So we all want time to exercise more, eat healthier, spend more time with family, read more books and so on. I was just chatting with a girlfriend and she was saying how she would love for there to be an extra month during the summer. She feels like there is never enough time to get everything done. I go up and down on the issue. There are days when I feel completely overwhelmed and days that I manage to multi-task very well. We all have the same amount of time – 24 hours each day – but it is how we use this time that really makes the difference.
When I work one on one with clients, one of the very first exercises I have them do is keep a time log for one week. They need to see visually how they are spending their time. Most of us have no idea how much time we waste every single day. There are literally hours and hours at the end of every week that you could spend on activities that have more meaning and purpose. Sometimes we just need to get an insiders "glimpse" of our own life to determine where we are wasting precious hours. I am the first to admit I waste a lot of time on the computer. Because I do a lot of my work on the computer, it is very easy to get pulled into cyberspace. You check one site out, read an article, click on another site, read another article, and so on and so forth.
This week I want you to be more aware of your time and how you spend it. Do you genuinely want to make positive changes in your life? If you do, then you are going to need to make a commitment to yourself and carve out the time. If you have been stressing about having no time to exercise, then you simply haven’t made a big enough effort to move things around and structure this commitment in. Find the things that eat up your time that are less important than the changes you wish to make. Then make sure you are committed to making lifestyle changes that last.
1. Cut out TV
OK…I know my husband is literally laughing right now reading this one. Yes I DVR my favorite shows and watch them after a long day of work and kids. This is a work in process for me. TV can take up hours and hours of your week. This is critical time in the long term that you waste zoning out. Even if you cut the number in half, you could potentially gain 5-10 hours a week of time to spend on improving your life. Time to exercise. Time to read a book. Time to play with your kids or go out with your spouse. Time to organize your home.
2. Wake earlier
I know you have heard this over and over. Wake up even 30 minutes earlier and you can get a lot done. Some of you may be early risers and some of you may not. If you are not a naturally early riser like myself, you may need to make some other adjustments. You may need to commit to going to bed 1 hour earlier in order to wake up earlier. Just the act of getting up earlier can give you a lot of extra time in the week. You can exercise, meditate, plan your meals, organize, catch up on news, or whatever you are lacking. This is an easy one to start with.
3. Simplify your commitments
Many of us have a lot of commitments in our lives – social commitments, work commitments, extracurricular activities and more. If you are stressing about time, take a good look at all of the commitments on your plate. It may be time to let some go. Decide if they are serving a purpose anymore. Do not feel bad about letting a commitment go. People would rather have someone involved who is passionate and excited than someone who is following through just to get by. If anything, try cutting out a commitment for a little while and see how you feel. You can then make a decision whether to continue or get back involved.
Leslie Gail is a Life Strategist for Mom’s, a Mom TV web show host and Author. You can find out more about her here.