A big part of this blog is me figuring out how to make the most of any situation. People say it all the time, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” But no one ever talks about HOW we’re supposed to make the most of it.
So, I’ve taken a look at some typical situations and attempted to figure out how to make the most of them, or at least try to.
How to make the most of your time.
In high school, I had a history teacher that asked us what we would do if we could do whatever we wanted in 24 hours. I don’t remember what I said I’d do, but I do remember calculating that in order to do everything I wanted, I needed 26 hours.
I’d say most people probably have that issue: there’s never enough time. And then someone snaps back with, “Well Beyonce has 24 hours in a day, too!” Yeah, she does, but she also has a staff.
Instead of wishing for more time, you’ve got to look at the time you DO have, and then figure out how you’re already spending it, what things are sucking up your time, and how you want to utilize your newly found free time.
Start by looking at the time you have: everyone does have 24 hours in a day, and 168 hours in a week. Take a look at how you spend your time – and subtract it from your 168 hours, just as you would a bank account.
Of course, there’s things you have to do – like work 40 hours. But do you always work through lunch when maaaaybe you don’t have to? I’m guilty of this, but even if you vow to take one lunch break a week, that’s an hour you could read the book collecting dust on your nightstand.
Once you track where your time is going, pick things you can remove – maybe your time is being taken by checking Facebook several times a day or watching too much TV when you’d rather be doing something else.
Even if there’s an extra 15 minutes here or there you can find – that’s time you can devote to something on your to-do list, or something you’ve been putting off. Cheers to finding hidden hours in your week!
How to make the most of your workout.
I know a lot of people made 2017 resolutions to lose weight or to work out more. But in the essence of time, why not just make the most out of your workout?
When I lived in Baton Rouge, I spent a few years really getting into fitness, and I worked out several times a week at a boxing gym. All I did was go to a boxing or kickboxing class for one hour 4-5 times each week, and it was the best I think I ever looked and felt.
Sure the workouts were tough as nails, but in one hour, I burned a ton of calories and got strength training. I even met some awesome friends while I was at it!
I take a similar approach to my workouts now that I live in Austin. I take dance classes several times a week (I took 7 last week), and even though it may not burn as many calories as the boxing classes, I’ve gained confidence, built physical strength, made friends, and get to express myself creatively – all while burning fat!
So, find a workout that’s going to work for you in more ways than one: maybe it’s something you love, maybe it’s a chance for you to see a friend each week, or maybe it’s just seriously intense (hi, pilates) and you’ll see results quickly.
Whatever you do, don’t just go to a gym and mindlessly do the eliptical, because that burns about 0 calories and you’re going to be wasting your time.
How to make the most of your weekend.
If you work Monday-Friday, 9-5, then you probably rely on your weekend to really get things done, or possibly to just party and let loose. I used to use my weekends to clean and cook, and while I felt productive, I also felt tired on Monday mornings.
So I started doing my household “chores” during the week. As shitty as it sounds, it’s not bad. I made a list of all the little things that need to be done: litter box, sweep, mop, trash, wipe mirrors, etc. Then I bought a dry erase calendar from the Dollar Tree and stuck it to my fridge and put one or two chores for each night of the week.
Of course, doing chores after I’ve worked all day and gone to a dance class isn’t really a party, but most of these chores take maybe 5-10 minutes, so if I want to watch TV, I can usually get it done on a commercial break.
It also helps if you spend just 5 minutes picking up before you hit the sack; then when you wake up in the morning, you’re not greeted by a giant mess.
So, if you get your chores done – or a majority of them done – during the week, you can use your weekend to do something more fun, or work on a bigger project you’ve been wanting to do.
How to make the most of your sleep.
I used to be a very troubled sleeper, and if I’m not careful, then I will have a shitty night’s sleep and that pretty much ruins everything.
Of course, different things work for different people but this is what’s worked for me. I started by finding an all-natural sleep aid that I like (it’s called Rest EZ and it’s from Melaleuca). It helps me relax when I’m ready for bed and helps me stay asleep without feeling groggy in the morning.
Secondly, I stopped drinking during the week, and honestly, I cut back on drinking in general. Date an abusive alcoholic and that’ll all but ruin drinking for you. Sometimes, a glass of wine seems like it will help you relax and sleep, but for me, it made for a lesser-quality sleep and often led to really weird nightmares.
Next, I set a bedtime for myself. Sounds silly, but it helps me get to bed in time to actually sleep enough to function the next day. I use the bedtime app that’s already on my iPhone, and it has a little alarm that goes off when I need to go to bed. If I don’t go to bed then, I am consciously making that decision to be tired the next day.
Other things you may consider doing: using essential oils to help you relax and sleep, making sure electronics and lights are off while you sleep, or maybe even investing in nice sheets or a more comfortable mattress.
Want to get shit done while you sleep? Get one of those facial masks that works to improve your skin while you sleep – I’ve also seen other skin creams you can apply before bed that work while you sleep; or maybe go to bed with the lotion socks or gloves on.
How to make the most of a shitty situation.
Whether you’re stuck on a bad date, had a terrible day, or are running late to something super important, there’s a few things you can do to make it suck less.
One thing I always try to do is figure out what I can immediately learn from the situation so it either doesn’t happen again, or I can prepare better for it next time.
Then, I try and put it into perspective: is this something that’s going to matter tomorrow? In a week? In a year? And react accordingly. Try not to beat yourself up over something small, or something that’s out of your control.
And finally, it sounds cheesy, but find the good in the situation – even if it’s something small. I spent the last 15 months of my life pulling data and dumping it into spreadsheets, but I got to listen to about 45 hours worth of podcast material every week and I kind of loved it. So, there’s that!
…And there you have it! If you’ve got additional tips for my list, feel free to leave them in the comments.