‘We all have the same 24 hours available to us in each day. Most of us spend eight hours working and eight hours sleeping. What you do with the remaining eight hours will have a tremendous influence on the level of success you achieve in your life.’ Napoleon Hill.
I’ve been reading again and this quote from Napoleon Hill has remained in my brain for several days. Do you make time for success?
If we take an average day and think of our day as 8 hours working and 8 hours asleep, it leaves us with a whole 8 hours to ourselves.
Just take a moment to let that sink in… 8 hours to ourselves EVERY SINGLE DAY (it might be different if you have a shift pattern, but there WILL be time you truly have to yourself).
Now I know as a working Mum that I don’t have 8 hours to myself, but I have spent some time breaking down how I spend that 8 hours. I have a long commute to my day job which eats up a good 1-4 hours depending on roadworks and traffic. I also have a 4 year old child at home who is a constant chatterbox and energy machine who needs my attention, playtime and feeding. But she does go to sleep at some point. I also do chores and I like to spend time talking to my Husband. So that probably leaves me with about an hour to myself just before bedtime and I’m often feeling tired and possibly still a little wound up from the day’s activities. Hmm, this magic 8 hours to affect my future success is dwindling!
I really like this concept though. I believe through a few small tweaks we can actually use the entire time we are awake to influence our success, although if I had a full 8 hours to dedicate to my success, I’d be an amazing dynamo right now!
If I stay with the 8 hour principle, I feel it’s really important to break down how time is spent, maybe draw it as a pie chart to show work time, sleep time, home/parent or carer/chores time and see what’s left. You might have a lot of time or a little so you’ll need to adapt the following tips to fit the time you have left.
For me it’s 2 hours – split by an hour in the morning and an hour before bedtime. And the hour in the morning is created by me getting up a little earlier than usual.
I know that the things I’d like for my successful future are:
To eat a healthy breakfast
To spend time getting into the right mindset for the day or week ahead
To read books
To draw a daily card
If I tell you in the last two weeks I’ve managed to fit all of these things into my available time EVERY day – would you believe me?
I struggled for so long thinking I wanted to do these things but never had the time, and that by the evening I was too tired so I didn’t bother. They all felt like things I knew would make me feel better, mindful, present, calm, healthier – yet I couldn’t find the time.
I challenged myself to think about my priorities and realised that I wasn’t prioritising myself, ever.
Do you find you struggle to fit things into your life, yet you don’t achieve your goals too? Can I ask you for an honest answer to this question? Are you prioritising YOU right now?
Did you answer yes or no? I’m really bad at prioritising me. I admit it. But I’m changing that, one step at a time.
It takes a change of mindset to prioritise yourself. But it can be done with a few simple tweaks. I choose now to get up out of bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Notice I didn’t say anything about setting my alarm for earlier! I now get up when my alarm goes off rather than snoozing it 3 times, or scrolling through my social media or reading the news for 30 minutes.
Alarm goes off and I get up. Once I’m up I head downstairs quietly and put a 7 minute full body workout video on (thanks YouTube!) followed by a 7 minute hip stretch video. Then I sit at the table and eat a healthy breakfast during which I set out my thoughts and actions for the day ahead. Then I head up for a shower and after my shower I pull a daily card because my mind is clear and calm. All this in 30 minutes. At this point my daughter wakes up and I’m so calm that we no longer rush to get ready and out the door.
I’ve managed to get a bit of reading and meditation time in that hour before bed too. So by changing my routine to make it more productive, I’ve affected the success of my entire day (who needs those full 8 hours to be successful eh?!).
Does this sound amazing and doable now? Do you think with a small change in your daily routine you might create or improve your own successes? I know your goals will be different to mine and that your routines will be too, so take a moment to apply the principle to your life and see where it can take you.
And one last thing, I was no way a morning person two weeks ago. My alarm goes off at 6.30am and that felt like torture – until I redefined my mindset to prioritise me. And now I look forwards to getting up and out of bed, so that I can do the things I want to do, for myself and my well-being.