I’ll never forget the day my aunty Rosa revealed to me that ‘life speeds up with age’. In fact I remember it like it was just yesterday. I was an excited Year 10 student looking forward to my final two years of high school as a senior. That was in 2007.
As I sit at my desk writing this post I cannot believe we’re half way through 2016. How is Christmas only a few months away? I swear I only just finished eating my chocolate bunnies from Easter last week!
My aunty was most certainly onto something. Only moments before she unleashed this truth bomb on me, I admitted that I felt my time at high school was simply zooming past me like a sports car – one minute I’m in Year 7 and the next I’m getting a part-time job and picking VCE subjects.
I am 24 years old (just shy of 25) and as I proceed with age, time seems to tick away without a second thought, literally. I don’t know about you but I often feel there’s not enough time in a day. As the Olsen twins once said, “So much to do, so little time!”
You’ll often hear people say ‘time is always of the essence’. My dad Victor is one of them. He is like clockwork. He’s up in the morning at the crack of dawn. First he works out, has a shower and then enjoys a wholesome breakfast. After consuming his last mouthful, he’ll grab his work bag and off to work he goes. Weekends look much the same, minus the going to work bit.
For years I couldn’t understand my dad’s routine. As a high school student I hated getting up early. I wasn’t really a morning person; I was more of a night owl. I didn’t necessarily go out partying (unless it was a 16th or 18th birthday of course); instead I would find myself getting pre-occupied doing everything other than going to bed. No wonder I was so tired in the morning!
My dad is super-efficient. Even though he doesn’t work on weekends, he’ll always find a little project to do, or an awesome book to read. By 11am, he has already achieved so much.
For the last year and a half I have been living in my own home. I’m married and run a digital marketing business amongst many other things. Managing a household can come with its challenges, especially when you have a home office. The temptation to get distracted by household chores is incredibly high. I know this would ring true for many of you. Whether you have kids or a part of community groups, the more we have on our plate, the more we naturally need to juggle.
This week the world happens to be celebrating All or Nothing Day. In fact this day is celebrated every year on the 26th of July (just in case you were wondering). I absolutely adore the rationale behind All or Nothing Day. Its sole focus is to remind us all to embrace every single day and not take it for granted. My dad is a great example of somebody who does just this. He has always encouraged me to ‘carpe diem’, which when translated from Latin into English means ‘seize the day’. I’m sure you’ve heard this term somewhere along the way.
Time management hasn’t always been my strong suit – it is something I’ve had to actively work on and improve over the years. However, I am proud to say that I have most certainly come a long way. I am naturally quite a passionate and determined person, so when these two ingredients are coupled together, they make the perfect antidote to task diversion.
To celebrate World All or Nothing Day, I thought I’d share with you my own tips to help you overcome any barriers that are holding you back from getting the most out of each day:
- If you love to sleep in, trick your brain by setting your alarm clock 20 minutes earlier than necessary so when it rings you can press the snooze button and ‘rest’ for an extra few minutes. If you like, use this time to stretch your body, even if your eyes remain closed.
- Don’t sleep next to your phone, instead turn it off or put it on silent and leave it in the kitchen or study. By doing this you not only avoid any unnecessary radiation whilst you sleep, it will also encourage you to get out of bed first thing in the morning so you can check any Snapchat or Instagram notifications… Whatever it takes I say!
- Write to-do lists and stick to them. I have two of these. One relates to tasks that need to be completed that day and the other list relates to less urgent items that can be addressed another day. I also rank my tasks based on their importance level.
- Listen to music or other audio that helps to keep you focussed. I have Apple Music and what I love most about this app is that it has inbuilt activity playlists. I find listening to either their ‘Working’ or ‘Studying’ playlists to be super helpful.
- Drink heaps of water. I find when I keep my fluids up, I tend to focus more. Are you one of those people who forgets to drink throughout the day? No stress. All you need to do is when sitting at your desk put a tall glass next to you and a water jug. You can’t forget to drink if it’s staring you in the face! If you’re on the run, buy a large water bottle, preferably one that is stainless steel as they are both durable and BPA free. I have a 1 litre bottle in pink (of course). I fill it up in the morning and carry it with me in my bag.
- Eat. This may sound stupid, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t eat enough throughout the day! How can anyone sustain their body if there’s nothing in there to keep their mind energised and focussed. Secondly, eat well. Try to eat whole foods rather than those that are highly processed. Whole foods are not only naturally good for you, they’ll sustain you.
- If you find yourself getting carried away by particular tasks then prioritise them ahead of time and determine roughly how long you’ll need to spend on each and stick to it. If this still doesn’t work then set an alarm so you are actively alerted when to stop and move on to the next item on your to-do list.
- Be adventurous! No matter what you have planned on any given day, be encouraged to do something that either makes you happy or forces you to step out of your comfort zone (within reason of course). Whether you’ve only got 30 minutes to spare or a full two hours, make them count. Trust me you’ll be an even more positive person when you allow yourself the freedom to enjoy life.
- Lastly, relax. Give your body a chance to replenish itself. You know your own body better than anybody else so do what you feel is right for you. Whether you prefer to meditate, read a book before bed, go for a walk, take a 20-minute power nap, lie down and stretch, or watch a movie – whatever it might be just do it. Your body will thank you for it.
So there you have it! That’s my 9 top tips to help you carpe diem. May you be encouraged to give every single day everything you’ve got.
Gianna Lucas xx