I Don’t Have Time or Do I?
Updated: Jul 23
I hear this phrase a lot. I use it a lot, too! I hear it most especially when counseling my patients about exercise or physical activity. They tell me they work 2 jobs, or that they are running around all the time with chores and errands, the kids have activities, the list goes on and on. I understand where they are coming from. A lot of times I, too, think I don’t have time. I have a full time job as a physician, I self-manage rental properties, I am a wife, a mother, a house to run. I have excuses for all the things that I want to do and that I do not get done. Like this blog for example! It has been months since I put out content! There is always something else that needs attention. Thankfully, at work, I have gotten my system down to a T, that in a long time I have not brought work home. And I rarely come home after 5pm. Yay, Me! In primary care, unfinished charts and unending inboxes, lab reports used to drain my time, brain and emotional energy. Having changed gears to obesity medicine has been both life and career-saving for me. I found my passion and niche that I think can sustain my career satisfaction for a long time. Shifting gears have allowed me to focus on other endeavors now, like our short-term rentals. Having this “something else to do” other than medicine has been fun for both Mike and me!
Back to this blog. I had all the intention of putting out something every week! I know it’s doable. But somehow there’s always”busy work”. Dishes need cleared, washed and put away. The laundry need folding. The backyard needs tending. I pick the low-lying fruit because it’s easy and I can check it off. Done! It gives me a quick satisfaction of being done. But, these tasks do not move me forward.
On the surface it looks like I do not have time. But when I say that I know that I am lying to myself and the statement doesn’t ring true. here’s my dirty secret. My phone tells me that I spend an average of 5 hours (five hours!) of screen time in a day. So, really, if I got down to it, I could have 25 more hours plus in a week that I could have chosen to write several blog posts already!
The reality is that we all have the same hours in a week. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a career professional, an entrepreneur or CEO of a large company. We all have the same amount of time as the Oprahs, Jeff Bezos, or Bill Gates of the world. We all have 168 hours. Apparently, we all have a choice on what to do with those hours! What a concept!
Ok, so let’s break it down.
I want to prioritize my task. I will get in the habit of writing down at the beginning of the day what I want done. I heard on a podcast to list 6 things. And then cross out the bottom 3. Finish the first 3 no matter what.
Assign my “want-to-do” into little chunks of time. I will set aside 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. Which I know are mine and no one or nothing else can creep into. And that usually are early mornings. I have used that in the past to mindlessly scroll on Facebook until it’s time to get ready. I know. (Insert roll-eye emoji!)
Put in on my calendar! I know I have the best intentions. All of us do. But I’ve found that if I don’t put it in the calendar that they will stay to be best intentions that doesn’t benefit anyone.
Be kind to myself if somehow things are not perfect. I’ve heard a lot of times now that our tendency to be perfectionists in reality is the thing that slows us down to achieving the life we want. Done is better than perfect!
Ok. So let’s make these steps actionable to fit in physical activity. Which I know what I wanted to write about before I got distracted by own rambling thoughts. Ha ha! Believe me when I say that exercise can become a habit. Others have done it, I have done it, and to be honest, only just lately that I made it a consistent effort. You can do it, too. 1. Prioritize exercise. Put it in the top 3 of your tasks. 2. Find a chunk of uninterrupted time in your day for movement. It could be early morning. Just 20 minutes. Maybe it’s just 10 minutes. whatever. Any amount is better than zero. Maybe get up earlier. if you are anything like me, right after waking up, you would have grabbed your phone to check emails or scroll on Facebook or Instagram. And that can take up so may minutes you could have spent getting up and moving! I know. I still struggle with it everyday. 3. Put in your calendar with a reminder. And just go. Walk. Or Bike. Get on youtube and add a favorite workout you can go back to everyday. Or get on that exercise machine that promised a lifted butt or 6-pack abs. (Somehow because of busy work the machine has just sat there as a clothes hanger. No I have not been to your house.)
4.Be kind to yourself if it doesn’t happen and try again tomorrow.
So, here it is. Done is better than perfect! Tell me what you think and leave me a comment!
DISCLAIMER: Lea Famularcano, MD is a medical doctor, but she is not your doctor, and she is not offering medical advice on this website. If you are in need of professional advice or medical care, you must seek out the services of your doctor or health care professional.