I’m back after only one post all week. The hiatus was a necessity to surviving our week of flu hell, but everyone seems back on track and healthy again.
It’s amazing how hard it is to get back into the swing of things when your routine changes. Last summer after running every day for several months, two weeks on holidays and I found it very difficult to get back to a routine of running at least 5 days a week. The last couple weeks, I’ve been exhausted and then we all came down with the flu and I’ve been finding it hard to get back into my daily routine at home and at work.
Many of us are creatures of habit. We do what we’ve always done because it’s easy and familiar. We live on auto-pilot and even with the best intentions and new routines in our lives, it doesn’t take much to fall back into old patterns. What are your routines and patterns? What are your habits, good or bad?
Try keeping track of how you spend your time for a week and then add up the hours spent doing different activities. If you watch 2 hours of television a week, you’ll have 14 hours right there. If you spend 30 minutes a day on social networking sites, you’ll rack up 3.5 hours. If you work out for 45 minutes 3 times a week, which comes to 2.25 hours. Your 30 minute commute to and from work 5 days a week adds up to 5 hours a week. Even little things like cleaning up the kitchen after dinner probably adds up to a few hours a week. All of our activities take time and it is important to know where you are spending your time. Just like your bank account, you need to know where the money is going so you have enough left for the important things. Time is more precious because we all have the same 24 hours a day. How you choose to spend that time is what will differentiate you from others.
Prioritize what you spend time on, because no matter how hard you work, or how smart you are, you will still only have 24 hours today. I often come back to television because I see so many people spending hour upon hour watching television. They say they don’t watch much but then I hear them talk about 10 different shows they watch religiously. I like television and grew up watching quite a bit, but I have to say that giving up cable was one of the best things I ever did. I pick one or two series a year to watch on DVD and that’s the extent of my viewing. I have time to do so many other things that seem more important for me.
It doesn’t matter whether you watch television and I’m not preaching that you give up your cable, I’m only suggesting that you really evaluate how you spend your time. Maybe television isn’t your problem but you work late into the night, sometimes coming home after your spouse or kids have gone to bed? Was this a good use of your time? Maybe it is some days, but it will likely affect your family life if it is a regular occurrence. Look at your routines and habits and see where you can change to better use the limited time you have. The clock hands move forward whether you are reading to your kids or watching reruns of some comedy. Just remember that your kids will grow up and move on and you may not have the opportunity to spend time with them when they are older. People pass away and we think to ourselves, I wish I had called; meanwhile we spent another late night at the office. Don’t waste the most valuable resource you have, your time.
Time is unforgiving; once it’s gone you can never retrieve it so make sure each moment counts.