First 30 Days Blog

17 apr

The 30-Minute Recharge

JayForteMost of your day is not about you. You have work, kids, life, meetings…on and on. So what energizes you? What keeps you connected and happy?

A friend of mine tells his kids at bedtime that when they go to and stay in bed, it gives him some time to ensure he will be a great father the next day. Besides keeping the kids in bed, he has time to recharge. He is able to spend time doing what he loves. This is his way to stay happy and balanced.

We all need time. We need time to recharge by connecting to what we are good at and passionate about doing. Not only does this give us time to ourselves, but it is fun, happy and meaningful time doing what we love. All it requires is a commitment of thirty minutes.

In my last post, Who Are You, Really?, I asked you to consider getting to know yourself better by responding to the following statements:

*I am good at (and list 5 things that come to you naturally).
*I am happiest when I am doing (list 5 things).
*I wish time would never end when I am doing (list 5 things).
*I am most proud of myself when I (list 5 things).

There are many reasons for this but the most important is the better you know what you are good at and passionate about, the more you can build these things in your life to make it exciting, impactful and happy. So use your responses from these statements to determine how to use your 30-minute recharge time – by doing something you love.

For example, if you said you were happiest when you are gardening, then spend an extra 30 minutes in the garden today. If you wish time would never end when you are with your grandchildren, then find 30 minutes to spend with them today. If you are good at cooking, then spend 30 minutes today cooking something new or reading a new cookbook.

Select one of any of the items you listed and commit to doing it for 30 minutes today. Not only is this the way to help make it a habit, but it also ensures that at least 30 minutes in your day, you will be involved in something you love. Isn’t that worth 30 minutes a day?

I know, I know. You say it may be worth 30 minutes, but you can’t find an extra 30 minutes in your day – all the time is already committed. For many, it seems the only way to get 30 extra minutes is to either start the day earlier or end it later. For me, I have already pushed both limits, so to find the 30 minutes I need to do something I love, I have had to learn new ways to manage my time and activities. Here are some suggestions:

1. Get better at planning. Maybe I am too left-brained but I can’t think of starting my day without a plan – to prioritize and stay in control. Without some order or organization, the day pushes me around and I won’t get done what needs to get done. And I won’t find 30 minutes to do more of what I find meaningful. So consider this approach: Take a piece of paper; draw a line down the middle. On the left side add the title “Gotta Do” – these are the urgent, must complete things;” on the right side add the title “Nice-ta Do” – these are things you would like to do but are not urgent as what is listed on the left side of the page. Get the “Gotta Do’s” done first. Notice what you put on each side of the page. You will get better at identifying obligatory and discretionary items. This helps you manage the activities in your day and help you find those important 30 minutes.

2. Control time wasters. We waste so much time during our days through inefficiency, disorganization and procrastination. Here are ways to get back in control and find 30 minutes to use in a better way:

*Get organized. Organize your living space, closets, kitchen and office. Label things. Put things away right away; remember OHIO – only handle it once. Most people waste an hour or more a day looking for things because they are disorganized. By the way, where are your keys?
*Learn to say “no.” Our inability to say no to some requests uses up much of our personal time. Sometimes the best way to say “no” is “not now.” Learning to say “no” can help you better manage your schedule and allow you to be more in control of your activities and time.
*Eliminate interruptions – they make every job take longer. Turn off the e-mail notification when you are working on other projects on the computer. Check e-mail once an hour or at some other interval. When involved in a significant project around work or the house, turn off the cell phone. Check messages every hour.
*Handle several small tasks at once. Open your mail while waiting for the kids. Create your planning list while in line at the store. Write birthday cards, etc. on the bus or train if you take public transportation.

Time management is actually activity management. And if finding 30 minutes each day to do something meaningful and valuable for you is important, then you’ll learn how to manage your time better. To get a copy of my “Where Did My Day Go? The Time and Activities Management Workbook” (PDF), e-mail me ( and write “Time Management” in the subject line.

So, what will you do with 30 minutes each day? How will you use those minutes to do things that help you be happy, successful and great? And how will you rearrange your day to be sure your get your 30-minute recharge? Build more into your day of what you are good at and passionate about for a life you love.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and the on-line resources, Stand Out and Get Hired, and The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual. He has just completed his new book, The End of Average; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit and Transform Your World; chapter downloads will soon be available on his website. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to live fired up! More information at

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Posted by Jay Forte on April 17th, 2010 in Career, Family, General, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Teens, Things We Love | 0 comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , ,

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