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.