Do you regularly pass up activities you enjoy simply because you’re just too busy? Don’t worry you’re not the only one! It’s easy to neglect your favorite hobbies, activities, self care routines and even friends when work piles up at school, your kids require ALL your time and attention, or you find yourself sitting in traffic longer than you actually spent at the office (okay, maybe not that long!). But hey, when there’s just too much of that “un-fun” stuff to get done, the first thing we let go of are the things we need the most: Activities that make us truly happy.
People who know their purpose live longer, healthier lives than the average person. It’s one thing to know your purpose, but another thing to actually live it out. However, it’s easy for people to get “too busy” in their day to day life and not spend enough time doing what they love.
We know what you’re thinking- there’s absolutely no room in the day to focus on myself. But there maybe more time than you think. Often, we develop routines we don’t think about and feel like we don’t have the flexibility to reduce any of our steps (ones that take up way too much time). If you feel like certain aspects of your day take longer than they should, are unnecessary, or that this time could be spent doing more of what you enjoy, it quite possibly could! Take some time to really think about how you’re using your time each day, and try some of these tips to spend less time on the “unnecessary” and make more time to discover your purpose.
- Morning/ evening commute
Did you know there’s a correlation between time spent commuting to work and mental health? One research study found that people who spent over six hours during the week commuting to and from work experienced significantly greater declines in mental health than those who spent only four hours during the week on their commute.
Not everyone has the ability to control how much time they spend in the morning going to and from work. But, if there is any room to reduce your time spent in the car, you may want to consider it. Numerous companies are developing “remote working” and encouraging their employees to work from home because it’s shown to raise productivity. Especially because all that time spent in the car could instead be spent producing valuable work!
If possible (and we know it’s not possible for everyone), try suggesting to your employer to spend a few less days in the office and a few more days efficiently working from home. You can suggest being in the office for meetings and other tasks you’re needed for in person, and use your time at home to answer emails and anything else that can be done outside the office. If you’re able to spend less time commuting and still able to get your work done in an efficient manner, than you will have more room for your favorite activities!
2.) Getting ready for the day
Getting ready for the day can feel like work in itself because of all the steps and energy it takes. It’s easy to find yourself stuck in the same routine every morning because it can bring a piece of mind. But, certain morning routine steps add unnecessary time and can be easily removed if you’re conscious of it.
Try reflecting on your morning routine and focusing on the steps you would feel OK living without. For instance, regularly making breakfast and packing your lunch before work or school can add an extra 30-45 minutes! If you have the flexibility, try packing your lunch the night before or making these overnight oats to conveniently grab for breakfast in the morning. Doing so will reduce time spent getting ready for the day, and increase the time you have for doing what you enjoy, like reading the morning paper, doing yoga, or spending time with your family. You can also check out these helpful tips for a quick morning routine (link blog post).
In the busy and fast-paced world we live in, it almost seems like no one has time to cook (or even more importantly, cook healthy). Cooking is not for everyone, and that’s OK, but one of the biggest reasons people don’t cook is because it takes up too much time. However, cooking healthy meals and ensuring you have convenient ready to grab food can be extremely simple, leaving you lots of time for your more desired activities.
To reduce time preparing meals, there are many subscription based meal services you can sign up for, like Sun Basket. Or, you can try meal prepping one day of the week so you have convenient grab and go food at your convenience throughout the week (you can check out these tips to make meal prep easier). However, if cooking is one of your favorite activities, then focus on reducing time in other areas of your day so you can enjoy the process.
Exercising is another aspect that can take up too much time. If exercise isn’t one of your desired hobbies, but you are still motivated to reap the mental and physical benefits, you can do so without spending endless time on it!
Some people think that exercising means taking up two hours of their day to drive to, attend, drive back from, and shower after a fancy cycle class. However, you can easily reduce the time you spend exercising and still receive its’ amazing benefits. HIIT workouts are a great form of workout that is time efficient and can even be easily done in your own home. You can even find ways to move naturally throughout your day so you don’t have to focus on setting aside time for a specific workout.
Taking care of yourself is such an important part of life. But, taking care of yourself doesn’t just mean going about your daily duties or checking off a list of “to-do’s,” it also includes doing what you love. It’s clear that knowing your purpose is an important part of improving your health and happiness, but if you struggle to make time for your passions, try reflecting on areas of your life that you can transition, change, and ultimately make more time for you.