All Hours are NOT created equal


May 10, 2021

 by Leon Beeloo
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Today, I'd like to talk about the one thing we all have available. Our Time.

It is also something we are often times simply unaware of.

It doesn't matter you age, gender, social position or really anything else. We all get just 24-hours each day to move ourselves through our life.

What we do and spend our time and attention on will dictate who we are and what we accomplish.

In particular, let's look at

  • how we live our priorities through our schedule
  • how we can and should balance our time

As a coach, I look for ways to help my clients manage their time more effectively to improve theri nutrition habits.

So when it comes to coaching my clients, the first exercise I have them do to improve their awareness is to track their time.  The goal of course is to get them thinking more intentionally about how their time is spent and what behaviors can be changed to improve this. So there are a number of ways to track your time, you can start off with a simple piece of paper, you can use a spreadsheet or you can use an app on your phone (like Clockify or Toggl or Hours Keeper).  Your goal is to track your activity throughout the day (in 15-minute increments).  An example might look like this.

  • 6:30 Wake up

  • 6:45 Shower, get dressed

  • 7:00 Breakfast

  • 7:30 Leave for work

  • 7:30 – 8:45 Commuting

  • 9:00 At work

  • 9:00 – 10:15 Working

  • 10:15 Coffee break

And so on for the rest of the day.

OK with the day mapped out, your next step is to observe and analyze your day. Take a look at your diary. Add up the time spent on various tasks. For example:

  • 9 hours – at work (total)

  • 4 hours – at work, actually working

  • 2.5 hours – at work, cruising Facebook

  • 30 minutes – at work, hanging out with coworkers talking about reality TV

  • 2 hours – at work, making doodles in a meeting

  • 2.5 hours – commuting

  • 1.5 hours – TV

  • 1 hour – workout

And so on.

Next, take some time to answer the following questions.

  1. How am I spending my time? Look at the time spent on all tasks.

  2. What are my top priorities in coaching… and in life? What is important to me — what brings me joy? If you aren’t sure what your life priorities are, this is a good time to think about them.

  3. How much time am I really spending on my top coaching priorities? Does your schedule reflect your values?

  4. What are my “time-suckers”? Time-suckers are things that take up time, but don’t really benefit you. This could be standing in a lineup, watching TV, cruising the internet, being physically at work but not doing anything productive, etc.

  5. Given this, what could I change about my schedule so that my time reflects my top coaching priorities? What might you need to change or adjust? How could you do more of what you love, or more of what you need to do in order to improve your results?

Notice how improving your awareness of time spent changes your behavior.

Cool, huh?

Consider some possible changes to how you live your days.

Could you…

…do fewer things, but with more focus? Creating a priority list will help you decide what to do first.

…cut down one “time sucker”? If necessary, use a timer. Decide in advance that you’ll spend 10 minutes creeping your old high school friend’s Facebook page, or watching videos of cute baby animals, and no more. When that alarm goes off, you’re done. Say goodbye to the party photos and sneezing baby pandas.

…ask for help? Delegate? (Yeah, we know, it’s hard.)

...uni-task instead of multi-task? Studies show that contrary to what you might expect, doing ONE thing at a time, with your full attention, works much better than trying to juggle a bunch of stuff at once. (Now doesn’t that approach sound familiar?)

…plan and prepare more effectively? For instance, an hour of food prep time on the weekend might be worth five hours of free time during the week.

…let one small responsibility or task go? Check your “time sucker” list to see if there’s something that’s easy to dump.

…find one small way to chase your joy, or improve your coaching practice. Do you love running? Paint by numbers? Philately? Learning ancient Sanskrit? How could you juggle your schedule to do more of that?

Start modestly.

See if you can add 15 minutes of something important while removing 15 minutes of something unimportant.

Or, see if you can give a task your undivided attention for a full 5–10 minutes without checking email.

 
 
 

Want more guidance on this?

Message me at m.me/leonbeeloo and I will add you to a playbook that includes 7 Strategies to Improve your focus on your Health and Fitness