It seems like the most common complaint today is not having enough time. “I don’t have time to go to the gym”, “I don’t have time to cook”, “I don’t have time to read” …. You get the picture. We’ve all been there, and maybe even for good reason. But, if you don’t take care of yourself now, everything else starts to unravel as well.
(Please remember we have moved. New URL for this post: http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2006/11/12/finding-time-for-whats-important/
Gabrielle Reece wrote some great posts on how to deal with this problem when it comes to your physical fitness and nutrition: Just 10 Minutes a Day and Fitness Strategies for Stressful Times. She recommends taking “baby steps” when approaching a new goal by setting lots of mini-goals that can help you reach your big goal and having a plan in place so that when things do start to come apart, you have a strategy.
Mini-goals and strategic plans also happen to be great stress reducers. If the main goal (or deadline or project) seems to be just too much, try breaking it down into smaller pieces. Often you’ll find once you get into it, it’s not so difficult or daunting. The stressful part is just staring at it and feeling overwhelmed. Make a plan with definitive action items and then attack. Here is a sample fitness plan and some questions to consider to help you with those hectic times.
Another great stress reducer is a social network — which can be made up of friends, family, or both. If you’re trying to find ways to increase your physical and mental fitness or nutrition, try roping in some of the people in your life. A teammate can make the task more fun and increase your odds of following through. Your buddy can drag you out on the days that you really feel like staying in bed! Heather Long has written some great posts on Family Fitness and brain fitness for the family. Try doing some things together — going for a walk together, taking an active vacation together, playing a game together after dinner, seeing a play together and then talking about it. There are lots of ways to get your minds and bodies working while spending some quality time together.
The great thing is that when you make time for the truly important things, the positive results snowball. Your physical health may be your goal, but your brain fitness, emotional stability, and mental health will benefit as well, which will in turn improve your relationships and self-image. And guess what, all that will probably help your career more than working nonstop until you’re exhausted, stressed, and sick.