Keren Smedley 26th April 2017

I thought I’d stick to the theme about time as it is something so many of us complain about not having enough of and always being busy.  I have begun to wonder if we really are busy or that it is the fashionable thing to say! What would you think if one of your colleagues or friends said they’d not got much to do?

Would you be impressed and think how well they prioritised their life or would you think they had an empty life? I think being busy is rapidly becoming a badge of honour! And I for one think it’s time we stopped!

Rushing around, eating on the hoof, talking to people on the phone as we walk or drive from A to B can’t be doing any of us any good.  I know many people are now practising mindfulness which is excellent and gives them a few minutes a day when they are at peace, but most get straight up from their practise and rush around again!

There is a useful exercise you can do to explore how you use time. Once you know you have the option to change your behaviour, cut out what you don’t want to do and find space for some fun. That’s another modern day habit reducing fun! This of course leads to us feeling exhausted and depleted and in the long run can make us ill.

There are for all of us 168 hours in a week.  How do you spend it?

Take a piece of paper and write down the hours spent per day on

  • Sleeping
  • Making and eating meals
  • Shopping
  • Showering etc.
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Socialising
  • Working
  • Walking the dog
  • Looking after grandchildren

You won’t do everything on my list so take those out. Add in all the other things you do on a regular basis. Now multiply those figures to get the week’s values. Some activities you may only do once a week. Add up all the hours up and subtract it from 168.
How many hours do you have left? Are there hours you’re not using?  Where could you ‘save’ yourself time and give yourself more space?

You may of course have run out of hours! This of course isn’t actually possible. It would be good to observe yourself over a week and see how in reality you spend your time.  If you fill all 168 hours you will without doubt be exhausted!

For some of you who work at home now take a look at your work and the hours spent. Is it productive? Could you work fewer hours and get the same amount done? For those who go to work how are you utilising your time? Do you ever stay late to finish something or leave a pile for the next day? Could you change that by being more productive?

Decide what changes you are going to make and check in weekly if you’ve done that. It can help to do this exercise with someone else. You can then support each other to make more free time.

Make sure you have a treat in mind to help you celebrate when you have recouped some spare time.

Let me know how you get on!

Best wishes, Keren

Experience Matters is an organisation set up to empower the 50+ and to help us to manage this next stage of life. We offer coaching, workshops, advice and information. 

Contact me at www.experiencematters.org.uk with your questions.

Best wishes, Keren

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