By: Melissa De Los Santos
Famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong summed up modern life perfectly: “There’s so little time and so much to do.” Twenty-four hours never seem to be enough to accomplish everything you need and want to do in a day. Luckily, there are small changes you can apply in your everyday life that can give you a little extra time and more chances to spend your time doing things that matter to you most.
“I wish I could be more active and do exercise, but I’m just so busy!”
We’ve all heard (and made) this excuse before. It can be challenging to devote a large chunk of time to going to the gym, but you can incorporate little bursts of activity throughout your day to keep you energetic and healthy.
Choose a parking spot that is farther away from your building, or take a short walk during your break. You’ll already be adding a few minutes of activity to your daily routine. Have a few extra minutes? Download apps like Seven, which gives you high intensity workouts that only last for seven minutes!
Play active games with your children, like a quick game of tag or basketball shooting. Even if it is only for a few minutes, they will be entertained and get exercise while bonding with you.
“There are so many chores! It’s impossible to finish all of them!”
Doing chores can seem overwhelming, especially after a long day of work and school. It may seem easier to ignore that mountain of laundry, but the more clutter there is, the more anxious we tend to be.
The word “chores” has such a bad reputation that the initial reaction to it is repulsion. So don’t call them chores; call them “housekeeping activities” or “tidying up” (as Marie Kondo would say).
Delegate these tasks, because you don’t need to do them all by yourself! Children can be taught to put their toys away, put dishes in the dishwasher — even to fold clothes! It just takes a little patience, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Doing these housekeeping activities as a family will not only make you accomplish them faster, but also make them more enjoyable.
Once all the tidying up is done, you have now spent more time with your child, and also taught them to be more responsible!
“I never have time for myself!”
Frequently engaging in an activity you enjoy — be it reading, knitting, or playing video games — should be a priority, too. When we do things we love doing, we will feel more recharged and will be more productive later on.
Our busy lifestyles may not always permit us to do these activities as much as we’d like, but we can definitely weave them into our schedules a little bit at a time.
For example, if you recharge by enjoying a good book, you can try audiobooks. You can listen to them on your way to work, while tidying up around the house, or while folding the laundry with your children.
Sometimes, we really just need a few minutes to be alone and reflect, and finding time to do that can be challenging. Try setting your alarm ten minutes earlier in the morning, or prepare for bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. You can use that time to focus on yourself and just relax. When you take time to understand and concentrate on your own needs, you will be more willing and capable to be receptive to others’ needs, like your children.