Modern life seems to come with this segmentation, where “life” is broken down into categories of obligation, with “work” (i.e. make money) at the top of the list. I get it; I’ve lived in this world my entire life and for years I've failed to fit it all in. To make matters even more interesting, you and I dwell in a society where movement isn’t required while occupying a body that certainly requires it. Is it possible to keep both our bodies and our life fit?
I have found great personal success—success being defined as “meeting my societal and physiological obligations”--not by breaking up my obligations and allotting time to these fractured components (i.e. 20 minutes to get food, 45 minutes for some exercise, an hour to spend with my kids, 4 hours to produce some work-thing),
but by figuring out how to organize requirements in a way where the same portion of time fulfills multiple obligations.
I always add work twice because, well, I have a lot of work obligations.
Last week, I had an interview with Prevention magazine, a package and bills that needed to be mailed, and an ongoing physiological requirement to move. I could have sat in a quiet room to take the call, and then driven past the post office on my way to the gym or park, but instead I did all three at once.
I packed up my backpack with the package and headed off toward the post office on foot, starting my phone call with “I’m ready for our interview, and I wanted to let you know that in efforts to reduce my screen time and sit less, I’m taking this call walking—if you hear any ambient noise, it’s because I’m outside walking! Let me know if this is an issue for you.” I also snapped a picture of me doing all three so that I could include it in a post about time management, so really I ended up getting additional work done via modeling the lesson I’m sharing with you today.
Doing my tasks all at once freed up at least an hour in this case which I could then spend doing other stuff I wanted to do, like taking a food-gathering walk with my family, or reading a book, or some other obligation that I'd normally "not have time for."
Last month a local organic farm requested volunteers to harvest berries one morning. Our entire family went—not because you could come pick an equal amount of berries for free the next week--but because in that two hour span we could serve our community, get TWO HOURS of squatting* and foraging movements (which normally we'd have to do sans any real context), eat berries, be outside, get our feet in the mud, hang out and visit with friends, show our kids how to pick berries (for 6 minutes before watching them meet and play with other kids), and did I mention hang out in a huge field of strawberries at 7 in the morning?
These two hours managed to meet all my obligations, especially since the huzb took some photos so I could add "work" to my list in this case (even if your work is not as directly accomplished through strawberry picking, community events like this are a great way to network, whatever the service that you offer).
So anyhow, this is just a short post to say consider thinking outside the traditional time-management approach. There is success to be found via de-compartmentalizing your life back into a single thread.
*On pages 208-109 of Move Your DNA I talk about "living" in a squat. Where a squat isn't a motion done in the same posture for a set of 10 or 20, but a very dynamic motion. Gathering berries is an excellent way to sort of crawl along the row in a squat, using your ankles, knees, and hips in ways that almost never occur in a modern setting.