We’ve all heard the saying “I don’t find time to (fill in the blank), I make the time. I would agree that if we really want to succeed at something, we have to make it a priority. But I also think we can find time to do what is important to us.
Today I had 15 minutes in between Coura‘s swim lesson and when I had to go into the gym to teach a class. I could have done anything with those 15 minutes. I could have relaxed in my car, checked my email, texted a friend, read a book, jumped on social media, eaten a snack, watched part of a show on my phone, made a list, looked at my planner, etc. We all have countless things we can do each and every day, our lists are never ever done!!
But exercise is a priority for me so I decided to get out of the car, put Coura in the stroller, and run a mile! I found a small amount of time in my day so I used it for what was most important to me at that time.
If it was the previous day where I only slept 4 hours that night, I may have opted for a quick nap. If it was the day before that when rent was due and I had to borrow from my savings, I may have used that time for income earning activities. If it were the day before that one, I may have opted for relaxing on social media because I had already run 10 miles that day!
We all have a few minutes here and there during our day that are wasted because it doesn’t seem like enough time to really accomplish anything.
I 100% disagree. For those of you who know me, you know baby steps are how I do everything and all my life successes have been built on small seemingly insignificant actions that have built up over time and resulted in big amazing results!!!
For most people, these small pockets of time are wasted because by the time you decide what to do in that 10, 15, 20 minute period, it’s over. Or we think we can’t accomplish anything so we do something meaningless just to pass the time instead of something planned or executed toward a bigger goal or purpose.
So how do we get on the right track?
Here is what I do:
- Know your priorities for the day/week/month/year (whatever time frame you are comfortable with)
- Keep a running list of activities that can be done in small pockets of time
- When you find an opening, no matter how small, plug in one of those activities!!
Right now I am training for an Ironman triathlon. This was a last minute decision a month ago (that’s last minute when endurance training is involved) so my training plan was to get a certain amount of hours in the pool, on the bike, and on my feet per week leading up the week before the race and then to taper. And it didn’t matter how I got them in!
I would park a quarter mile from the grocery store and walk every isle while shopping to get in a mile walk during a trip to the store. I would jump on the bike at the gym for 5 minutes before teaching a fitness class and go over my playlist instead of doing it sitting in the aerobics room. I would swim an extra 200 yards after my usual swim and skip my shower after.
While Coura was napping I would jump on my bike already set up on my trainer in the basement and I would ride for as long as I could until she woke up.
And of course I would make my “Total Body Conditioning” classes do running drills (today we did high knees, skips, butt kickers, side cross run, and backwards running) for a total of 15 minutes. I would take extra trips up and down the stairs when cleaning and doing laundry (bringing a couple clothes up at a time) to get in a few miles of stair climbing throughout the week!! And then while we are watching tv at night with the fam I use the time to foam roll, stretch, and massage my legs.
With all these little “found” segments of time, I amazingly got in 27 hours of training last week! I will add here that I woke up at 4am one morning to bike for 2 hours, my mom watched the baby one afternoon/evening so I could bike for 5 hours, and I ran a marathon plus walked 2 miles one of the days, but the majority of those other hours were less than 30 minute time blocks added up over the 7 days.
If your thing isn’t exercising, you can apply this to other areas of your life! Relationships, finances, personal growth, projects, cleaning, simplifying, etc.
If you have a book you wanted to read, carry it with you! Read 3 pages each time you go to the bathroom! Wake up 10 minutes earlier and read. Read while you’re waiting in the pick-up lane at your kids school. Read while you’re pumping gas. Read while your noodles are boiling. Read waiting in line at the post office or grocery store. Read while your kid is at soccer practice. Read while your oil is getting changed. Ask your spouse or kid to drive to your destination and read! You will have you book done in no time at all!!
Find and treasure these small windows of time to do what is important to you.
Time is our most precious resource. And we have 100% control on how we choose to spend our time. Use it to move your life in the direction you want it to go, use it to do what is going to make your life the very best it can be!!
I would love to hear how you are fitting it all in! I am constantly working toward optimal time management!
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See you soon!