I train clients early in the morning, from 6 am on, meaning they’re up before dawn to make it to the gym on time. Sometimes, often, they don’t make it quite at the designated hour.
What does it mean to be on time? If we start to break it down, we can quickly see that time is a construct, a convention–such as the use of punctuation–to get us on the same page. It’s a useful construct, except when our bodies, minds, and spirits don’t fall into line. What can we do to work with the time that we have without making our activities a burden?
This seems a no-brainer, but we can’t have more than one top priority. An activity or task is either top priority, second, third, 100th, and that’s okay. Listing our priorities in an order that makes sense helps us to see what is truly important, what can be left for later, and what can fall off the priority list all together.
When I was in yoga school, one of my teachers said that by making school the top priority, it would organize the rest of the time. She was right. The desire to fully immerse myself in study organized my time beautifully, including my meals (which had to be nourishing and portable), showers, work time, sleep and recovery time, you get the picture.
Look for the Opportunities.
Now that you know what’s really important to you and maybe have a grasp of how some activities and tasks fit together, look for the opportunities in the time construct. Look for efficiencies. Look for gaps. Look at your travel time. Can anything shift according to your priorities? If you move just one or two items or use pockets you hadn’t thought of (exercising while your laundry is in the wash,
A client of mine works until about 7 pm every night. He was lacking stamina and endurance to play with his young children. He decided he could leave the office one day each week at 530 pm so that he could train, and every other day he would walk for 15 minutes on the way home (getting off the subway a stop earlier). The decompression time spent walking and his goal-oriented weekly workouts gave him more energy plus he felt good about making a healthy change for himself and his family. Priorities.
Buy In or Don’t.
We run ourselves ragged because we have no time. Is it true? Some things we cannot change, and thus we should not expend the energy to fight them. But what about those things we can change, like our attitudes and relationship with time. When my very early morning clients arrive late, frantic, apologizing, I greet them with a smile and we move on. We work where we are with what we have. We have the time that we have and it has to be enough. What about eating. One client mentioned to me that she doesn’t have enough time to make dinner. I challenged her with the idea that eating should be up there on the priority list, since basically nothing else can happen if she doesn’t get to it. We laughed, but it isn’t funny. Is is good face not to have any time or is it a reality? What about racing home? Can we take it a little easier and not exhaust ourselves on the way home to relax? What are we racing to–or from?
Decide if you buy into the “no time” construct and see if you can choose not to buy it. If you prioritize and look for opportunities, maybe you won’t need to buy the hype of no time. I encourage you to let that go and instead see the whole that is available to you. There’s plenty. Enjoy it.