What on earth could managing my time have to do with feeling great and being healthy? Well, everything and nothing. Time management can at times be a challenge for everyone. Is it for you? When we are challenged to manage time, we often start to feel afraid. This fear then creates an undercurrent of distress that in time will deplete our energy if we don’t keep a handle on things.
On deeper look, as we allow our focus to be split between whatever we are currently doing in any moment and what we think we should be doing, our groundedness and inner calm start to wane. Add to that any other emotional factors (excitement, discomfort, self-doubt, fear, anxiety – you name it), and there is more energy burning. Factor in feelings of frustration when we haven’t managed our time well, and we’re heading towards a serious decline in wellbeing. If we let ourselves spiral into this level of busy-ness and distress, we will start to relegate our health choices to the quickest easiest choices – which are not always best for our body, mind and soul.
This, of course, is a worst case scenario that I used to demonstrate my point about time. Really, when we look at it – time really is all we have in this life, and it is limited. Beyond the question of how we want to spend our short time on this planet (a good one to ponder), it is helpful to really tune in to how we are managing our time, and how we are creating space in our lives to be and feel healthy.
For most of the people I speak to and for many of you guys who have shared your challenges with me, time more than any other factor, is the number one challenge to achieving and maintaining optimal health and vitality.
So, are you a maven of time management or looking to improve your game?
Take this simple quiz to find out where you land on the scale of catastrophe to mastery. Get out a paper & pen or open up your Notes app on your phone and answer these simple questions:
1) Off the top of your head, what are your three biggest goals right now, or what are the most important things to you?
2) How much of each day are you allocating to these?
3) If health IS on this list, how much time do you devote specifically to healthy body, mind, and soul per week?
3b) If health is NOT on this list, what health goal/ goals would you add and how much time is going towards this? (include workouts, relaxing, meditation, eating & cooking, and any other health care activity).
When we really look at our goals and our progress, we start to see whether we are directing our resources (time, intention, and money) towards where we say we want to be. Just like we budget our spending and balance our accounts regularly, it is vital that we stay attuned to how we are using our time in support of the things that matter most to us.
If you are spending less than 1-2 hours per day on your health regularly, your body may be giving you signs of distress. Fatigue, hormonal imbalance, insomnia, pain and many other signs and symptoms indicate your time management may need adjusting.
Helpful keys in optimizing time:
1) Create a workable, flexible schedule which includes what matters most to you every day
2) Identify ways in which you waste time and reduce those
3) Stay accountable! if you schedule something, do it; if something comes up, reschedule!
4) Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. I know – for many of us this is the most challenging. And often, just by being willing to reduce the ways we waste time, we find more hours in the day for what matters.
5) Slow down. Eek! I know. – And really. Take 5-10 minutes of every day just to slow down and get grounded, centered, and whole again.
One Last Thing…
Time is our greatest commodity. At the end of the day, our bodies, our children, and the world at large are imprinted upon in the time we have with each of them. Our time counts, just like each one of us counts. In the bigger picture, giving ourselves, our health, and our goals our time is the greatest gift we have.