Sassy Moment #14 Time Bandits

Good morning ladies, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and listen in, this is the Sassy Moments podcast, Moment # 14 – time bandits.

Back in moment #12, busy badges, I mentioned in passing the concept of time bandits.  I want to talk about these little critters more today.  I first encountered the concept of time bandits during my nutrition coach training through Precision Nutrition.  They have a lot of really creative thinkers in that organization.  One of the chief coaches refers to herself as the Chief of headspace rearrangement.  I’m still in touch with my coach from that training program, which was – well, long enough ago that his then toddler is well into elementary school.  He was instrumental in helping me wrap my brain around the idea of leaving medicine.  I digress again this time down memory lane – sorry – back to time bandits. 

I love this concept and the visualization it conjures up.  There are endless virtually invisible time sucks in our day and if we don’t consciously hunt for them we won’t find them.  Time bandits have evolved with society and they have deeply and imperceptibly infiltrated our psyche.  Our most common excuse for not prioritizing our health – “I don’t have time!”  These sneaky thieves sell busyness and hustle camouflaged as dedication and determination.   But they are bandits – they steal our time.  

Time is the great equalizer.  We all have the exact same 24 hours in a day.  And there is nothing we can do about it.  The sun will rise and the sun will set, no matter how much you shake your fist at it.  Time does not discriminate, it shows no favorites…  it just keeps on ticking – mercilessly or lovingly depending on your mindset.  The only control you have over time is your perception of it.  Love it or hate it, the choice is yours… and as I’ve said before – choice is a beautiful thing.

Want to feel younger?  Get a grip on your perception of time.   Chances are, you believe time is scarce.  There is never enough of it.  Right?  What if that is not true?  What if you always have exactly enough time?  

Yes, yes, yes – I heard the collective groan.  What planet am I from? How can I be so out of touch with reality?  After all, you have a full time career that is very important to you, helps feed the kids, and pay the bills.  You have elderly parents that you want to visit and absolutely should visit. The kids have soccer practice, piano and karate lessons.  Add to that the laundry, the cooking and a dishwasher that does not empty itself.  And then I dare suggest you sleep 8 hours a night? and find 30 minutes of ‘me time’ every day.  Dream on right?

Let’s start with catching a few time bandits. Quick, what were you doing last Thursday evening after dinner?  Or how about the Monday morning before that?  Were you using your time effectively and efficiently? 

There are so many time wasters, the little bandits, stealing our most valuable commodity, wreaking havoc with our day.  What can be done to get these thieves under control?  First, increase awareness that they are even there.  How many time bandits do you encounter daily? Facebook, Instagram, TV, you tube, podcasts.  The sneaky little buggers are everywhere.

Try a time journal.  Track how you are actually spending your time over the course of one ‘typical’ day.  Set a timer for every 15 minutes.  From the time you wake, to the time you go to bed, every time the timer chirps, simply write down what you were doing – eating breakfast, commuting to work, board meeting, answering email, scrolling Facebook, walking to cafeteria, kid’s soccer game etc.  Don’t judge.  Just observe and document.  Be an impartial observer of yourself as you go through your day.  

When you get a few minutes (preferably when you are not exhausted), review and reflect on how you spent your 16 hours that day. 

What were the time wasters?

Notice any patterns?

Are your activities helping you move toward your goals and become the woman you want to become?

You might be surprised how you actually spend your time compared to how you think you spend your time.  You might be sitting in traffic considerably longer than you estimate.   The drive through for that cup of coffee is backed up more often than you want to admit.  It takes your 7 year old ‘forever’ to put on her boots and winter jacket, to get to gymnastics practice.  And you wonder how she tumbles around without breaking her neck when she can barely thread a zipper.

Our attention is the most precious gift we can give.  Honestly tracking how we spend our time sheds light on our true priorities.  A time journal keeps us honest, if we are courageous enough to explore.  How we spend our time is a reflection of our values and priorities.  Whether we like it or not, our schedules do not lie.  

Look for and catch a few time bandits.  Rather than letting time slip away, you can take that time, reframe it and move toward your health and wellness goals.  

At the risk of sounding harsh, you have time.  You DO.  You have just as much time as every other living soul on this planet.  We all have 24 hours a day 365 days a year – that is 8,760 hours. Assuming you sleep 8 hours a day, 30 minutes a day approximately 3% of your waking day and adds up to ~ 182.5 hours per year.  It adds up to quite a bit – certainly enough to make a significant, sustainable change.  

Dare to make your health and wellness a priority in your life.

Our attention is the most precious gift we can give to ourselves and to others.  Believe you have more than enough time – change your perspective from one of scarcity to abundance.   

Chat again soon!

Live Life, Love Life, Always…