I used to say that too often. Now I’m done with that and when I hear it, I explain why this is false.
I don’t have the time!
When a boss or a colleague ask if we can do a task, we often assume that this is for now, so now, I’m always busy so technically yes I don’t have the time. But, in most of the cases, it’s not for now now.
We should first ask a delay for that task, because the other person forgot to mention a delay, there is always a delay, even short.
By asking, you’ll first hear it before answering the usual “I don’t have the time!” and the other responding “Well, it’s not for now, you can do it for next monday maybe”, see?
Or maybe say “Yes (because we can do it), I can do this tomorrow at 3pm/in 2 days/next month”. By proposing your own delay, the other person will try to fit in your agenda, if not possible, they will mention it.
We have a lot of time, until death we have. We just have to decide what to do first. Talking about the same topic but not related to your job, you can also avoid this with your family, wife and kids. Because, you have plenty of time to spent with them, you shouln’t say “I don’t have the time!”
This is the solution, you should talk about priority. You can’t do this now? Why? Because your priority is on something else, this new task is not your new priority, that’s it.
Now you can answer “Yes I can do this but since this isn’t my priority, I’ll do it later”
You went from “I don’t have the time” to “This is not the priority” in one post.