Admit it. You use this excuse all the time.
I use it too. Often I use it when it comes to doing something important that I know I should be doing, Something that really will make me better by doing it but I tell myself I don’t have time to do it.
It’s been 8 weeks since the last blog post I wrote. I didn’t have time.
Well not really, it simply wasn’t a priority.
You see, I had lots of time for other things. Things that were not necessarily going to make me better at my job, better at my hobbies or a better human overall but rather things that made my day go by without having any beneficial impact.
Lots of time for netflix, for scrolling social media, for twiddling my thumbs - you know, real fulfilling activities.
Now there is nothing wrong with some passive relaxation & just being mindless for a while but it shouldn’t be the high point of your day. If all you have to show for your days at the end of the week is having completed 2 TV shows & maxed out the like feature on IG then you really need to reevaluate your days.
How many hours of the day, days of the week, months of the year & years of your life have you spent doing unfulfilling activities & not making the time for the ones that will make you fulfilled. Among the many things people will tell you they “don’t have time” for is to look after themselves. Personally, I think this is the highest form of disrespect you can have for oneself. At the end of the day you only have one body, it’s meant to last you until your old age & hopefully avoid any disease until the day you kick the bucket. After all the biggest killer diseases we see these days are those which are non-communicable (CVD, diabetes, obesity, stroke) so with exercise, health nutrition & good sleep you can help prevent them.
“I don’t have time” is for 99% of people a really shitty excuse. You do have time but you are using it elsewhere or the thing you don’t have time for is not a priority. As cliché as it sounds, we all have 24hrs in the day, how you spend it is up to you.
If this is your favorite excuse - you need to do a time audit.
Personally, when I did this exercise it was a good eye opener on how much time I was spending on things that I didn’t value & how little time I was spending on things I told myself I valued. Apart from fitness I am actually quite a lazy person & if I don’t plan out my days, make a to-do list organised hourly, then I will get little done. This article comes now as I did go through a few weeks of not writing out my to-do list in that manner & being very unproductive in that timespace. Days literally vanished with nothing to show for them other than the fact I probably ate, exercised & slept. Days where I could have done anything to get ahead were spent idle & stagnant.
Here is what you do:
When you wake up tomorrow, note your wake up time.
Until you go to sleep that night, in the notes of your phone, document what you have done each hour of the day.
When you do your time audit, what does it look like? For some it may look like this:
Time in bed 7hrs
Commute to work 1hr
Commute home 1hr
Make & eat dinner 1hr
Now this is a basic template of a typical 9-5 worker day. Like any content aimed towards the general public it does not allow for individuality which is why I urge you to do your own.
This might seem like a hassle but this will give you an accurate reflection of where your time is being spent & a very valuable exercise. You will probably find you actually do have time but there is a lot of time being filled up with things that in all honesty are not giving you any value. For example, check the screen time on your phone - how many hours have you clocked up? Proud or shocked?
The great thing about looking after yourself is that it doesn’t take as much time as one thinks. You don’t need to spend 3hrs in the gym or 4hrs cooking each meal. 30 mins every 3 days of exercise (especially when starting off) & simply making better food choices (more protein, more fruit, more veg, more water) is all it takes to start improving your health. If you up to this point have done 0 exercise & 0 work on your nutrition well than anything is better than that.
With the above example you should have around 6hrs free every day to do things you want - some people may have less but even for the busiest folk - 30 minutes is possible.
Now if you have audited your time & you still have little time, delegate & outsource! If you are in a position where you don’t even have 30 minutes for yourself then there are potentially things you are doing you could get somebody else to do.
Things you can delegate & out source:
Grocery shop online
Hire a cleaner
Hire a trainer
Tasks in work
You could save 2-3hrs a week on meal prep, 2hrs on grocery shopping, 2hrs on household cleaning, heaps of time hiring a trainer taking the guesswork out of exercise as well as making a plan to fit your time needs & if you delegate work to somebody else in work you may get to go home sooner (maybe, maybe not lol).
Now once you have done all this you can combine your time audit with making yourself a checklist which you can find how to do on my previous post. Combining the two will have you en route to Goalville.
Don’t be frugal, money you can make back. You can’t make time back. And actually by not spending money & giving yourself more time to do things so you can improve yourself, you may also be cutting your time shorter because your health is deteriorating.
It is often ourselves who get in our way when it comes to living the life we want to live. It’s necessary to evaluate what your priorities are, where you are spending your time & do those align with your values. Will your future self thank you for how you used your days or are you setting them up for a fall?
“I have no time” is a scary thought. The only time I wish to feel that way is when the power is out of my hands & I’m on my deathbed. But before then I do have time & I can use my time to my advantage. I can use my time, organise & prioritise so that I can say I did my best to work towards those things which were important to me. I don’t want to look back & say “I wish I made the time” as so many do.
Time is precious. Time is opportunity. You don’t want to waste precious opportunities now do you?