Friday, 5 March 2010

Don't Make Time. Spend The Time You Have Wisely

I have heard a lot in my time about having 'no time' to do some exercise. Worse still I see people stress themselves out by trying to 'make time'. There is a third way; choose to develop the benefit of a task you already HAVE to do. Let me explain.

I have to drop off CK at school each day and/or pick her up in the evening. This is something I do en route to and from work. In addition I have been trying to walk a lot more. Usually during my lunch hour (actually 30 minutes) each day I will head out for a walk of 30 minutes or so. My phone has an inbuilt radio which I may listen to, or I might simply let my mind wander.

Occasionally I get to work from home. Now on these days I could try to save time by dropping CK off at school in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon using the car. By using the car I save 20 minutes on each return journey. So with 40 minutes I have saved in a day, I guess I can fit my daily walk in. But there is a better way.

When working from home I choose to escort CK to and from school on foot. Walking to the school takes 15 minutes each way. But as I see it, these are the benefits:
  • During the walk to school in the morning and the walk from school in the evening I am accompanied by Captain Kid. This is a great time to chat and interact with her.

    I have noticed that if I pick her up in the car (me in the front and her in the back), she is MUCH less communicative. The car is not optimised for 'interaction', we cannot see each other, we are not facing one another, the seats form a barrier and I am concentrating on driving. It is difficult to get anything out of her! She ignores my questions and this can lead to a tension that can permeate the evening. But, on foot the interaction is all the sweeter.

    During the walk we embrace 'play'. We can hold hands. We can engage in sprints (she rarely walks at the same speed anywhere), and we simply have quality TIME to spend with one another. It is a most relaxing walk and good fun. She opens up and tells me about her day. We are equals rather than driver and passenger. The whole travelling dynamic is different.

The other side of the task:

  • Walking back from school in the morning and to school in the afternoon (to pick CK up)are legs of the journey where I walk alone. During this time I can relax and let my mind wander. I tend to focus on my posture - imagining I am being pulled upwards by the top of my head. My shoulders drop back and my arms swing gently by my side. I also try to spend some time working on my breathing, pushing my stomach out gently as I breathe in to increase the volume of my lungs. This is a quality training session without the stress of a limited 'window' in which it must be completed as I am already in transition to my next task.
So all in all, I get an hour total - of which thirty minutes is quality time with CK and the other thirty minutes is quality time to myself. I tick off the 'daily walk' task and the pick up/drop off CK task. I reduce my carbon footprint. It is a low stress activity and does not involve the anxiety often associated with 'making time' nor spending 'made time' on a specific task it was originally intended for.

The world is parallel so best to interact with it as such!

1 comment:

AT22 said...

Perfect thought!