How I balance my time by doing what I love most.

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Time.  

Time seems to be one thing people don’t have enough of.  As you add layers to your life, time becomes more precious.  

For the month of February, I decided to focus on time.  More specifically, how I use my time when it comes to work, projects, crafts, family, etc.

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This lead me to two books.  The first one was recommended by a wonderful, hardworking gal.  Thanks to Melissa, I discovered 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

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This book has four parts.  Your 168 hours, work, home and day by day.

At the end of each chapter, the author gives you worksheet activities to help you think about how you are spending your time and if you are spending your time doing things related to your core competencies.

Are you wasting time or investing time?

I completed the 168 hour worksheet by documenting what I did every hour of the day for one week.  Here’s my breakdown:

59 Sleep
40 Work
3.5 Exercise
6 Read
3.3 Eat
3 Cook / meal prep
5.5 Ready for work / shower time
12 Family time
3 Commute
14 Blog
6.5 Kitchen
3 Craft time
3.45 Social media
4 Errands
1 TV
0.75 Housework

After documenting my hours and reading the rest of the book, I took some time to think about what this really meant to me.  Here’s what I learned:

ONE
Finding your core competencies at work is essential to success and happiness.  Once you find them, spend more time doing them.

168 Hours talks about how to identify things you love at work.  For me, it’s teaching/instructing, designing, and helping people improve in any way I can.  When I am doing these things, I am the most happy, and I lose track of time.

TWO
Find your core competencies at home and minimize the things that are wasting your time.

For example, although I can cook I don’t really enjoy it. I often find myself thinking of all the other things I could be doing.  The 3 hours I spent ‘cooking’ was for lunch meal prep, or an easy meal for myself if Bryn wasn’t going to be home for dinner.

To minimize cooking and meal prep as much as possible, I have learned two things.  First, I need to do my meal prep ahead of time, not the morning of.  I waste too much time in the morning thinking about my lunch.

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Baking is about the only 'cooking' I enjoy doing.  I like to be creative with it.

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And second, I waste too much time at the grocery store. Bryn and I need to plan ahead for meals for the week.  This would eliminate a trip to the grocery store during the week.

The next thing I learned during this week is that I do not enjoy housework.  If you glance back at my numbers, I spent less than a whole hour on housework for the week.  What does that mean? I need to hire a cleaning lady.  Bingo.

Either that, or get better at doing small things during the week, 10 minutes or so at a time. (If you’re reading this and would love to volunteer to clean my house every couple weeks, let me know!)

THREE
You will improve in the areas you spend the most time.

I am spending a lot of hours on my passions.  Creating things, building things, making things, etc.  I focus my time on things I love to do.  Not only does this expand my creativity, but it also allows me to discover interests and talents I didn’t know I had.

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This was by far my favorite Christmas painting I did in December.

FOUR
When you can’t control the amount of time you spend on something, look for ways to improve it.

I cannot control my commute to work.  Well, I guess I could if we moved closer to my work.  But that isn’t happening.   So, do you want to know how I make the most of this time?  I eat my breakfast in the car, and listen to podcasts.  I like to think of this time as educational time.  I listen to podcasts about building things, designing things, blogging, and sometimes the news.  This has transformed my commute in a positive way.

FIVE
If it’s not challenging me, making me think, or making me better at something i’m wasting my time.

Although I love to watch the Bachelor, it’s really a waste of time.  I can’t believe I just said that. But if i’m being honest with myself, sitting in front of the TV for two hours watching that silly show is really not making me better, challenging me or making me think in any way.  With that said, I have decided to still watch the show, but do something else at the same time, like work on my blog.

During the entire week, I only spent a whooping one hour sitting in front of the TV doing ONLY that.  I have to keep up on Switched at Birth, so I let myself have that one hour.  What a glorious hour it was.

SIX
Quality family time is vital.  

Although I only documented 12 hours of family time for the week, in reality it’s really more.  Some of the activities, such as working on the kitchen, reading, or cooking is spent with my husband.  We value every minute spent with one another and try to make the most of the time we have.

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To put all of that in a nutshell, I made a list of things I will focus on for March.

  1. No more than 8 hours of sleep a night (only more if I really need it).
  2. Meal prep at the beginning of the week or the night before.
  3. Continue to exercise and slowly increase the amount of time spent on this per week.
  4. Continue to spend a large number of hours on my passions.  I am in a stage of my life where this is possible, and I plan to take advantage of it as much as I can.
  5. Figure out a better schedule for housework.  Any recommendations? Please give me all of your tips and tricks. I NEED them!
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And then I moved on to a lighthearted, positive feeling book. The Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life.

I am fully aware that my mind races all the time and I am constantly wanting to do something. I also feel like I have to rush to get things done.  I am always thinking about time. (Ha, good thing I read the last book, huh?)

The Living Clearly Method challenged me to slow down. It forced me to think about my body, what I am doing to take care of it (or not take care of it) and why I should care.  It also forced me to take yoga more seriously.

The core of the book focuses on five principles:  perspective, breathing, grounding, balance and letting go.  In each chapter Hilaria Baldwin talks about experiences she had (relating to the principles), things she did to overcome the challenges, and then there are a ton of yoga poses to go along with each principle.

The remainder of the book talks about eating clearly and moving clearly. Hilaria gives tips, suggestions and tons of recipes!  

While reading this I learned I do not take my time while eating, I do not savor the food and i'm distracted for most of my meals.  For example, I eat my breakfast while driving.  I catch up on daily blogs while eating lunch.  This leads to not being satisfied with my food and wanting more afterward. Hmm..interesting, I know! 

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Here I am, back at it for the first day of 2017.

One suggestion in the book is to do the 10:10:10 method.  10 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of yoga and 10 minutes of toning work.  This is perfect for someone who doesn't love to run or go to the gym.  And the best part is, you can break it up and do it at different times of the day!

Sometimes my cardio for the day is walking the pups.  Cardio and family time at the same time.  DONE!

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Overall, this is a great read.  It forced me to look at how I 'live' and challenge myself to do so more 'clearly'. Be prepared to learn and try new things. The Living Clearly Method is definitely worth it!

What are you reading right now?  I'd love to hear about it!

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