The Truth About “Spare Time”

change messages Oct 25, 2010

One of my executive coaching clients recently had an “a-ha” moment I thought might be relevant to many of you. (The bold emphasis in the following quote is hers, not mine.)

“It's hard to find time to exercise and I need to get back in the habit of scheduling it. I will never have "spare" time to exercise. I have to make time and I have to see that time as a gift to myself, and a commitment that I'm not willing to break.

This statement comes from a female executive who works very long hours (both inside and outside the office), often travels for her job, has a husband and two children, is writing a book, has personal projects on the side, and gets by on little sleep.

Perhaps your schedule isn’t as crazy as this – or maybe it’s worse – but I think you can identify with the struggle of all the things you have to do in a day on top of trying to eat healthy and finding time to exercise. It’s ironic that the last two items I mentioned are usually put on the bottom of the list and are considered “optional” or “bonus” items if there’s time left over, when putting them at the top of the list would allow us to have more energy, to be more productive, and resilient.

There will always be more work to do.  Are you ever really “done” with your to-do list? Think back to the last time you had extra time on your hands….when was it?

SHIFT: What would happen if you anchored your day around your workouts? If you looked at your calendar for tomorrow, figured out the best time to exercise (even if it’s only for a few minutes), wrote it in, made it the priority it is, and then scheduled everything else around it?

“Finding extra time” somewhere is never going to happen. Stop kidding yourself.  Focus on your priorities and follow through on one of the most important commitments you can make to yourself and the important people in your life.

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