Many people I talk to say that would like to improve their lifestyles but they do not have the time. They want to exercise but run out of time. They say they want to do a better job at preparing meals for themselves but they’re too busy.
A few weeks ago, my sister mentioned this book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think written by Laura Vanderkam. 168 hours is the number of hours all of us have each week. In her book, she presents the idea that we all have several hours that we can discover in our lives. She recommends that if your are struggling with not having enough time to do the things that are important, you should a record of your activity for one week straight.
“Instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there’s time for the important stuff. They focus on what they do best and what only they can do.” says Vanderkam.
In her book, Laura Vanderkam, she describes many of the different leisure activities that Americans spend large amounts of the week doing. In Canada, according to Numeris (formerly BBM Canada) the average adult Canadian spend 30 hours per week watching television. For the younger generation it may be less television but more screen time. According to the Television Bureau of Canada in 2012, the average 18- to 24-year-old said they watched 14 hours of TV weekly and spent 31 hours online.
So how does it work:
Start a basic chart with the days of the week and list the different activities that fill your day and the time spent on each of these activities. Afterward you categorize the activities into groups. The categories can include sleep, work, and home activities. According to Vanderkam you can further divide your activities into types of work (transportation, meetings, email, telephone calls etc.) and home activities into meal preparation, eating, driving to family activities, physical activity, shopping, house cleaning, laundry, TV, computer games, or other leisure activities.
After you have organized the activities you may find areas of time that could be spend differently. You may be surprised by how much time is spent doing things that are not important. Here are just few tips that help you save time during the day.
Strategies for Improving Efficiency:
- Meal planning for the week
- Cooking multiple meals at one time
- Removing or decreasing wasted time that you spend online or with social media
- Incorporating active transportation to incorporate physical activity into necessary time spend commuting.
- Multi-Tasking – combine physical activity with watching that TV show you don’t want to miss
- Grouping work tasks (email or phone calls into specific times of the day)
The Canadian physical activity guidelines recommends the all adults undertake 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. This is 2.5 hours per week. Certainly out of 168 hours per week , you should be able to find 2.5 hours to do the recommended amount of physical activity. If you can commit to more time, even better. According to Vanderkam, if you commit 5 hours per week to moderate physical activity, you will transform your health. I certainly agree, but I suggest that most people need to start with smaller goals.
I encourage you to try it out. Particularly if you are one of those people that are struggling with not having enough time to do the things that are important.
If you have a time saving tip that you want to share, please post it below.
– Post written by Doug Klein
YOU DO HAVE MORE TIME THAN YOU THINK!
Great post Doug, one thing I would add is that finding time now for exercise and healthy choices will in most cases add years on to your lifespan and at a minimum make your later years much more active and mobile. In other words not making time now is just taking away time in the future