Lighten Up: The power of just an hour

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT

Every year, it seems that “falling back” always seems to wreak havoc with our delicately balanced bodies.

While most of us no doubt enjoyed an extra hour of sleep a couple of weeks back, some folks probably chose to rise at the same hour and make creative, productive use of that extra time. It does make you think…just what would you do if you were given an extra hour each day?

Actually, that hour is already there – we just need to figure out how to access it.

Have you ever noticed that extremely busy individuals always seem to have one thing in common? It’s true — they have mastered the fine art of time management. Sometimes the more activities one needs to squeeze into one’s day, the better one becomes at making time for the things that really matter.

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Studies have shown that high school students who are involved in after-school sports, musical endeavors or part-time jobs actually get better grades than their less involved counterparts. This is obviously not because they have more time to devote to studying; if anything, quite the opposite is true.

However, knowing their time outside of school is limited, they have become adept at using what little time they have wisely.

Even for those among us who are happily embracing the retirement lifestyle, where nothing needs to be rushed all day long, time still seems to ebb awat before every planned activity has been accomplished.

So, what is the secret to time management? Setting priorities!

There are things one has to do, and there are activities in which one would like to be engaging. By setting limits on the number of commitments we make, we are in effect prioritizing ourselves and our leisure time.

As the holidays approach, and the hustle and bustle of the shopping/entertaining/celebrating frenzy gains a stronghold on our time, make one firm commitment…to yourself. Carve out that extra hour, to engage in whatever activity gives you pleasure.

Find a way to own that time and make it count…before we “spring forward” and lose it again.