Time Is (Not) On Our Side

When was the last time you told yourself (or someone else):

“I would have…but I didn’t have time…”

Last week, I made a post on Instagram about where my time goes in “typical” 24 hours.

By typical, I mean, what happens on a standard weekday that is more normal than abnormal.

It looks something like this (all figures have been rounded up):

I average 7 hours of sleep (this leaves me with 17 hours in a day).

My morning routine: grabbing coffee, checking emails and texts, reading for a few minutes, and getting ready for work takes about an hour (I’m down to 16 for the day).

I spend approximately 7 hours on the training floor of my personal training studio (this leaves me with 9 hours).

My commute to and from work each day takes roughly an hour (this leaves me with 8).

I usually leave the studio for lunch and between the time it takes for my commute to and from, ordering and eating lunch, I’ve spent another hour (this leaves me with 7).

My workouts take just under an hour lately and I train 4x/week (this leaves me with 6).

When I get home from work each day, I have roughly two hours of time to spend with my family. This includes dinner, any downtime we have to catch up, and getting ready for bed (this leaves me with 4.)

I call these last four hours my miscellaneous time. It’s when I’m mindlessly or purposefully scrolling my computer or phone, running errands for work, responding to client messages, doing video check-ins for online clients, creating content for the internet (like this blog) and any continuing education I might be working on.

Generally speaking, these four hours happen in the middle of my work day or they make up the time around any of the aforementioned time slots.

What would I do if I needed/wanted to make time for something else in my life? Let’s say: 30 minutes of guitar lessons once per week?

I would likely have to remove something from that “miscellaneous” time so that I could carve out 30 minutes of lessons. That’s assuming that I don’t have to drive somewhere for those lessons, which would add a commute I didn’t factor in.

What I can’t do, is add to the twenty-four hours. All I can do is subtract from what’s there to add something else in.

By most accounts, my days are busy and running through a breakdown of my day helps me understand where and how I’m either wasting time or could potentially be more efficient.

There’s a common sentiment that if you “don’t have time”, that it’s less about time and more about priority. You’re simply prioritizing certain tasks and demands over others.

That’s mostly true as many of us can be quite driven when it’s necessary.

Sometimes, we need to break down the snapshot of our average days (like I did above) to be objective and say: HERE is where I can make time for that thing I’ve been trying to accomplish.

Yes, we all have 24 hours. We just don’t have the same 24 hours.

And the irony isn’t lost on me that if time management is where you struggle, you might not even find the time to work this process for your own benefit.

But it could be (*cough*) time well spent.

(Photo courtesy of Aron Visuals)