“I just don’t have the time!”
When someone says that to me, in regards to ANYTHING, my response is “really? There’s 168 hours in a week!”
Its perhaps the main excuse everyone uses for just about anything that they haven’t done.
When it comes becoming healthier and therefore eating better and doing some exercise, it is definitely the biggest excuse I hear.
Yup, I said it… It is an excuse!
And look, if you don’t really want to be healthier then that’s fine, tell me that, not that you just don’t have the time.
But as you are here reading this then I am going to take a wild guess that you do want to get healthier and fitter.
So what I thought I would do is break this down…. “I don’t have the time!”…… Really?
I am not pretending that everyone’s life is the same, and that we have the same demands on us etc. But here is a rough breakdown…
Let’s Break A Week Down
There are 168 hours in a week. That is set in stone. We all get the same number of hours to use right? That we can all agree on, right?
Here is breakdown. I do recommend you do this for yourself, it can be quite scary trying to figure out where your time goes…..
Sleep – 8 hours a night = 56 hours (and I know lots of you don’t get 8 hours of sleep a night)
Work – 40 hour work week = 8 hours a day
Eating = 30mins for breakfast, 1 hour for lunch each day, 1 hour for dinner = 2.5 hours a day = 17.5 hours a week
= 113.5 hours so far…
Showering, getting ready each morning… 30mins? = 3.5 hours
Commuting to work …. 2 hours a day (Monday-Friday) so that’s 10 hours a week.
We are now up to 127 hours
There is still 41 hours left with your week!
And you can’t find 3 hours to spend on you?
Notice that’, s with allowing an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner, which I know a lot people don’t use.
Ok I can already hear, the “Yeh but’s” coming in….. “But Chris what about cleaning, ironing, washing up, etc you know the general day to day chores.” Alrighty, how about we add an hour a day? Another 7 hours
34 hours left.
But what about the kids?
Yeh but Chris, I have kids and they require all kinds of attention.
I don’t have kids, so I am not going to pretend I know their routine. So you tell me, how much time do you spend cooking for your kids, being the taxi driver, taking them to sports clubs etc etc?
3 hours a day? That’s another 21 hours a week.
We still have 13 hours remaining…
Let me add a note here…. If you are taking them to sports clubs.. Do you just sit in the car and wait? Could you use that time to workout?
In fact while writing this blog post, I came across a couple of interesting articles about time spent with children and how this affects their development and relationship. More is not actually more according to the studies. In fact more could be less. The pressure of having to spend more time with your children can negatively affect your relationship with them.
Have a quick read of this → Study Proves Moms Spend Too Much Time With their Kids
What about date night?
I am not saying prioritise your health over your relationship, so for sure make sure you have date night in there as well.
Date night with your other half – 4 hours?
An evening out with friends – 4 hours?
Still got 5 hours left (and that’s with the 21 hours for kids).
But when I am supposed to catch up on The Kardashians?
Now what’s missing from this breakdown…….?
Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc etc.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t watch tv. I enjoy Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Suits and a few others. I love a good film too.
But for a lot of people those are the priority. Above getting fit and healthy. How do I know? Because they choose to watch TV instead of working out.
That’s right… they CHOOSE to watch TV.
It doesn’t magically just turn itself on, nor does Facebook on your phone. You make the decision to hit the on button, instead of putting on your trainers.
In fact for a lot of people, watching TV for 2 hours a night, with at least an hour of scrolling through Facebook is more important that getting in a workout.
In fact….. The typical adult in the UK watches 24 hours of TV a week!!!! 24 HOURS!
That’s one whole day a week!
And when do a lot of people grab that large glass of wine and chocolate bar? While sat in front of the TV in the evening.
You could do a workout at home, for say 40 minutes, followed by a shower, 20 mins and still have 2 hours remaining – still spend 1 hour watching TV and 1 hour scrolling through Facebook.
Or…. do your workout in the morning then save that 20 minutes as we have already counted that in the morning.
When you tell me that you don’t have the time, what you really mean is… it’s not a priority for me right now.
How do you use your time?
So let me ask you….. how do you use your time?
Go on work it out.
I know lots of people who will now go through this exercise and try and prove me wrong. And that’s a shame, they will tell me and themselves how much they work, or how much time they spend doing other “important” things. Instead of using it as a tool to figure out where they can put the exercise they will actively try to make it so they can’t and feel good when they prove themselves right.
1 hour for lunch? What do you do on that lunch hour? Sit and scroll through your social media on your phone? Why not do your workout then? Why not go out for a walk, get your daily steps up?
I work more than 40 hours a week!
I know that will be one that I hear. I know people who work crazy hours, people in finance working in London, who still MAKE time to exercise and eat right.
Why? Because they know the only reason they are able to work those long hours is BECAUSE they keep themselves as healthy as possible.
If you don’t look after your body then you won’t be able to work, well not productively anyway.
That would be my next question… how productive are you for those crazy long days? Are you really telling me you are 100% on it every minute. If course you are not. What’s amusing is that if you took an hour to do a good workout, you would be more productive with your time and actually get more done. Thats a fact!
It’s a fact that we fill whatever time we have with a task on hand. A task that you give yourself 3 hours to do will take 3 hours. Give yourself the same tasks and challenge yourself to do it in an hour, I bet you could get it doe.
I bet some tasks you are doing are taking WAY longer than they should, perhaps your day is filled with distractions and a task that should take 45mins is taking 3 hours. That’s productivity, and thats a topic for another day.
Just to be clear….. When you start to prioritise your health, I am not saying stop focusing on work, or stop focusing on your family. I am saying use your time wisely.
To bring this to a close, most people just aren’t intentional with their time. They don’t know where their time goes, and it feels like they don’t have the time.
Start being intentional with your time. Block your diary, put in your workouts. Make the time to exercise.