Mind and Body

How to find the time for change

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I once saw a poster on the front door of a gym that said:

1 hour is just 4% of your day. So, what is your excuse not to exercise?

That poster really got me thinking and put things into perspective for me. It’s also helped me to assist my personal development clients, as we work together to reach their goals.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the average American adult watches five hours of television a day. Here in Australia, the Australian Multi-Screen Report estimates that the average Australian adult watches over three hours of television a day. We could safely estimate that the figures in other Western countries would be identical to that of America and Australia.

What compounds the problem is this: Many of these people who watch television between three-five hours a day are in sedentary jobs eg. sitting at a desk all day, without much movement of the body.

In this day and age of technology and lack of exercise, we have a huge problem on our hands.

However, this article is not focusing on fitness, per se. The goal of this article is to encourage you to realise that so much can be done in what may seem like a short period of time. Things which are productive for your health, for your emotional state, and for your future can be done in a short period of time, on a regular basis.

So, let’s break things down about how much you can get done in what may seem to be a short period of time:

Fitness guru, Mike Chang  put out a video on Youtube about a five minute exercise. He said “If you don’t have five minutes for exercise, you may have to restructure your life”.

How true is that? It does not just apply to exercise. It applies to anything that is good for you, that could be done in five minutes.

Now, if 1 hour is 4% of your 24 hour day, then how much is five minutes? There are 1,440 minutes in a day, and five minutes of that equates to just 0.3% of your day.

The point is you can fit new things into your schedule if the reasons for doing so are convincing enough.

I’m a big fan of American author and speaker Tony Robbins. He says, “The only equal opportunity in the world is the fact that everyone is given 24 hours in a day. How you use it is up to you”. It’s an obvious fact, but something we rarely think about. In one of his programs, he stated that 80% of people who buy a new book will not read past the first chapter. The time factor was the biggest challenge for them. Or is that what they think?

How many people do you know of, who have bought a gym membership and have never attended on a regular basis? Do you know of anyone who has purchased exercise equipment like a treadmill, and have not used it more than perhaps a handful of times?

My call to action for you are these four steps:

Come up with one thing that you must do on a regular basis 

This one thing could be to improve your health, your career, your relationships, your fitness, or anything productive or beneficial to you. Sit in a quiet place, and think hard about what this one thing will be.

Put a time frame on it

Yes, put a time frame on how long you will spend doing this thing on a regular basis. This step is important, otherwise you will be shooting in the dark. How many minutes a day (or on certain days) will you spend on this? In this step, give yourself a percentage of the time that this will consume in your day. That way, the task at hand will not seem too big or too overwhelming. Let’s just say that you will dedicate half an hour of each day to reading a book on personal development. Half an hour of your day is just 2% of your 24 hour day.

When will it be done?

Now is the scheduling of this task. When will it be done? Come up with a time that will be realistic. For example, you say to yourself “I will do an online course after work”. However, deep down you know that you will be too tired after work to concentrate in that online class. That will not be productive. Be as realistic as possible. In this step, remind yourself that it will be done. Actually, if it’s important to you, it must be done!

What are three benefits?

Make a list of what you will achieve as a result of sticking to this commitment. If your goal is to spend five hours a week on professional development, your reasons could be “Career growth, better pay, and more industry recognition”. This step is your motivation and will keep you going. As I mentioned earlier, if the reasons are not convincing enough, you may get side tracked.

If you do the above steps, you will better utilise your time in doing things that are productive, powerful, and positive.

The legendary Bob Proctor said “You will spend that money anyway. You will spend that time anyway. You might as well spend it on your development”.

I sincerely hope that I have given you something to think about and something to act on when it comes to spending your time productively.


Influencing you to your excellence,


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Ron Prasad is an author, speaker, life coach, and an anti-bullying campaigner. He is passionate about empowering his clients in their personal development. Visit him at: www.impetussuccess.com.au