How does she do it all?

Have you ever asked yourself that question when you see someone who just seems to us to be crushing it in life? 

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Chances are you were just having a down day and you weren’t seeing things for way they truly are. Maybe you have been so busy it is a sign that you need to take a break or analyze and tweak your schedule a bit.

Here is a great quote to apply to how we schedule our days to feel truly productive in our daily lives.

The way you spend your time determines the quality of your life…..

Ah, the struggle… 

To balance our lives between all the stuff we wanna do and all of the stuff we have to do.

First of all, work and career takes a huge chunk of our time and then there are all the other commitments, obligations, and that other “stuff” that we do because we know it’s simply “a wise thing to do”

Take brushing your teeth for example. You do it so you don’t walk around offending others with your breath (immediate pay-off) and then you also do it because you want to save yourself trips to the dentist and you want to keep your teeth in your mouth. (long term-pay off) You fit in the activity of brushing your teeth quite effortlessly because you know that it is just one of those things that you have to do, you don’t even question it, and it doesn’t require much mental effort to think about when or how to schedule it in.

So, between work and brushing our teeth and all the other stuff that we do we are amazingly well-scheduled, productive people. Seriously, there’s SO MUCH that we squeeze into our days and we do a pretty good job at it even if we don’t think we are “doing enough” or get upset with ourselves because we “weren’t able to fit it all in.”

It takes a great deal of mental effort in finding how to best balance our time so that we can be most productive and get the most out of our daily lives. Many people will even take from their rest hours or steal from their sleeping hours just to fit in more hours of awake time so they can get even more done. (side note: sleep essentially is productive time and we need to start thinking more about it in those terms)

How do we do it all?

We figure out how to schedule our time based on the things that take priority or are time sensitive and we go from there. This usually lends itself to a sort of ranking system or a process for categorizing all that we have to do. Work is always at the top and then we plan around our work schedules.

That’s where the hard part comes in…..

Aside from work, we then schedule our time around the different areas and needs in our lives.  

domestic stuff– i.e.- cooking, cleaning, food shopping, laundry, etc.

social stuff– i.e.-family/friend time, kids activities, sports, birthday parties and other celebrations

self care- exercise, haircuts, mani/pedis, routine check ups, massage, hobbies, etc.

We organize our days by figuring out how much time each activity takes and we prioritize and then create a schedule and proceed. Or, we somehow squeeze it all in and wonder how we did it and collapse on the couch at night with a glass of wine.  ; )   

Our priorities are always shifting based upon what’s going on at the moment. We can count on life throwing us curve balls every once in awhile just to keep us on our toes and mess with our smooth running routines.

So, which category is the one that usually gets put last when the schedule gets hectic?

I know from experience, whether it has been with myself or my clients, we tend to put our self-care…last. Unless, of course, we become ill and then self-care moves right on up into first place for our attention….It becomes first priority. That’s understandable, right?

There are many things that fall under the category of “self care.” Self care can be anything from getting in a workout to getting your haircut, getting a mani/pedi, getting your teeth cleaned, a massage, etc.  When other “stuff” gets in the way, these self-care activities can always be pushed back a little or re-scheduled for later. As long as we are not sick, we tend to put our self-care last when other stuff comes up. The one item on the self-care list that is always seems to be the FIRST to get pushed aside is……….you guessed it…..exercise.

But is this smart?

Is this good practice?

Is this PRODUCTIVE?

Let’s go back to the quote I posted at the top.

The way you spend your time determines the quality of your life…..

If you agree with this and you believe it to be true, why would you put your self-care on the back burner ever? Self-care should be a priority in order to be productive. How productive can you truly be if you are running around trying to accomplish task after task or commitment after commitment and you end up too busy to fit in a leisurely walk, or a 20 minute workout, or a healthy meal versus fast food?

Realistically speaking, one day that lacks self care isn’t going to ruin anyone but so many people go day after day without taking the time to build in restorative exercise, physical activity, and/or nourish their bodies with good, whole, unprocessed foods. Too many people are not going to sleep early enough at night or are not benefitting from good quality sleep because they didn’t get in any exercise during the day and they didn’t nourish their bodies properly.

Some of the greatest achievers and most motivational people of our time know and appreciate the importance of proper self-care. Anthony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Zig Zigler, and Stephen Covey, to name a few, have each spoken about how they make it a priority to exercise daily and eat healthy foods as much as possible. They truly understand that their productivity will be at its’ best if they commit to moving their bodies every, single day. They know that the way they feel and the energy they have dictates how much they can accomplish and how successful they will be. They understand the connection between success and having a healthy mind and healthy body.

So, if it’s that simple…then why don’t we all do it?

There are so many reasons we can come up with but if you boil them all down it comes from our mindset.

Here are a few examples of the mindset that holds us back.

We believe there is a “specific exercise regime/level that is best to do and anything else is not good enough” so why even bother…

We think we need to spend 1-1.5 hours or more in order to accomplish “good enough.”

We are not sure what to do with our current physical state so we don’t do anything or we do too much and it hurts, we get sore, and then we no likey and don’t adhere to it.

We don’t want to feel uncomfortable in front of others and we think we need to join a gym or class in order to get fit and healthy so we don’t act and stay stuck.

It takes too much time to shop, prepare, cook and then clean up in order to eat healthy foods.

It’s too expensive to eat healthy… I can’t afford to shop at those health stores. 

I have to start running…running is the number one way to be in great shape…all runners are the super fit people…

Do some of these things sound familiar to you? I have been there. I was the person who thought I needed to kill it in the gym for 1-1.5 hours in order to be “good enough.” When I didn’t have the time for that and could only do that once or twice in a week and not 3-5xs as I believed I needed, I felt defeated and annoyed. In fact the sheer idea that I had to go and do a hard workout for 1-1.5 hours would overwhelm me and stop me dead in my tracks. I needed to make a serious mental shift in order to get away from that mindset and trust that I could be fit and healthy without having to spend so much time. It took trust and consistency. I had to take the journey, trust the process, and when I had doubts, I had to go back to the trust piece, and remain consistent and then the results came and I became a believer.  

You CAN fit in some short exercise and your other easy, healthy habits every day and be fit. Remember, your 3 DH’s? (your 3 daily healthy habits, if you haven’t figured them out yet, you will)

Your mind is what is stopping you.

Your beliefs about what you “should” be doing or what it really takes is what is stopping you.

Your beliefs about how much time it takes or how much time you don’t have for it is what is stopping you.

Your beliefs about your priorities is what’s stopping you.

I promise you, It doesn’t have to take a great deal of your time. It takes just a little bit of time, 20-30 minutes, each day, building on that consistency concept and enjoying the process. 

By the way, there is no room for resentment in your exercise regime or with your 3DH’s.

If you resent, reinvent!

If you resent, you won’t do it, and if you don’t do it, you won’t build consistency, and if you don’t have consistency you won’t have sustainable results over the long haul.

These are the reasons why people go in and out of exercise programs. It’s not about hard core, quick fixes, fasts, cleanses, detoxes. Those are about chasing quick results but they don’t keep you in it for the long haul.

HARD CORE IS NOT BETTER….MORE IS NOT BETTER….BETTER IS BETTER….

Your exercise should focus around the 3E’s…the secret of exercising forever….

The 3E’s?

Exercise that is Efficient, Effective, and Enjoyable.

That will be the secret sauce of what works for you.

Efficient for your schedule,

Effective for your current physical state,

Enjoyable because it is something you like to do and it makes you feel good.

THAT you will be able to do forever.

What you do consistently is what will give you results.

Self-care = self-love. 

Prioritize your health through your healthy habits! 

I know it’s a time management thing and I know it’s a mindset shift but, you can do it!

With all that said, I will leave you with a few great quotes from 2 very productive dudes…

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities

– Stephen Covey

Either you run the day or the day runs you..

-Jim Rohn

Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy, the question is, busy doing what?

-Jim Rohn