The English language is full of clichés about "time". What is time? I looked it up and there are a lot of different definitions and I came to realize the word "time" stretches across a lot of variants. It's a word that has a lot of power but in my opinion, not a lot of substance.
I have a theory about the "value" of time. It has a value because we have given it one. We use it as a way to define getting out of a situation ("Oh, look at the time! I have to go") or a reason not to do something ("Oh, gee, I'm so sorry, I haven't had the time to call you back"). We wear watches and check our phone to see what time it is, gauging our lives out in precious minutes and seconds. While it is important to know if it's 6 AM or 10PM, because we are human and we do need to sleep and eat at proper times, we have a tendency to blame time for everything.
Oh I'm sorry, I didn't get to that, and I've been so busy. Oh, wow, I ran out of time today. Did you really? If you have a customer that you failed to call back, get a hold of, what do you tell them when they finally have to call you and then you're fumbling for excuses as to why you didn't get back to them? As a customer, we want to feel like we are number one when it comes to our potential business partners. When you tell a client "I'm sorry I just ran out of time", it means that that you, as the business, don't value me, as the client. Telling me that you didn't have time for me is like a slap in the face, instantly placing me down at the bottom of your list. If you wanted my business that badly, you would have made time for me.
The same goes in your personal experiences. I will admit that I am guilty of using this excuse with personal friends when I am just not in the mood to be chatty. Sometimes, it's a true statement. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to fulfill your commitments as well as find time for yourself, and that's okay. It's what you are telling those waiting that matters.
The question to you is, instead of "I'm sorry I just ran out of time" what's a more viable reason for not following through completely? Is there something you can say in place of "I ran out of time" that will mean the same thing but sound better? Comment your opinions here and let's redefine the value of time.