While rebooting and recharging off the grid at a wifi-free Québécois lake house, I recognized how time bankrupt I was during my LLS Woman of the Year campaign. While I recognized that the campaign was a temporary, 10-week sprint, that pace was entirely unsustainable and, let's be real, totally undesirable to me. If I was working (yes, I'm loathe to admit this as a health + lifestyle gal) 14+ hour days, watching my task list accumulate, and dreaming about projects that I wanted to be doing, something was busted. Come hell or lakefront high water, I wasn't returning from Canada to that frazzly pace again.
Ever an accountant, I ran some numbers while my husband, Craig, slept in one morning. That single investment of 15 minutes of my time has yielded huge shifts in both my personal and my entrepreneurial lives. When I say huge shifts, I mean things like stepping down from a board of directors, saying no to several events, starting a big, scary, yet exciting, creative project and actually seeing people I love without 3-6 week advance notice.
Want to try it? Here's what you need: a piece of paper, a pen, 15 minutes, and a calculator for those of you who dislike subtraction.
Write down the number 168 at the top of the page. Just do it. Unless you've figured out a way to time-travel, 168 is the great equalizer. We all get 168 hours each week to spend.
Now, let's spend those hours. From 168, list out and start substracting how much time you need to:
- Sleep (Hint: Anything less than 49-56 here is going to negatively impact the quality of the remaining 112-119 hours.)
- Food prep + eating + dining
- Bathing + hygiene
- Exercise + movement
- Work + commute
- Family/social relationships
- Anything else to which you're currently commited or eats your time in any way, shape or form. Seriously, list it out.
You're going to end up with a number. If that number is:
- <0: Come on back to the realm of reality, home skillet. You don't get more than 168 hours. Something has to give before your health and sanity does. What can you let go of to at least break even and avoid feeling like a failure each week?
- 0-7: This means that you only average 1 hour each day to react to things like traffic, spills, sickness or whatever unexpected curveball The Universe might pitch at you, as well as last minute opportunities. What activities are you willing to trade to have more wiggle room in your own life and feel more satisfied?
- 7+: You have a little room to breathe and react, but are you happy with how you're spending your time currently? Where can you be a little more strategic?
What's your number?
Driving this number (and your overall health) up is what I do. I'm here to help. Here's how.