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Feeling like there aren’t enough hours in your day? Doesn’t everyone? I’ve discovered a powerful secret that has given me several extra hours in my day to get things done. Impossible, you say? Read on…

One of the things that’s difficult for me to “find” the time for is exercise. Sometimes I’ll think, “if I skip my workout, I can make some real progress on my to-do list.” Skipping meals, especially breakfast, also seems to be a common time-saver among my friends.

I’ve come to realize that there is an important point that’s missing with this logic. Exercise and eating right, especially breakfast, actually add time to your day. We treat them like a net-negative when it comes to how much time we have in the day to do things. They are actually a net-positive, and not only on a cumulative basis, but on a daily basis. We all recognize that when we eat right and exercise, we have more energy and motivation. But even when you look at it that way, it makes it easy to think that skipping a day is ok, and before you know it, you’ve skipped many days. But what I’ve come to realize is that if I have a healthy bite to eat in the morning AND exercise for at least 20 minutes, I get MORE time IN THAT DAY than I had without it. On the mornings when I take 15 minutes to grab a bite for breakfast, and 20-30 minutes to exercise, I actually feel energetic and productive well into the evening. On the days I don’t, I’m typically drooping in the mid-afternoon, and then again by about 7pm. During these “droopy” times, I’m easily distracted, unfocused, and end up resorting to busy-work-type activities that don’t accomplish much, or sometimes even daydreaming or otherwise fussing around without getting anything done. On the days without breakfast or a workout, I’m longing to hit the couch by 7pm, the dishes stay in the sink and the dog doesn’t get a walk because I’m spent.

Exercise and breakfast actually give me more productive hours in my day. They help me to spend a productive afternoon focusing and getting important tasks accomplished, I whirl around the kitchen making dinner, cleaning up, walking the dog, tidying the house, preparing for the next day, and feeling great about it all. That 45 minutes or so I allow in the morning to take care of my body, easily adds several hours of productive time to my day. Now every time I feel like I “don’t have the time” for breakfast or a workout, I remember this and it’s a powerful motivator to lace up my running shoes! You might find that a change of perspective, from a good diet and exercise as a net-negative, to a net-positive of time in your day, might be just what you need to motivate you to change your habits.

Do you have anything to add? I’d love to read your comments. Thanks for reading!