Often when I’m dealing with people trying to get into a workout regime and a regular routine the #1 answer is “I’m soooooo busy!” Yes, the word is elongated because people seem to think that they are the only ones with a job, family and responsibilities that obviously mean that they can’t devote any time to their physical well-being. Of course, these are the same people who hit the snooze button three times, watch two hours of television before bed and have no time to even go grocery shopping because they spend all of their time at work not accomplishing things in the time they could easily get them done because they procrastinate and waste time (smoke breaks, anyone?).
So here’s where I hit you with a reality check. If you devote 6 hours of your time weekly to working out then that’s literally only 3.5% of your time each week.
I know, the first thing I’ll hear is “OMG I can’t possibly work out 6 times a week!” Don’t worry, devoted reader. To see improvement within a fitness capacity you can get away with only exercising 4 hours a week – so I’ve added in 2 hours of travel time (or 15 minutes each way). That negates the excuse that it takes too long to get to the gym, because if you live more than 15 minutes drive from your facility either from home or work then you’re doing it wrong and you need to work out at home. By the way, if your commute is an hour each way you’re also doing it wrong but that’s a whole different article topic.
So what do you do with the other 96.5% of your week? An interesting exercise in time management (I did this in university) is to actually write down and analyze what you do all day for two weeks. Sleeping, texting, working (actual work, not “meetings” over a muffin – but count those up too), talking with friends and co-workers, even feeding yourself all takes time. Write it ALL down, every second and then analyze it The results if you are honest might really surprise you in terms of how much time you completely waste daily. Here’s some averages of stuff you probably need to do:
30% of your time you sleep (7 hours a night). This is good – it should be more.
30% of your time you’re at work (notice how I didn’t say actually working). This is even based on a 50 hour work week – I don’t know a lot of people that actually do this. Shave time away from work and there’s an easy 3.5% right there. Work will survive.
9.5% of your time you eat (30 minutes a meal plus one longer one each weekend day – and most people skip breakfast or eat it in their car or at work)
7% of your time you’re going to and from work (1 hour a day – any more than this and you should move)
However, 12% of your time you’re watching tv and/or internet surfing (some people this is much more). This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Netflix etc. – again, this can be much higher.
If you have a family then you probably have time taken up by kids. This can also usually be shared with your partner or find a gym that has child care facilities.
If you want another perspective, then if I took 3.5% and extrapolated it into your 8 hour work day it would take up 17 minutes. You probably spend more time than that walking to get coffee.
So if I told you that I had a magic pill that would make you look better, feel better, sleep better, reduce chronic illness, give you more energy, let you do everyday tasks easier –and it would just take you 1/30th of your daily routine, do you think you would take it? Oh, and you can take it for free and you can take it pretty much anywhere. In sales speak they call this “reduce to the ridiculous”, but it is ridiculous because there is really no reason why you can’t do it.
So, can I have 3.5% of your time? Please? Let me know if you can set it aside for me. You know that you can – now just go do it.