bylines we would see much more success in reaching others.

  • Rich Earnest
    Posted at 07:51h, 21 July Reply

    My wife and I were just saying that there is so much to do but we will never get it all done because we “sit too much”. I hope what you wrote will give me some motivation to change that.

  • Whitney
    Posted at 09:32h, 21 July Reply

    I love this! Mostly because I just posted something similar on my blog but also just because it’s true. 🙂

  • Camilla
    Posted at 11:41h, 21 July Reply

    I’m probably really weird. I don’t watch TV. I leave my phone in my pocket or jacket when I talk to people. I’m so de-attached to my phone half of the time I don’t even know where it is. Which can drive friends crazy as they try to get hold of me. But some days my time disappears regardless. I get involved in a discussion on FB that truly is engaging but still, oh there goes an hour or two. Some days I have so much going on I can’t decide what to start working on despite that my list that tells me (resistance) so I end up checking the internet reading blog posts. Like right now 🙂

  • Mark Lilly
    Posted at 08:16h, 22 July Reply

    Right on with this post, Jon. The calendar calls us out on how we spend our time the same way a budget calls us out on how we spend our money. Both show us where we’re placing the most value in our lives, regardless of what we tell ourselves and others.

    I’d like to get in shape this weekend… but that candy is NOT gonna crush itself!

  • Matt Flinner
    Posted at 09:10h, 22 July Reply

    Some will call this post being transparent. I think that seems to be the buzzword today. But when we take these steps that you suggest, we simply being honest. Brutal and sometimes gut wrenching honesty. Call it transparency or vulnerability, and those words might be right, but this is a post about being completely honest with yourself. Grateful for you, Jon.

  • Audra Rogers
    Posted at 16:18h, 23 July Reply

    Absolutely true. I just made myself a “phone jail” where I put my phone during dinner and during a family activity afterwards, so I’m not tempted to neglect the beautiful people in my house 🙂 it has worked out great so far.

  • Steve Simms
    Posted at 06:02h, 24 July Reply

    If you donate about 2 minutes to reading this post about time, it will help you understand how to use time better. https://stevesimms.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/its-about-time-for-a-brief-about-time/

  • Shanaz Hussain
    Posted at 23:38h, 24 July Reply

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    Posted at 18:36h, 31 July Reply

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