#12 - Tips for Finding Time

Are you exhausted?  I am.  Physically and emotionally the last week has been tough.  I was elated last week, watching people come together to support women's rights and to fight for our beliefs, but what I quickly learned this week is this... the fight can be all consuming.  As I we have a lot on our plates already and adding "being an active and engaged citizen" to the list, no longer means just reading "The Skimm" every morning.  

So how do we find the time?   

First things first...what actually needs to fit into a day?

Have you ever actually timed out your "perfect work day"  - you know the one where you wake up early, have a great start to your day that includes: working out (1 hr), cooking a homemade breakfast (30 min), having time to shower AND do your hair (1 hour, spend some time with your babies (30 min) and read the news with your coffee (30 min), all before you leave the house to commute 30 minutes get to work at a reasonable hour (let's say 8:30am).  This means you are waking up at 4:30am and let's be honest - that just sucks.  

Now add in all the stuff you want to get done during work hours and AFTER work... most of us end up planning about 20 hour days...completely forgetting about the need to actually sleep for 7-8 hours (and according to Arianna Huffington (and a ton of sleep experts! - missing sleep will directly impact our ability to Thrive!)

So it's no wonder that whenever we want to make a significant change, it's difficult to find the time - finding a new job, working extra hours to take on a new project, training for a marathon, or becoming more active in local politics!) 


  • MAKE AN ACTUAL LIST: What are you expecting to accomplish?  How much time will it ACTUALLY take?  Is it realistic?  What about the time it takes to transition from one task or activity to the next?  (Personally, I'm terrible at factoring in LA Traffic!) 
  • FORGET ABOUT YOUR IDEAL DAY: Plan out a week or even a month at a time.   We actually can not do it all - at least not in one day.  Take a look at your list and prioritize what things you want to accomplish and the time you are willing to a lot to each item.  There may be some things that need to happen each day but for the most part, you can spread them out across the week or even a month.
  • BLOCK TIME!  If you've heard me speak or you've been reading this newsletter for awhile, you often hear me talk about CONSCIOUS CHOICES.  It is a game changer!  Don't let things creep into the time you've dedicated to something else.  Add all the activities to your actual calendar (along with transition/travel time) and set reminders.  Now instead of that 5pm meeting just popping onto your calendar and impacting your ability to make 5:30 yoga, you need to consciously accept the 5pm meeting and move time for yoga, or accept that this meeting was too important for you to miss (and don't worry you've already scheduled out a few other workouts for that week so you are good!)
  • DOWN TIME & SET LIMITS:  This one is the hardest for me!  You've made your list, you've set realistic timelines - but have you added in some down time?   What about limits? Is read the news going to spiral into 3 hours of late night Facebooking (or is that just me??). If you are also looking for time to read the neverending onslaught of news these days, find what works for you! 15 minutes in the morning & 15 in the evening catching up on news is awesome!  You don't actually have to be a slave to twitter to stay engaged in what's happening! More importantly, take breaks! Make sure you are adding in some space for self-care or to just veg on the couch with your partner.  I literally have a block on my calendar for family time every Sat & Sun from 12pm -7pm!  It helps me keep space to just enjoy time with my husband and daughter  (even if we do spend it at Target!)  
  • *BONUS TIP* Did you know there are apps to help with this?  I'm experimenting with Freedomto reduce distractions.  I'll keep you all posted on whether or not I like it!



Mary Beth Ferrante