Personal Caring Your Way to More Time

As more and more people take the Time Management Analysis (TMA), a clear conclusion can be drawn. Individuals do not relate their personal care to their use of time. It can often be looked at as an application that takes away flexibility and freedom from the time someone wants to spend.

Typical areas to improve our health revolve around our diet (what we eat and staying hydrated), exercise (regular physical activity, strength training, and getting enough sleep), and our mental health (managing stress, seeking social connections, and doing activities you enjoy).

When we are committed to taking care of ourselves, we improve our standard of living through reducing the risk of chronic diseases, having a strong immune system, increasing our energy levels, improving our ability to control our weight, getting better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, sharpened memory, heightened cognitive functions, and finally you guessed it…better time management.

As I studied this connection between using time and personal care, I landed on four areas of opportunity tied specifically to time management, but beings benefit beyond that. By improving your sleep, taking at least one break a day, creating some form of consistent exercise, and engaging in a formal spiritual practice, you will find your overall use of time will be spent on the other things in life that are most important to you.

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Get Some Sleep

I personally struggle with getting quality sleep. It is not for lack of effort, but more my need to plan for sleep better. I am not alone, 54 percent of contributors on the TMA do not get enough sleep. What is the right amount? A variety of sources put that number at 7 to 9 hours, basically about one-third of your time should be with your eyes closed.

That means you need to take slumber seriously. It should not be looked at as an area to cut into your life. Lack of sleep leads to a host of challenges we have already outlined. Challenging yourself to go to bed at the same time each night, shut down all screens 60-minutes before bedtime, improve the environment in your bedroom to get sleep, and work on the foods you eat and when you consume them.

Come On, Take a Break

A work break is one of the simplest ways to become more productive. You might be thinking, “What? Stopping work makes be get more done?” Yes! More than 38% of those who have taken the TMA say they rarely or never take a break. Is that you?

Now, some of it is in the timing (pun intended). I do not recommend you take a break if you are in a focused zone of output. However, at some point, that efficiency will start to diminish, and you would do yourself a favor by stepping away. By leaving your workspace and not getting on a “screen” you offer your brain a mini vacation. In as short a time of 15-minutes, you’’’ be combating mental fatigue, improving decision making when you return, and sparking creativity for seeing things differently.  

Move Your Stinkin’ Body

I am not a doctor or a personal trainer, but from what I read and researched, physical exercise is a gateway to many other health benefits. On the TMA, only 51 percent admit they even do any kind of consistent exercise. If you are seeking to take better care of yourself, consult a medical professional or someone who specializes in creating the optimal program for you.

There is a lot of data out there, but the World Health Organization (WHO) is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, or an equivalent combination of both. To put it in context, 150 minutes is roughly 2% of your awake time if you sleep 7 hours a night.

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Connect Beyond Self

The final element, which I do not ask about in the TMA, but I feel is very important to your time health, and that is a defined spiritual practice. To be transparent, I am a Christian, but knowing there are many pursuits, spirituality is a way in which you choose to allocate time to something that is greater than yourself. This helps point your mind and body in different directions and lets you invest time in activities that enhance your spirit.

It’s Your Time and Body, Take Care of Both

No matter what you decide, please be committed to investing your time in taking care of yourself – mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is not going to take up a lot of your total time consumed but will let you improve on the use of your time so that you think you have more available.  Learn more about this and other time-optimized opportunities in my book, The Time-Optimized Life.

Join me and my special guest Julie Blacutt on my weekly LinkedIn Audio event on Thursday 3/14/24 as we discuss, “Time-Optimized Personal Care.” Julie is featured in chapter 8 of The Time-Optimized Life.

David Buck is the author of the book The Time-Optimized Life, owner of Kairos Management Solutions, LLC, and founder of the Infinity Lifestyle Design program. As a certified professional retirement coach (CPRC), David works with financial services providers helping their clients create a post-career lifestyle strategy. To learn more, contact him at or visit Infinity Lifestyle Design.

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