30 Minutes, That’s All You Need

Searching for time, trying to finding time. It is hiding in plain sight.

I used to get up at 05h00 and go to the gym. I found though when we were leaving for school at 06h45, traffic would already be heavy and I could feel the stress building up.

I would rush to drop off the kids and then rush to work, inevitably sitting down all flustered about 15–20 mins late. I couldn’t understand. We were leaving the same time as before and we never had a problem.

I tried to figure it out in my head. I tell myself, tomorrow will be better. It isn’t. I know how important sleep is and contemplated getting up 30 minutes earlier. There was a lot of resistance, from me.

I set my alarm for 04h30 the first day.

When my alarm went off, it was funny because it felt exactly like 05h00. I couldn’t tell the difference, but the difference was that I was now awake at 04h30.

This meant that I could walk into the gym at 05h00, get back home by 06h00 and leave for school at 6h30 instead of 06h45. Do you know what difference an extra 15 mins can make? I won’t tell you, you have to experience it for yourself.

If you lose an hour in the morning, you end up looking for it the whole day — somebody famous

Needless to say, I was at my desk at the required hour, a few mins early in fact. I could ease into my day, chat to my colleagues, make some coffee and so on and so forth. But again, don’t take my word for it.

As you know everyone leaves Cubicleville at 17h00. In fact, some of us start packing up at 16h45, because there is no overtime and you’re already underpaid. You’ve been meaning to ask for an increase.

What I do, and again don’t take my word for it, is stay about 30 mins extra. For no other reason and not to impress the boss, but to close off my day gently. I then make a few notes and mentally run through the next day.

You’ve booked an appointment all the way across town, you don’t know the area. The GPS tells you it will take 45 mins, add an extra 30 mins. You will thank yourself later.

You have to catch a flight, it takes 30 mins to get to the airport. Add an extra 30 mins. I used to ask my husband, do you really have to go so early? I’m sure they’ll keep your seat for you.

  • 30 minutes of meditation, that’s all you need
  • 30 minutes of exercise, or walk around the block
  • 30 minutes to decipher your finances, draw up a budget and start automating your savings
  • 30 minutes to sweep through the house, take everything you don’t need and donate it to charity.
  • On a 30 min or more commute to work, download some podcasts over the weekend and listen to them in the morning. It sets the tone for the day.
  • For 30 mins put your phone down and pick up a book

What have you put off for the last week? Find those 30 minutes.

Again, don’t take my word for it.