Have you watched THE VIDEO?
You know, the one about us having $84,600 every day and we ultimately choose how we spend it?
If you haven’t, here it is. I must say it is quite inspiring and it did touch my emotional bones.
“Imagine if you woke up every day with $84,600 in your bank account. And every day, at the end of the night, it’s gone. Whether you waste it or not and then the next day you get another $84,600. You would do anything in your power to spend it. Because you know the next day you’ll get $84,600. You don’t wanna leave nothing there. You make the best of it right? You get 84,600 seconds, why waste time? It doesn’t carry over to the next day. It doesn’t earn interest. Take every day, and every moment to make something of it.”
BAM. How powerful is that? Puts time into a whole lot of different perspective isn’t it? I’m sure it does for me.
Which is why today, I will tell you why saying “you don’t have time” is the biggest lie ever. I will tell you why saying “you don’t have time” is one of lives biggest excuse. And I will tell you what you can do to seize the 84,600 seconds we get every day to change your body, your life and the way you look at things.
I just don’t have time…
We’ve all said it before. And we all say it when we don’t want to feel guilty about skipping a workout or preparing a meal or when life simply gets too busy. Here are some examples I’ve personally used myself. Let’s see if you can tick the boxes.
I work fourteen hour shifts. I don’t have time to go to the gym before or after work.
I am busy taking care of my kids’ homework. I don’t have time to prepare meals for the week.
I get so tired after work. I don’t have time (or energy) to cook dinner. I’ll just go grab some Thai.
My boyfriend called me up for a last minute movie date. Obviously I don’t have time to bring some healthy snacks. Let’s have some Ben & Jerrys.
The problem with being okay with not having time means we’re normally okay with having something else. Let’s list that down too.
By being okay with not having time to workout, we are allowing ourselves to be okay with gaining some undesirable weight.
By being okay with not having time to prepare our meals, we are allowing ourselves to be okay with getting some unhealthy takeouts or whatever we feel like having at that time.
By being okay with not having time to cook dinner, we are allowing ourselves to be okay for skipping meals.
By being okay with not having time to bring some snacks along, we are allowing ourselves to be okay for getting something from the candy bar. Which is usually 100% processed and unhealthy.
Get the drift? From today onwards we are going to take this whole phrase ‘I don’t have time’ out from our dictionary no matter how scary it may seem.
Change your language
Earlier last week, I was up in Singapore for a business trip. While I was busy going around from one appointment to another, I didn’t have the time to hit the gym or make food. Truth is, I simply didn’t make gym time and cooking time important enough to make time for it.
If you say you don’t have time, it simply means you’re not making it a priority.
See, here’s the thing. When we tell ourselves something is not a priority, we are making a conscious effort to know that time is really, a choice. There’s a difference between saying you don’t have time and you don’t want to do something, and more often than not, we don’t always realise that we do have time, we just don’t want to do it.
The next time you’re urged to say you don’t have time, try saying “it’s not a priority” instead and see how that feels. By saying “it’s not a priority”, we can then tell whether something makes sense or not. Here are some examples.
“I don’t want to meet you today because it is not a priority.” This is definitely understandable. You probably have other more important things to do in your life.
But this, on the other hand, is a little tricky:
“I don’t want to start exercising because my health is not a priority.” See what I mean? It simply doesn’t make sense.
Now, I want you to try it. Identify something you are guilty about that you just don’t have time to do and say it out loud with the words “not a priority” replacing “don’t have time.” You’ll be amazed by how powerful the argument can be. And you really don’t want to put health as your last priority, no?
Let’s keep a time log
Back to the video at the start of this article, we are all blessed with 84,600 seconds a day, no matter where we are in this world. From the time the clock strikes twelve to 23:59:59, we have 84,600 seconds. The time we don’t use is not going to carry forward nor will it earn interest for future use.
Because time passes so quickly, we rarely have the time to acknowledge the time we are given. In other words, we don’t normally think through how we spend the hours. This theory is much like the foods we eat. Unless you’re consciously making the effort to know what you’re putting in your mouth, we seldom think about what we’re eating. Which is why keeping a food journal makes sense.
But do you think keeping a time journal works?
I tried it out and it actually does. A few days ago, after watching that video, I did a little challenge for myself. I figured that counting down to the seconds makes things hard to track so instead, I tracked the minutes. From the time I woke up to the time I go to bed, I consciously kept a lookout at what time I start doing things, and what time it ended, and I wrote it down. On a side note, I listed out the things I actually have to do i.e. my priorities and hopefully by the end of the day I will complete them all.
The results? I actually did finish up everything I have to do, but here’s the shocking thing: I spent 79 minutes on my phone checking up on Facebook, Twitter or just aimless doing unproductive things. 79 minutes!
Now imagine you had the same results. And then imagine what other things you can actually do with that 79 minutes you just wasted. Perhaps preparing some good meals for the next three days? Or even, getting a workout in? That’s more than enough time.
A good lesson learned from that experiment is that although what we do for the bulk of our day matters, it’s the small nifty ones that adds up. The next time you think you don’t have time, try keeping a time log for a day or two and you’ll be surprised on how much time you can do those things you initially said you didn’t have the time for.
The truth is…
At the end of it all, how you choose to spend your time defines your priority. If you keep telling yourself you love something, but you just don’t have time to do it, it simply means you’re putting other things ahead of you — watching TV, chilling on your porch people watching or video-gaming.
Ask yourself what you would like to do with your time. If we get 24 hours a day, and we ideally spend eight hours sleeping and ten hours at work, that leaves us with six hours, more than enough time to work out, cook and spend some time for yourself.
Ultimately, be honest with what you’re saying you’re doing with your time because the only person you’re lying to is yourself and the only thing you’re affecting is your health, if you’re putting off exercising because you claim not to have time.
And be honest if you really think that your health is not a priority.
Small steps, big gains
Make it work. If you’re guilty of saying you don’t have time to exercise but you really want to lose weight or start being healthier, then make it a priority but don’t scare yourself.
If you haven’t worked out ever, start with just ten or fifteen minutes of workout time, walking around your block. You don’t need sixty whole minutes. Build up the time and see pretty awesome results. And I will say it again, do things one step at a time in your quest of picking up new habits.
Now you can’t say you don’t have time to walk for fifteen minutes, can you?
What are your priorities?
Time is one of life’s most precious resource. It goes away, fast. If you really think you don’t have time, I challenge you to keep a time log for the next three days. At the end of the day, it’s not what you say that is important to you, it’s what you do that is important to you.
You can get a great workout in less than 30 minutes so I don’t accept that excuse of not having time.
You have time, you’re just not making it a priority. Now change your language and see if it all makes sense.
We all have 84,600 seconds in a day. While the number of seconds given to us every day is not our choice, what we do with those seconds are. Even if you don’t acknowledge it, what you choose to spend on those 84,600 seconds are your priorities, including lurking around Facebook. Make the most out of the time we’re granted and see how productive your life can be.
Leave a comment below starting with this sentence…
I thought ____________ is my priority but it really isn’t. But I will _________________ to make it a real priority.
I’ll kick it off in the comment below. I want to hear what yours are.
Now excuse me while I seize the rest of my pretty awesome day. Have a good one. :)
Need more help with making the most of your time? Click here. I have something for you. :)