One of the biggest hurdles all of us face on a day-to-day basis is that we only have 24 hours in a day. Time is, unfortunately, finite. There is only so much to go around, and with the constant juggling act of work, relationships, relaxation, self-development, and then trying to find enough time to sleep in a day, it can incredibly hard to find the right balance.

This is a big reason a lot of us don’t exercise. We simply don’t have the time.

Or do we?

Why is it some of us can make it to the gym several times a week, while others simply don’t have the time to do the same?

Well this is what we are going to touch base on today, and find a way to help all of us find more time to exercise, find more time for the things we enjoy most, and find ways we can work on our passion projects.

To Start With

As we begin looking at finding time for ourselves, we first have to look at how we are currently spending the time we have. It’s easy to think we know how we’re spending our day, but it’s much more beneficial to track how we’re spending our day. By tracking what you are doing, you give yourself an unbiased view of what you are currently using your 24 hours a day on. From the time we wake up to the time we go asleep, we are on a running clock and we need to know how we are spending this.

Ways we can track are simple, we can track how much time we spend on our phones (most phones have this built in), we can set timers as we settle down to watch our favourite shows, we can track how long the commute is to and from work, and we can track how much time we are playing chauffeur to the family. Even looking at things that we know are set day-to-day like sleep or work we know we need to account for. So if you work and sleep 8 hours each every day, we now have 8 more hours we need to account for. 

It’s all track able, we just need to put in the time to establish how we are using the time we have. Once we know what we are doing with our time, we can readjust where we are spending that time. 

Making things more efficient

Now that we know where we are spending our time, we need to identify time wasters. Those aspects of our life that are unnecessary to what we want to achieve and don’t help us reach our goals. TV time and time our on phones two prime examples of this, but we also need to look at time that could be tightened up a bit as well.

Let’s use cooking as our example here, as there is a huge opportunity to save time here. Let’s say every evening, after work, we need to cook supper for our family. Not only do we have to cook, but we need to clean up after and do the dishes as well. Let’s say it in total, without the time to actually eat the food, this takes roughly about 1.5 hours.

Well, if we look at this on a weekly basis, which means we are spending roughly around 10.5 hours a week in the kitchen (assuming we don’t eat out through the week). Taking that number into consideration, when looking at preparing meals ahead of time usually takes about 4 hours on a high end (with prep, cooking, and cleaning included), we can see there is a huge opportunity right there to save almost 6.5 hours per week just by preparing our meals ahead of time.

Now imagine we did that with every meal, not only would we save time and cost, but we would have a much easier time sticking with our nutritional goals, and be less likely to go off track.

So just by being more efficient with one aspect of our day-to-day life we saved 6.5 hours per week. That’s at least 3-1 hour workouts per week, factoring in commute time.

Have kids in sports? Well, most youth sports are either in a sports complex or outdoors. We can use that time to be active rather than sit in the stands watching practice. Use the workout facility, walk around the field, run up the stairs, or we can even volunteer to be apart of the coaching team so we can get up and get moving, as well be apart of our children’s interests (you’d be surprised how far this can go, even if you’re not an athlete yourself).

There are ways to get physically active, or work on our personal projects, we just need to use that time effectively.

Time Wasters

I think we can all agree that cooking and eating would be considered an essential part of our life that we need to factor in and plan for. There are many other areas too, such as work, sleep, family time, etc. but there are many areas in our life where we are spending time on things that aren’t essential to our day-to-day life. This is typically screen time, whether it’s on the TV, Computer, or on our phones. These are things we can consider Time-Wasters.

This is an area we really have the opportunity to make the most out of our time, and start finding that time for us to work on our goals. Realistically, how is spending time on social media going to help advance your life? How is it going to enrich your life further than connecting with people or seeing a funny meme? Do we need to re-watch The Office or Friends for a third or fourth time?

Not really… yet some how we fall into that trap time and time again. We allow ourselves to just simply turn off our brain during these times. Think about it this way, when was the last time we were able to watch a full movie or TV show without going onto our phone, without doing a household chore, or without eating? Our brain doesn’t want to turn off our brain wants stimulation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than guilty of this as well, and it’s nice to sit and be unproductive or lazy for a bit, but we can’t let this become a huge Time Waster.

As we used with the example of cooking, let’s take a look at time spent on watching TV shall we?

Let’s say we watch about 4-5 episodes of our new favourite show every night. We’ll say that’s about 4 hours per night watching television. Right there we can see if we simply cut that down, we’ll have more time to get things done in our life. Let’s take a step further though.

If we spend about 4 hours per night watching television (not factoring time on weekends) that would be 28 hours per week watching TV. Even if we went to the gym 5 times per week for an hour, we’d still have roughly 18 hours of TV to watch (if we plan for a half hour commute both ways). By simply cutting an hour and a half off per day, we just found time for ourselves. But what if we took it a step further than that again.

If we are spending 4 hours per night watching television, that equals out to over 60 days per year… that’s two months spent simply watching TV! If we continue that pace, in 6 years time we’ll have spent and entire year watching television… If you’re telling me you can’t find a better way to spend that time, I don’t know what to tell you…

That example with a larger amount of time per day, but let’s take a look at our phone usage. Say we check our phone for about 5 minutes every hour of the day, that’s still 2 hours of our day on the phone. That compounds further to becoming 14 hours per week, or 30 day a year.

So as we can see, even the smallest bits of time can add up and make a huge difference in our life on a yearly basis. The time is there as we can see, we just have to direct it in a way that will be productive to leave us feeling more satisfied and accomplished on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

Final Point

Everyone’s situation is different, that I think we can all agree with that, but we are all dealt with the same 24 hours as the person next to us. We all have to work, we all have to cook, we all are stress, or tired, or feel like we need a break, but if we want to reach our goals, be it losing body fat or writing a book, we need to make it a priority.

Realistically, as we broke it down, we don’t need to find time for the things we want to accomplish, we need to make time for them. We need to reallocate some of those hours away from time waster, make our daily tasks more time efficient, and make these goals a priority. This isn’t just for working out, it can be to read more, spend more time writing, spending more time on a side hustle, spending more time with your family or friends, this can be used for whatever YOU want to use it on.

Think of it this way, most of us spend 8 hours a day working at a job to help that corporation reach its goals, why can’t we spend a few working towards our own?

The time is there, we just have to use it. 

Rich Hill

CSEP – Certified Personal Trainer

RK Athleticshttps://linktr.ee/RK_Athletics