There are 1440 minutes in a Day, What are You Doing with Yours?
No matter who you are, from the guy down the street to Oprah, we all get the same number of minutes in each day.
Its how we use them (or don’t use them) that makes the biggest difference in our lives, our careers or businesses, our relationships and in our health.
One of the most common things I hear from clients, friends and family is that they “just don’t have enough time.” I have been guilty of saying these five little words myself from time to time. “I don’t have enough time to exercise, to relax, read, make dinner, take a bath and forget about taking care of me! I have five other people depending on me”. Does this sound familiar?
When we begin to feel overwhelmed, worries, stressed, full of anxiety or angry, we often put our life in PAUSE mode. Many of us take measures of avoidance – zoning out in front of the TV, playing video games, going shopping, busying ourselves with everything else we have to do except that one thing we don’t want to think about or the most common of them all, eating whatever we can get our hands on! Why? Because sometimes we have found it’s easier to avoid a problem than think about it or do anything to resolve it, for even one more second!
We have reached our limit and we default to our best coping mechanisms. For some people, they have learned to revise their old behaviors and will go to the gym, call a friend or mediate when they are going through something like this. And that’s awesome! For most of us, we are not quite there yet. So what are some things we can do to better manage our time?
Find Out Where You Are
Do you know where you are spending your time each week? When you get home from work, what is your normal schedule? Take a quick moment and jot down what you do on an average evening. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here.
Great! Now, count up the average hours you watch TV each night. How many is it? One? Two? Four? Six? Ok, good. Now we are getting somewhere. Now multiple that number by 5. Write down your total. Perfect! Now, how many hours each evening, on average, do you spend on Apps or the Internet on your phone? Write that number down and multiple it by 5. Super! Last, how many hours do you spend on a laptop, computer, tablet or video games? You know what to do. Write that number down and multiple by 5. Now we’re getting somewhere!
In an average workweek, how much time are you spending watching TV? On the phone? On the laptop, comp, tablet or video games? What is your total number of hours for all three? Write that down. If you’re like most Americans, you are probably spending about 4.5 hours watching TV, 1hr and 39 minutes on Apps/Internet on the phone and just about an hour on their laptops. Were you close to that number?
What could you be doing with 7 hours of FOUND time each and every day?! Could you finish that degree you started? Spend quality time with the kids or grandkids? Take up a new hobby that you always wanted to do but didn’t have time? Read those books you always said you would read, but only got as far as buying them on Amazon? Are you spending your minutes each day in the way that you have always wanted? Creating the life you have always wanted?
Now You Know Where You Are, What Shifts Can You Make?
Just establishing where our time is going is half the battle! And we only looked at 3 categories! If you have kids, you might also look at time spent shuttling from one place to another….could that maybe be worked out with another parent so you both get a break? Understanding where we are spending our time is so valuable, it can help us to understand where our stress or anxiety is stemming from, as well as what can be streamlined.
So…the next step is, what can you shift around to make your life less overwhelming? What can you change to fit in the exercise you want to do or the yoga class you’ve always wanted to take? If people like Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins can fit in time to do what’s important to them while traveling all over the world, so can you too!
The goal is to get into a state where you are not constantly in fight or flight mode. That is extremely stressing to our bodies and being chronically stressed can cause many problems, from decreased blood flow, to increased inflammation and even causing one to keep or gain weight despite every effort to lose it! Stress is one of the most deliberating factors we can place on our bodies and it negates every positive, good nutritional health practice we do in terms of eating the right foods.
In addition to recognizing where we are spending our time, shifting our schedules around so we are doing the things that are important to us, we also need to RELAX! Your body is begging for a break, for more sleep, for meditation, for quiet, for a walk, or simply taking a hot bath. By putting our bodies in a relaxed state, our parasympathetic system kicks in, turns ON our digestion so it’s working properly and brings our calorie bringing capacity back to full steam ahead! Pretty darn good for just taking a breather, wouldn’t you say?
So the next time you find yourself in a state of overwhelm, take a moment, pause, take a quick inventory of what’s happening and how you are feeling. Then make the decision to relax and take care of you! You will be so much more productive and energetic when you care for your body rather than trying to pour from an empty cup!
To your health!
P.S. If you still can’t find hours in the day to get what you need done, trying moving your wake up and bedtime. Getting up an hour earlier and taking care of you can make a world of difference! Check out The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and watch your life change!