I’m curious if I gave you the gift of time, how would you use it?
Time is a theme that’s come up a lot recently in conversations and readings.
I read a fascinating article this week that suggested that instead of “inhabiting a world of time, we’re inhabiting a world of time poverty. Rather than feeling the luxury of time freedom, we’re feeling the burden of constant hurry.”*
We are all given 24 hours a day. How many days we get is never certain.
As the world continues to change rapidly, time is the only resource that we can’t get back.
Our time on this journey called life isn’t infinite – it’s limited.
How are you spending your time when it comes to your health? Is it working for you or against you?
In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear encourages the reader to think about the time you commit to your health like “compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day, and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous.”**
Introducing even one more minute for an activity to your daily schedule might not seem like much, but as you begin to enjoy the benefits, you’ll likely add more.
A little consistent investment over time pays off significant gains in the long run, even if it’s just 1% better every day.
From one minute to as much as one hour, all it takes to improve your health is finding the time.
How can you find more time?
One way to have time work for you is something I cover in my book The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit of Good Health, where I help the reader do a simple time test. You can download the worksheet from the book here.
Or, try this.
Take out a regular lined sheet of paper. In a column, down the left-hand side, write out the hours in 30-minute increments from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Pick a day of the week to record everything you do, from when you first wake up to when you go to bed.
The next day, look at the data. How much time did you spend eating, in meetings, surfing the internet, scrolling through social media, working at your desk, etc.?
Where could you find windows of time?
And what would be the typical starting/minimum amount of time you can spend building healthy (or a play) habits?
What is realistic and most effortless for you?
What could you start with first (for a minute or even an hour)?
Mental health: Take a nap, meditate, or write in a journal
Physical health: Go for a walk with a friend, dance, maybe vacuum
Nutritional health: Prep your veggies for the week, make a menu, try a new dinner recipe
How can you carve out time for the most important things to improve your future quality of life starting today?
Having routines/systems in place can supercharge your day while simultaneously creating a sense of time and sanity in your life.
The idea of finding the time and being selfish enough to cherish it – to be awake, aware, and enjoy the journey – this is how like the Rolling Stones song says, “time is on your side…yes it is!”
P.S. Want to change your habits and have fun?
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** Clear, James. Atomic Habits. New York: Penguin Press, 2018, pp. 16, 24.