There is a popular saying, that if you want help in getting something done: Ask a busy person.
This may sound counter-intuitive, since the busy person would be too busy to help you, right? Well, the meaning behind this statement is that the busy person gets a lot accomplished because they are motivated and probably more organized than the average person. If you ask for their help, they could easily just “work you in” and seamlessly make the help you need part of their routine. In contrast, the un-busy (disorganized) person may be grappling with how to get motivated and better handle their own life. Trying to help you would be an overwhelming burden to them.
The professional organizer and the motivational coach might tell you to actually mark out in your calendar or day planner an hour slot for exercise each day. Instead of it being “implied” like the way we take a shower and brush our teeth, something so important as exercise needs to be scheduled, just like any other appointment or work schedule. This is something to do if you are really struggling to fit it in or seem to find ways to fill up every waking hour with something else.
People make time for what is important to them. And there is a snow ball effect, where the more committed you are to a project, the more fulfilling it will become and then it will be easier and easier to schedule. There are a lot of “people pleasers” out there who will drop everything to help someone else, but not make time for themselves. One of the ways to stop this pattern is to treat personal time for oneself as absolutely sacred.
If you need to keep your stress level down by scheduling a monthly massage or acupuncture treatment, then don’t let six months go by in between. Schedule the appointments in advance and then if something really important can’t be done another time, re-schedule a few days in advance. More than likely, you won’t have to re-schedule.
I was finding it very difficult to get my morning exercise in because I am so sucked into answering email in the morning. I finally decided to combine the tasks by walking on my treadmill while answering email. We created a cheap treadmill desk by just inserting a sturdy piece of wood above the handle bars of the treadmill and– voila! The lap top rests on it just fine.
I happen to believe that multi-tasking is a virtue (except when you are driving). Studies are now confirming that it is very bad to sit all day, whether you exercise formally or not. Therefore, standing and ironing while watching TV can be done once a week or so and you can combine these two mindless tasks and improve your health at the same time. If you have someone else iron your clothes for you, more power to you!
What about talking on the phone with friends? Is it taking away from your exercise time? How about walking while talking? Any movement is better than sitting. I cook, fold laundry and delete emails while on-hold on the phone. Don’t we all at this point?
Instead of zig-zagging back and forth across town, I do my banking or grocery shopping, gassing up the car, all in the same area and when I am on my way to and from somewhere else. In other words, I am not going to waste time going to the post office for one stamp. I’ve written elsewhere that one great way to save time in your life is to never really run out of anything. Buy in bulk and then nothing is an emergency because you simply don’t let yourself run out of toilet paper or dog food.
Now, if you have an incredibly creative, sexy, jet-setting lifestyle, then you can be forgiven for running out of pickle relish. But honestly, most of us do have the time to plan our errands and shopping and make the most of each day. God knows, most of us spend a disturbingly large amount of time watching TV or engaged in other technologies. Being glued to the internet almost requires a new stealth way of handling all our other worldly obligations. One of the very reasons on-line shopping is so popular is because it saves us time.
Author: Kartar Diamond
Company: Feng Shui Solutions (R) Since 1992
From the Tao of Organizing Series