We all know someone who seems to be able to do more before the sun comes up than many of us manage to fit in to a whole day. We write to do lists and religiously cross things off but never seem to get to the end of them. We have all sorts of things we would like to do but never seem to get around to them. We know there are things we should be doing but find even less time to devote to those. We are time poor and have no idea what we should do about it.
Some of the busiest people seem to be able to find the time.
Time for exercise
I know how it is. Most of the time I don’t feel overly excited about getting out early to go for a walk. At the end of a long day I don’t particularly want to do anything more than finish the chores and flop in front of the television. On the weekend I am busy catching up on the housework and running the children around. I often think that I just don’t have time to exercise.
I know that exercise is good for me. I understand that, but sometimes I need to remind myself exactly why that is.
Exercise has a number of benefits.
- Exercise is a great de-stressor,
- It creates a positive mood,
- It strengthens the heart,
- It improves co-ordination,
- It lowers blood pressure,
- It strengthens bones,
- It increases energy,
- It prevent osteoporosis,
- It promotes brain health,
- It prevents colds,
- It improves sleeping patterns,
- It strengthens muscles.
When I really think about the benefits, I wonder how I can put so much effort in to avoiding it. I tell myself that the reason I don’t exercise is because I don’t have time. In reality that’s mostly an excuse. I don’t want to get out of my warm bed half an hour earlier in the morning. I know I would feel better at the end of the day if I did a bit of physical activity after work. I seem to find plenty of time to do other things on the weekend, why not this?
If I’m honest, the real reason I don’t exercise when I should is because I don’t want to. I can’t be bothered. I don’t find it interesting enough. It’s not because I have no time for it. If I really thought about it, I could find time at both ends of the day and a big chunk on the weekend. If I want to continue to find an excuse not to exercise, there are plenty to choose from. Lack of time is rarely one of them.
Time to read
For some people their reading ends as soon as they finish with school. It was something they had to do because it was required of them to complete the subject or to learn the material. It was never something they did just for its own sake. They don’t really enjoy reading and therefore believe they don’t have time to do this in their lives.
This has never been something I have had any problem with. If only I could help people to understand that there is an amazing world waiting for them in books. We can use them to escape the boring reality of everyday life. We can have experiences we could never have in reality. We can learn about different countries and experience different cultures. We can have excitement and adventure, all from the comfort of our own homes. It may be that these books will actually spur our interest in a place or an experience enough that we want to travel there in the future.
We can find pleasure in fiction books and there is an almost never-ending supply of non-fiction books available. Everything from self-improvement, to home fix-it, to science, to travel can be read about in a book. We can use books to expand out minds and our horizons. There is an almost limitless opportunity for personal development to be found. That said, it’s almost a crime not to read them.
Reading has a number of benefits.
- Improves memory,
- Improves focus and concentration,
- Improves writing skills,
- Increases vocabulary,
- Promotes stress reduction,
- Provides mental stimulation,
- Expands knowledge,
- Promotes calmness,
- Develops creativity,
- Develops imagination,
If, after completing the Timewrangling Technique time audit, you are still convinced that you don’t have time to read, check out this post. In it I give a very simple technique to read more without actually picking up a book. You may just discover that you enjoy reading after all.
Time to sleep
Why is it that the busier we are the more we try to stretch our waking hours and the less importance we place upon our body’s need to recharge? I suggest that at these times it is even more important to get a good night’s sleep.
I can remember commenting to an older lady whose children had long since left home that I had so much to do I didn’t know how I was going to fit it all in. She told me about how she did it. She stated that she would stay up until midnight each night getting all of the housework done. She was proud of this achievement. I was horrified! Seriously, my children were at that time getting up at 5.30am.
No-one can function properly on five hours sleep per night for years on end. Ask any new mother how she feels most of the time. She will tell you it’s the sleep deprivation that is the worst. There is a reason they use it as a torture technique. I decided her advice was probably not good to follow and just muddled through the best I could.
Sleep deprivation has been proven to cause bodily symptoms which equivalent to being drunk. Just think about driving the precious cargo of our children around whilst over the limit. It’s not something I would ever do. I have however gotten behind the wheel of the car whilst extremely tired. Not really a good plan thinking back, but you do what you have to do at the time.
Lack of sleep has a number of consequences.
People who are sleep deprived are more prone to accidents, lapses in concentration, mood swings and getting sick. Rarely are any of the things we stay up to do worth swapping for good quality sleep. Of course, it’s OK to have a late night out every once in a while. There will also be times when we simply have no choice. It may be that we have a sick child or that we have to pick someone up from the airport.
What we must avoid doing is stealing time from our sleep to complete things that are not worth trading our sleep hours to do. The housework can wait, the television show can be recorded, your social media will still be there tomorrow.
Make a commitment today that you will take some time to wind down in the early evening and go bed at a reasonable hour tonight. You might just discover that you have a morning person secretly hiding inside just waiting to get out.
For some ideas on how to encourage your body to go to sleep and stay that way, check out this post.
What if I really don’t have the time?
Download my simple Timewrangling Technique Workbook and discover the hidden hours of time in your week just waiting for you to claim them.