When we say “I don’t have time to do X” what we really mean is X is not a high enough priority, or, simply “I have more important things to do.” As someone who had an opportunity to be mentored by Seth Godin, one of the (many) remarkable things I observed about him is his ability to respond to emails right away. Although he receives thousands of emails in a week (actually, this is just a guess since I don’t have access to his email), he manages to respond thoughtfully, politely, genuinely every time. Rarely does an email go unanswered for more than a couple of hours.
My takeaway: It’s all about how your priorities dictate how you manage your time and what you really say when you prioritize something over another. Seth clearly values the people who comprise his network and the attention they’ve offered him and I admire the way he makes time for everyone indiscriminately. He doesn’t want to be perceived as someone who doesn’t have time to respond to emails because he’s too popular and important — and while those things are true, he doesn’t use them as an excuse to diminish someone else’s status by insinuating “I have more important things to do.”