How to make time for important things

This article's headline is deceptive. Of course, creating more time is impossible. Each day has 24 little hours and I don't see that changing in the near future. 

But we can create time for the important things by prioritizing them.

Taking an average weekday and assuming you sleep eight hours and work eight hours, you're left with eight hours per day for everything else.

Assuming you prioritize the following:

  • meals

  • family time

  • socializing

  • exercise

  • hygiene

  • commuting

  • using your mind, intellect

  • errands

  • reading email, Facebook and the news

  • working on a project (starting a business, improving your life...)

  • spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, journaling, etc...)

  • hobbies

  • fun/play

  • household (bills, taxes, laundry, boring stuff)

How to fit them all in? 

You value meals and eating regularly. So assuming you eat three times per day (two meals with family count as family time and one meal with friends at lunch counting as socializing time), and each meal lasts one hour totaling 3 hours per day. This leaves you with five hours for:

  • exercise

  • hygiene

  • commuting

  • using your mind, intellect

  • errands

  • reading email, Facebook and the news

  • working on a project (starting a business, improving your life...)

  • spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, journaling, etc...)

  • hobbies

  • fun/play

  • household (bills, taxes, laundry, boring stuff)

You prioritize moving your body at least one hour per day (go to the gym, martial arts, yoga, or you can run or walk with a friend, counting towards socializing time). So now you are left with 4 hours for:

  • hygiene

  • commuting

  • using your mind, intellect

  • errands

  • reading email, Facebook and the news

  • working on a project (starting a business, improving your life...)

  • spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, journaling, etc...)

  • hobbies

  • fun/play

  • household (bills, taxes, laundry, boring stuff)

You value hygiene and dressing well. Showering, brushing teeth, and hair, and choosing your clothes, can take up to one hour per day. Now you have 3 hours left for:

  • commuting

  • using your mind, intellect

  • errands

  • reading email, Facebook and the news

  • working on a project (starting a business, improving your life...)

  • spiritual practice (meditation)

  • fun/play

  • household (bills, taxes, laundry, boring stuff)

Unfortunately, you have to commute to work. Your drive is 20-25 minutes. This is a good time to listen to an audio book or to an interesting podcast, using your mind and your intellect. Also, as you are out of the house, take that time to run one minor errand. This totals one hour per day. You're now down to two hours for:

  • reading email, Facebook and the news

  • working on a project (starting a business, improving your life...)

  • spiritual practice (meditation)

  • hobbies

  • fun/play

  • household (bills, taxes, laundry, boring stuff)

You like to check email, your social media feeds and reading the news. How about 30 minutes split into two 15 minute blocks (am/pm), leaving you 30 minutes to work on a very important project? Use a timer! You'll be left with one whole hour for your:

  • spiritual practice (meditation)

  • hobbies

  • fun/play

  • household (bills, taxes, laundry, boring stuff)

You have a twice per day 10-minute meditation practice, 20 minute instrument practice, and twenty minutes left to play a game of chess with your kids, to stand on your head or tell your wife jokes or to laugh.

You find the household stuff boring, so you delegate those household items to an assistant and/or cleaner. If this is not feasible, move it to the weekend. We don't pay bills every day, nor do we do laundry every day. 

Sometimes, it's just getting clear on our priorities that is needed. Once this is done, barring any obstacles, restructuring one's day falls into place.