A Simple Guide to Making Time – No Time Travel Required
By CrossFit Black Bear | August 13, 2016
The one chore I was given that day…
“Take the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and put them in the cupboard.”
That was it. The one chore I was given that entire day during the most epic summer vacation of my youth. “Yep, sure. Got it, dad.” And off I went, cavorting around the neighborhood for the rest of the day.
Did I take the dishes out? No, of course not.
That evening, despite my assertion that I simply, “Didn’t have time!” my dad blasted me with this nugget of wisdom, “It’s not that you didn’t have time, it’s that you didn’t make time.” A profound statement which in that very moment did not make any impact whatsoever on my 10 year old brain.
But think about it…
It’s not about having time, but about making time.
It’s a beautifully simple concept. And applicable in many areas of life. For our staff at CrossFit Black Bear, we put this into context as prioritizing your health.
Make time in your day to do something positive towards your health and wellness.
Yet, as simple a concept as it is the question still remains…
How do I make time?
Ahh, the question on everyone’s mind that never quite seems to get answered. Well rather than dive into Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the Space-Time Continuum, let’s get down to business in a much more manageable way (aka, no physics degree required!).
I bet if I asked you to describe your typical day, you could rattle off a list of activities, places, people,and things in the span of a few minutes…
But what if I asked you to describe the “perfect day”?
You would probably need to pause and think about it for a while.
In exactly the same way that goal setting will help you lose weight, or get stronger, having a vision for what your ideal day looks like will help make that dream a reality. Without that target, you have nothing to shoot for. Mindlessly going through your day without any goal leads to lost and inefficient time.
One of the tools we use at CrossFit Black Bear to combat this inefficiency is called “Time Blocking”. This is exactly what it sounds like…you separate each day into discreet blocks (anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour blocks) and assign an activity for that time period.
Time Blocking is a way to visually see your day as a snapshot. You first notice areas of non-negotiables (that is work, sleep, commuting,etc) as well as areas where you have a little more flexibility (yard work, social events, etc). The power of this tool comes from seeing the free time that shows up throughout the week. You can begin to see more accurately how your time is spent, both efficiently and inefficiently. Here is a quick example of what a week might look like:
As you can see, our time blocks are organized into 3 distinct categories:
Personal Improvement Goals
Family and Lifestyle Goals
Financial and Corporate Goals
If we are to keep from burning out, we need to focus on balancing these three distinct objectives. By assembling our time blocks this way, we can easily see where we need to spend more focus. The idea here is to balance all the various goals so each is about 1/3 of your week.
If you are someone who consistently feels overwhelmed, stressed out, and like the day just gets away from you, then do yourself a favor and start Time Blocking! The simple act of organizing your daily activities can help alleviate some of this stress. And by breaking days down into smaller, more manageable tasks you can tackle one objective at a time, for a specified amount of time – rather than becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume of projects to accomplish.
Once you have a better sense of how you are spending your time you can start to tweak how you use your time blocks to better fit your vision of an ideal day. While you will still have non-negotiables that can’t be modified, there will be times that you can start to fill in with tasks or events that make your life better on a daily basis. Finally you actually can make time to do something positive towards your health and wellness.
I challenge you to really look at where you spend your time. Try our Time Blocking Tool and find out where you can make a change in your own life. The best way to start feeling healthier, stronger, and more focused is to make health and wellness an everyday part of your life.
Prioritizing your health will make all the difference.