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Time: How to Manage It, Live It

Next to health, time is the most precious resource we have. Yet as we get older, it seems to slip by more and more quickly (could it possibly be November, 2017?!? Where oh where did this year go….). If you asked the richest billionaires on earth what they would trade their fortunes for, they would all say in unison, “Health and Time!”

Yet just as people squander their health – and what they could do if their bodies and minds were healthy and energized – often people waste precious heartbeats on things that ultimately don’t matter. I am not saying there is no place for relaxation and recreation. To be sure, these can be very valuable if not essential parts of a quality, well balanced, happy life. But there are many other moments that are truly wasted, lost forever to the thing we are unable to jump back to, the past. Many things lost you can get back – money, your keys, a phone….but never time. Here are some ways to have more of this thing that becomes increasingly precious – by mathematical, if not psychological and emotional definition – as we get older:

  • Put away your phone. This is likely the single greatest time waster given our access to largely unimportant information. At a minimum, have ‘no phone’ time blocks – at meals, while working out, when with family.

  • Workout. Many people say they don’t have time to workout, when in reality working out will give them more time. Exercise combined with good nutrition (keeping yourself healthy in general) leads to more energy, better sleep, higher productivity, less time sick…the number of hours you can gain through a small investment of time is meaningful. Just having clarity of mind leading to better decisions is likely to lead to time saved not having to clean up after mistakes made.

  • Workout sans electronics. Basically anytime you are focused on something, put your phone aside. How often have you reached for your phone in a Pavlovian manner and discovered something truly urgent? Rarely if ever. We have all just developed addictive-based habits of checking our phones literally hundred of times a day. Any one instance is not a big deal, but add that time over days, weeks, and months, and you are looking at a ton of wasted heart beats. In the gym I see people doing a set of bench press, then staring at their phones for 5 mins before doing another set. Use that ‘down’ time to lift back, work your core, or even just walk around and burn calories.

  • Cut out gossip, complaining. The average person spends countless hours each week saying negative things about ‘friends’ and colleagues, complaining about things over which they have no control (national politics, the weather, etc.). These behaviors not only promote negative internal energy, they are a monumnetal waste of time. Check yourself as you speak in such terms, and either say nothing at all, or better yet dedicate your time and energy to something constructive.

  • Watch less TV. As noted above, I believe in the importance of rest, recovery, and relaxation. However, as with eating a bag of chips, sometimes we hit peak utility long before we stop the consumption. So is true with binge watching sessions of TV shows. Ask yourself: if you had a year left to live, is that how you would want to be spending your time – or be remembered?

  • Drink less alcohol. Alcohol is one of the greatest energy sucks – and time wasters – of all time. The ways are both obvious and subtle, from productivity declines as you get buzzed, to missed workouts and worse due to hangovers.

  • Take inventory of how you spend your time. Be like an attorney for 24 – 48 hours and write down, as brutally honestly as possible, how you are using your time. Use 15 min increments. As with doing inventory on your nutrition, by having information in black and white in front of you, a clear assessment can be made as to where to cut the fat. You will be shocked how much time you spend doing time wasting things that can be performed far more efficiently if not eliminated entirely.

Stay Disciplined My Friends!

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