Hello all.. so happy to meet you through yet another post. If you’ve come here through my IG channel/FB page you would already know the analogy that motivated me to write this post. For those who are reading here directly, here is the short story. Others can skip to the next section.
” Imagine you have a suitcase and you want to pack your things in it. If you are going to pack by dumping like how heroines in serials/films do when they leave, you are definitely not going to be able to pack everything you need. However, if you take some time to fold your clothes, group your things and arrange in order, then you would definitely be able to accommodate more than what you did in the first method. This applies to our lives as well. All of us have the same size suitcase- 24 hours in a day. How much are we going to accommodate depends on the method we follow in our life”
This was a story I had heard when I was in my seventh grade and it had a major impact on me. I have always ensured to think twice before I make the statement of lack of time. In today’s world it is all the more important for us to think more as a major chunk of time is spent on ‘social media’- looking at other’s lives. I recently saw a post by a fellow Instagrammer wherein she had shared her daily digital usage stats and it was an alarming 7 hours!!! Now I know you would think “that’s not me”, but let me tell you that I have noticed many a times that just a scroll through the feed or Whatsapp group forwards can very easily consume 20 minutes of my time- it just goes off in a blink! Since her post, I have set timers on my IG and FB in particular and if I exceed that those apps freeze for the day. I do need to browse them to read fellow posts and blogs and see if I can get any content ideas too, so if you are just scrolling the feed looking at what others are doing, it is better to have strict time limits.
I have had some people even say that I am Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and hence it is easier to find time- judgement, judgement! I do have a very busy day with a toddler and I have a life apart from being a mom. It is not about what you ARE- full time working mom, college student, traveler etc., it is about what you DO with your time. My health is a priority for me. Hence I choose to invest time in it. Exercise has been a part of my life while being a student, a working professional, a pregnant woman- so the role doesn’t matter. Now coming to the real question- ‘ Why do we all struggle to fit workouts/reading a book as a routine?’- The answer is simple. We aim at doing these every day of our life and since we cannot, we fail. It is not even advisable to workout 7days/week.
When you begin something, aim to first do it 3 days/week. In two weeks time you will set
a routine. That would motivate you to keep adding up your frequency. 5 months back, I started with 3 days a week and now I workout 5 days a week. I built it up slowly. Do not aim for 100% right at the start. 100% never works well- it only adds stress. Now let us discuss different scenarios which you might actually consider a struggle, but you can probably clean up your routine.
- You are working, commute takes so much time and you are unable to fit it in: Look at your weekends. Are you so busy that you CANNOT take just thirty minutes out of the day? If you are going to workout on weekends, already you’ve won 2 days in the week. So you just have to focus on ONLY 1 day or 2 day at max in the rest of the week! Try waking up just 30 minutes early for those 2 days alone- you can fit your workout in!
- I travel a lot: Woohoo!! Enjoy your travel moments. There is no need of a gym these days. Grab your resistance bands and you can workout right in your hotel room. No bands? No problem. Do 30 mins of sun salutations and you will get a total body workout! You don’t even need your shoes for this.
- 30 minutes is too much for me– I generally do not recommend anything less than 30 mins. Your body needs at least 20 mins to set into the workout. But still, these days we have even 15 min high intensity workouts. Do them. But the rest of the day, try staying active and clock maybe 12,000-15,000 steps. Take stairs in office, go for a 15 min walk post lunch, walk a little every one hour, do 10 squats every time you take a restroom break 😉 . Little things count. (But give a serious consideration if 30 minutes is HONESTLY too much of your time- probably cut down on Social media?)
- Day goes with managing the toddler– I understand. Please use your little one’s nap time to focus on yourself. Just 30 minutes. The cooking and cleaning can wait for those few minutes. I will soon put up my schedule so that it can help fellow mommas.
- There is no time to sit and read a book– I was a victim of this for a very long time, until I found audio books and podcasts! A pair of wireless earphones and all set! I hear while I cook in the morning, during my stroller walks and could see that I could listen for almost 1 hour in a day! What a win!
My intention is not to make you be hard on yourself or have your plate always full, but to make you aware of the possibilities that can open up if it is made a priority. Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) is not just a Operations Research term, it can be applied to life to a great extent 🙂 (Ahhh!! The MBA In me 😉 ) I haven’t seen a person more busy than my father- no work from home culture, never returned home before our bedtimes. Still, he was always up and going with his morning workouts along with other duties as a father. Probably that is where I draw my inspiration from 😀
I hope this blog helped you gain some perspective and you would work on organizing your day and routine. It is easier to give excuses, but really hard to stay committed to something- Your physical and mental health are of utmost priorities, because it is your PERMANENT RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS for your time on Earth!