You may have read my post titled, How to Manage It All where I share how I manage MY time and the various things I juggle in life.
Well, it’s my most popular blog post and while I got SO much love and sweet comments on that post, I also received a lot of hate and rude ones.
Not to mention, those who said my tips were unrealistic read my 1500 word blog post AND took the time to write a comment, enter their name, and their e-mail…sooooo…
The post I am about to write may do the same thing, but like I said I am sharing MY schedule and MY life. No, I do not have kids. Does that discredit my ability to manage my time and be productive? NO.
I take pride in all that I do, and the techniques and statements I make can be applied to ALL lifestyles, you may just have to put a spin on it if you have more on your plate.
The tips I provided are practical…create a schedule/routine, combine tasks when you can, practice self-discipline, etc. Anyone and any schedule can do those.
So now that that’s out of the way, I wanted to share some hard truths about time management and what you can actually achieve in life.
But first, let’s break down our week.
There are 168 hours in a week.
I want to break those hours down…and I’m going to be generous with numbers here (this is roughly based off my schedule, so of course do this with your own!).
Sleep = 8 hours a day = 56 hours a week (really I sleep 6.5-7 hours though)
Work = 8 hours every week day = 40 hours a week
Commute = 2 hours every week day, let’s say 30 minutes each weekend day = 11 hours a week (I commute ~22 miles to work)
Getting ready/Showering = 1.5 hours a day = 10.5 hours a week (being very generous here)
Working out = 1-1.5 hours 6x a week = 9 hours a week
Eating = 1 hour a day = 7 hours a week
Miscellaneous (walking dogs, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.) = let’s just say 4 hours a week
Total hours taken up = 137.5
Hours left over = 30.5!!!
That’s almost another full-time job right there, and remember I was being generous with these numbers. Sometimes I only sleep 6.5 hours, sometimes my commute is a little shorter, sometimes I cut my workout short.
The thing is, that’s a lot of time left over.
Of course you may want to spend some time with your significant other and family for several hours.
And if you have kids you may only have 1-2 hours left over each week…maybe even just 30 minutes. We’ll get to that.
We all have different lifestyles and desires in life, so the key is prioritizing the most important things to YOU and managing your time around that.
That may mean you won’t be able to have rock solid abs. That may mean you can’t read a chapter every day or write a blog post each week. That may mean a lot of things.
However, if you WANT to make something a part of your life or if you want to make a change, it starts with adjusting your mindset from believing that thing is impossible to believing you can make it work.
You can’t do everything
Be realistic. I want to be able to manage everything I do plus be a bendy yogi master, properly rest/recover every day, harvest my own produce, diy my cleaning supplies, go hiking every weekend, and so much more but I CAN’T. It’s not feasible.
Same for you I’m sure. Unfortunately, most of our lifestyles are taken up by making a living and taking care of others/things. You may not be able to manage everything I do because you have kids, but what is a priority to you?
With the little extra time you do have, what do you really want to do with it??
You need to be honest with yourself
Do you actually not have time for things? Are you actually busy? Or are you actually spending 3 hours a day scrolling through social media?
You’re reading this blog post (which I appreciate of course), but how many articles did you read before this? Are you consuming too much and not actually doing anything with that information?
Don’t worry, I used to do that too. I kept reading articles about time management and productivity hoping to find the key to getting things done and finding success, but the answer was always there. Just focus on or start what you actually should be doing!
Sacrifice is necessary
I discussed sacrifice and opportunity cost in my original post, but it’s worth bringing it up again because it’s very important.
If you want to do something outside of working, sleeping, and other basics of life you are going to have to sacrifice something else.
I sacrifice going out/fun/entertainment and sometimes I sacrifice sleep because I would rather use my time to work on my side hustles.
What are you willing to give up in order to do something you want to/should do? If you’re not willing to give it up, you probably don’t really want it.
Progress can still be made in a short amount of time
From my example above, you can see that I spend about 9 hours at the gym each week (or 1.5 hours 6 days a week). That is ME. The gym makes me happy. I have strength and physique goals that most people don’t have.
In order to look and lift how I do, I have to train how I train. If you just want to be healthy and in shape, 1.5 hours in the gym every day is no where near necessary!!
30 minutes 3 times a week? Done. 15 minutes 5 times a week? Great! Just because you can’t dedicate hours to something doesn’t mean you can’t make progress!!
You can even start a side hustle with 10 minutes a day. It may take you longer to gain momentum or see results, but those 10 minutes add up.
I’ll break an example down for you:
These days, most endeavors that involve the internet are very practical. Blogging, YouTubing, social media, flipping, etc.
Let’s say you want to start an Instagram side hustle and you only can spare 10 minutes a day to do so. Many people profit off of sponsored IG posts or brand deals.
Day 1: Come up with username, niche, and a list of ideas and hashtags
Day 2: Create the account, follow a few relevant accounts, create a realistic posting schedule
Day 3: Take a photo of something, find a quote, etc (maybe you post it maybe you don’t)
Day 4: Post the image, write a decent caption, like/comment on a few accounts (you’ll gain a few followers)
Day 5: Find/take another image, brainstorm or write up a caption
Day 6: Post the image and caption, engage with other accounts
Day 7: Maybe you have an extra hour today so you go out and take 20-30 photos
This repeats for awhile, you post every other day and engage with others consistently.
Day 457: You now have 12,567 followers and a company just sent you some water bottles for free and they’re asking you to post a nice photo for $300.
Again…this repeats itself and maybe you get more free time a couple years from now and you can expand into blogging or Youtubing.
Progress is still progress. And if you’re willing to stay patient and consistent with ANYTHING you will start to see results.
Excuses are monuments of nothingness
“Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.” -Barack Obama
Over the years, I’ve learned to catch myself when I’m simply just making excuses. At the end of the day, MOST of the things we say we can’t do are just excuses. We hold ourselves back.
If you instead replace those excuses with action, you might just start seeing results.
You need to be self-aware
I am an avid listener of Gary Vee. He constantly preaches self-awareness.
You need to know yourself, what makes you tick, what makes you happy.
Spending my free time working out, blogging, and creating videos makes me happy. Watching Netflix all night and sleeping in late might make you happy, and that’s all that matters.
You need to design your life around what you want. If you can’t see yourself dedicating a lot of your time to something, then don’t. I think a lot of people desire something because they see others living a certain way. However, you may not have it in you.
I don’t mean that to insult or offend you, but you know yourself. Life is honestly quite simple, if you can manage the basics and still do things that make you happy, you’re doing a lot better than you think.
RELATED POST: 7 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think
You don’t have to fill every hour with productivity. That is how I operate. That is how I prefer to function. I get antsy “relaxing.” Doesn’t mean you have to be like that too.
With all that being said, I hope you found this and my other post helpful. Life can be difficult, but it’s really rather simple. Be practical with the things you do and honest with what you want, and you’ll find the “balance” that works for you.
I appreciate this blog post. You are 100% real on the subject of time management, and writing down and logging how much time we spend on things each day would be helpful in finding how much of a time window we have to do the things we want or need. And it’s so easy to waste time on social media if we aren’t investing it properly instead of hopelessly comparing our lives to others. Really we have no excuse, if something is worth our time we should invest it!
Thank you so much Mandy! Social media is a huge time waster, even for me some days. Thanks for reading 🙂
All I can say is YES! I could go on all day about people who have poor time management skills. I don’t mean to sound condescending and rude, but I truly believe that if you want something you’ll make time for it and if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. And I can’t stress this enough, there is NO shame in that. We only have so much free time in a day, and there is nothing wrong with not picking up a side hustle or fitness class because you’d rather spend time with your family, or reading a book, or whatever leaves you feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. But don’t complain about not having enough hours in the day when you spend every evening watching Netflix [unless that is something you truly enjoy, and in that case keep doing what makes you happy 🙂 ]
(PS, I just wanted to say I am so sorry to hear that you got a lot of rude comments over your post ‘How to Manage It All’. I personally loved that post, in fact, it’s the reason I started following you blog.)
EXACTLY!! Glad you understand 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment!!
This is so eye-opening! By breaking down the hours of things you need to do, it does show that there is a lot of time left over… and then what do we do with that time? I’ve become more diligent about my time and schedule everything out on my calendar. It looks insane, but you do start to realize that “not having enough time” is just an excuse. I love this! Thanks so much for sharing!
The first time I broke down my week I was shocked!! Thanks for reading Erin 🙂
The part about workouts resonates with me. Since having a kid I do not have time to be at the gym 1.5 hours a day, or I should say, it’s not a priority for me. Although I used to! Instead, I’ve been super mindful with my diet and working out about 30 minutes a day, but super intense and focused when I do. I’m not against longer workouts it’s just what works for me right now is more rigid meal planning and shorter workouts.
Bravo Leila! Good for you.
Thank you! 🙂
This is a great post and very inspiring! You seem to be living a great life that you want and makes you happy at such a young age – how did you get so smart 😉 I am only a few years older and struggling- not happy in my job that takes up 9 hours of my day plus an hour commute, 5 days a week. But I have no idea what I want to do with my life, I feel like I don’t really have a passion for anything enough to make a career/life out of it. I recently went back to school for my Master’s degree and hoping that brings me new opportunity. Excuses are just the easy way out, and I am trying to not let them stop me anymore. You have some really good points, great post!
Hi Molly thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Ever since I was a child I’ve been different from others, I never did/felt how others did. I’m honestly not sure where my drive and passions come from, I just know I don’t want to live a “typical” life.
My full-time job is not my passion, but I always look for the positive within my job (the people, some of the work I do, the income, etc.). Outside of work I make sure to do things that bring me peace and happiness.
To discover your passion, think of what it is that you love/enjoy doing, and you would be willing to do it for free. If it sounds impossible to create a career out of your passion, that’s probably not true. Many people have careers in very specific niches, it’s just a matter of searching for it and taking action on it. The time will pass anyway and if you love to do it you won’t mind not making money off of it for months or even years.
Hopefully that helps 🙂
I love your blog!
Thank you soo much!! 🙂
I love your posts. Thanks for keeping it real. It’s true what you’ve said and I needed to read this because sometimes I forget that there are people who are
Ore dedicated than me. It reminds me to not settle just to feel like I can “fit in” with a status quo that isn’t even mine. Thanks again for your article!
There will always be people more dedicated or more “anything,” so just do your best!! Thank you for reading and your kind comment 🙂
Both of these articles were wonderful to read and I can’t wait to put some of these applications into my own life. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much Ryan! 🙂
OMG Leila, I never thought of breaking my weekly hours down!!
I just set a vague schedule for every day then don’t understand when I can’t complete it…
In my case I have a 9 month old, but that doesn’t stop me getting up early, being productive during nap times and I now have two blogs!
Great post 🙂 Lucie xo
Thanks so much Lucie!
Props to you for still aiming for productivity with a baby and not using that as an excuse! I’m glad this post helped you. Your blog looks amazing by the way 😊❤
As a business owner and mom this is absolutely one of the best articles I have read about time management.
Your are 100% on the mark for managing our time. It is our own responsibility and no one else’s.
Keep up the great work!
Thank you so much!
I appreciate people like you who can respect that we have differences in our lives, but know that the time management concept is still the same.
Love this! And the one before it! You are so right! Sacrifice. That is the part I have been missing. Ignore the haters. People want it all without having to give anything up. THAT is what is unrealistic.
Totally agree! Thanks so much Sarah 😊
This and the post related which you mentioned at the beginning are both really well written and so helpful!! You’re right and I just have to DO things and not only wish for them. The time line you made with the thirty extra hours are really eye opening!! Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll try to change my laziness because I actually really want to change. 💪✨
Glad you like them and appreciate you reading them Tess!
Best of luck, you can do this!! ❤️
I love it Leila! I can’t believe how much time is left over in the week that I just let pass by. I honestly think that one of my biggest issues is trying to take on more DIY projects than I should. Especially deep cleaning ones. I know that those are productive, but I can get so frustrated by my lack of DIY skills that I end up wasting a lot of time by calling it quits a little too early. It’s actually why I started hiring a tile cleaning service to come out and help me get that done once or twice a year. It feels like I was given a gift of time in addition to the cleaner tiles. I can’t wait to start directing your content here a little more to see other ways I can better use my time. Thanks for sharing.