How do you use your time?

Jul 06, 2022

So often I hear someone tell me, “I don’t have time for that.” Immediately, I know that time is not the problem. Poor time management and maybe a lack of priorities are the problem.

See, we all get the same 24 hours in a day. Most people have a 40-50-hour work week. Most people have homes to clean, groceries to buy, and laundry to do. Among a million other things they’d like to do every day. The issue lies in having to make the decision between doing thing A or thing B. I used to have the same struggle, that is until I got intentional about how I spend my time. Because we ONLY get 24 hours in the day. I can make more money. I can buy more food. I can watch that show later, but I cannot get this moment back. It sounds so cliché, but the truth is time is priceless. No one can make more, no one can stop it, and no one can refund it. When the day came that I finally realized just how precious it is, it became very easy to rearrange my priorities. It’s hard to do at first, these changes have to come slow and you must offer yourself grace as you go through the process. However, it is life-changing to finally be able to say, “I’m choosing to do xxx with my time today” instead of, “I wish I had time for xxx today.”  

The first step to reaching that goal is to begin by deciding what your priorities are. Maybe you do 3 priorities for the day, maybe you do three for the week, and maybe you go as far out as monthly and annual priorities. Whatever your style, you need to have decided what matters most to you. Is it more important to always have vacuum lines on your carpet or to spend time being present with your children? Is it more important to stay caught up on this season of Grey’s Anatomy, or have a date night with your husband? Is it more important to scroll through Facebook for 3-hours a day or work out for 30 minutes a day? What are your priorities? What matters most to you? Everyone is different, so you have to decide this for yourself. Whatever you chose is okay, there’s no judgment here, but you have to choose. Then you start every day with the question, do my plans today match my priorities?  It requires a little self-control and self-reflection, but like everything else, the more you practice the easier it becomes. 

The next step is to start time blocking. Did you know it is impossible to multi-task? Your brain can truly not be focused on two things at once. Research shows it takes more time to jump from task to task than it does to stay focused on one start-to-finish, before moving on to the next one. Each time you switch from task to task, you have to get yourself back on track and that consumes more time; time that is unproductive. So, first of all, stop trying to do ALL THE THINGS at once. Secondly, you need to decide how much time you’re willing to devote to each task. They call this time-blocking. Just like your high school classes, where you knew from 8-9, you’d be in English, and 9-10 you’d be in math, keeping a schedule like this allows you to stay on track for each task. I’ll show you an example of this in a minute.  

When you’re deciding what today’s schedule is going to look like, it is also important to be specific about the results you are after. For instance, if I write on my to-do list, “clean the house” what does that really mean? Your teenager and you might have different opinions. You and your husband might not agree on what that means either. Shoot, when it really comes down to it, that could mean something different to you today than it will tomorrow. Are you deep cleaning, cleaning for unexpected company, or cleaning like your in-laws are about to come for a visit? You and I both know there are different levels of "clean" in the house. That being said, the general statement of “clean the house” isn’t enough. Instead, when you create your schedule, break it down to the results you’re looking for. If you want to do more than just clean the house today you need to decide which parts of the house get attention today and what will have to wait. It seems very “Type A” and those Type A folks are going to totally love this, but it works for everyone. There are many different planners out there that have time blocks created in them, the Passion Planner is what I have been using since 2020 (I am not an affiliate of this brand, just love my planner), or you can just create a table in a word document and use it whenever you feel the need.  

Here’s an example of a house cleaning day:  





Yoga/Shower/get ready for day 



Eat breakfast 

Do Dishes 



Clean kitchen counters 



Clean stove top and oven 



Clean out fridge 



Eat lunch 




Wash windows inside 






Clean tubs, and toilets 



Clean bathroom counters and sweep/mop bathroom floors 



Prepare supper and spend the evening with my family 


The idea is such that if one task doesn’t take its allotted time then I can move on to the next and be done with my list early in the day. However, if I get a little distracted, say at lunchtime, I know that by 1 pm I must get started on the afternoon tasks. It also helps prevent distractions while you’re cleaning. For instance, if you go to put dishes away and start to think about reorganizing the cupboards, you’d be able to put that on your list for tomorrow as it was not identified as a priority today. Make sense?  

Maybe you throw in more down time, an afternoon nap, an hour to read, an hour of TV or social media, like I said there’s no judgment here. The idea is that you are intentional about how you spend your time every day. It is in your control; you have the power.  

Don’t tell me you don’t have the time to work out. Don’t tell me you don’t have the time to meditate or pray. Don’t tell me you don’t have the time to go to a healing session, get a massage, or go to the chiropractor. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to meal prep. Don’t tell me you don’t have time for coffee with your friends or date night with your husband. Don’t tell me there isn’t time.  

Every time you use time as an excuse, I want you to ask yourself if you’re making it a priority. If you accomplished many things today, but not your priorities, then they weren’t really priorities, were they?  

Now, I know there are a couple of you who are still saying, “I am not wasting time and there STILL isn’t enough time in the day!” I hear you. Here’s what I have to say about those days. Outsource! Look to your friends, family, and small businesses to help you accomplish all the things. You can hire a cleaning person. You can ask your Mom friends to pick your kiddo up once in a while. You can take advantage of grocery delivery. You can automate your bills. You can get a Roomba so you always have vacuum lines. What is an hour of your time worth to you? If your priority is game night with the family twice a week, but your other tasks keep you from having the time, then what is it costing you to not have that time? Is it worth the $30/hr you'd pay a house cleaner so you would have 2 free hours to play with your kids? Think about it, set your priorities, and begin making true adjustments to your routines. 

Remember, you can make more money... you cannot make more time. 


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