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You have a limited amount of time. I’m not trying to be morbid. I’m saying there are 24 hours in a day. This is what you have to work with.

Of those 24 hours, you need to sleep for 8. a (if you don’t believe me, read Why We Sleep; Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, PhD.) Now, you’ve got 16 hours left. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you spend roughly just shy of 2 hours a day eating and doing food prep and clean up. The average amount of housework per day (for women) is just shy of one hour. So, 16 – 3 = 13. Of course, your amounts of time may differ. Keep that in mind.

Next, factor in how much time it takes you to do personal care activities, like showering, getting dressed, etc. I will guess one hour. We are down to 12 hours a day.

And I haven’t even asked about your work yet! If you have a job, how many hours a day do you spend working? For the purposes of this exercise, I am going to guess about 8.

We are now down to 4 hours left. I have not factored in any commuting time, or any child care time.

But you see what I’m getting at. I am not going to let you mess with your sleep time. That is fundamentally important to your entire life! So, no, you can’t get up at 3:00 in the morning to go take a hot yoga class at 4:00.

I want you to really think about this. You need to consider how much time you actually have when you think about adding more activities to your day. And yes, I suppose you could cram something in there, especially if your children change clothes in the backseat while you are driving, and you eat fast food on your way to your next activity. Do you really want to live that way? The correct answer is…no. You don’t.  You need to have time in your day to enjoy your life. Time to nurture your relationships. Time to just be yourself, and do what you like every so often. I also did not mention the time most Americans spend watching TV, or interacting with Facebook, etc. The average amount of time spent watching TV is over 2 1/2/ hours.

Take a sheet of paper, divide it into 7 days, and color in your sleep time and your work time.  Remember your time spent eating, preparing food, cleaning, getting dressed, etc.  What’s left is what you have to work with.

And that’s the first thing you need to understand about your life.