The Opportunity All Single Adults Have - That You’re Married Friends Don’t

It’s the end of the work day. You breathe a heavy sigh of relief as you open the front door and drop your stuff just inside. 


“I’m home.” you think as you walk straight to the couch and collapse. Today was hectic. Work was insane and you are more than thankful for the day to be over.


As you sit, you start mentally mapping out your evening. “Hmmm let’s see…I could go running, try a new dinner recipe, go on a walk, join my friends for happy hour, read, spend time praying, watch TV, work on my website, get some writing done, go to yoga, etc…” the list is endless.


You have options.


And time.




It’s not something to be taken for granted.


And it happens to be what makes single life so fantastic!


Yes you may have a busy lifestyle and a busy full time job or studying schedule - but one thing you have that others do not - is time to yourself


Not just time to get things done, but time to focus on you - and what you want or need to do.


This is not something to take lightly or take for granted. 


I would be bold enough to say that this is the ideal time to pursue some side passions, to build skills and really spend the time needed to make yourself into the best version of yourself. This is the time to allow yourself to explore and really experiment with new ideas.


Because this phase of life is one that is precious and valuable. 


Singleness as an adult, is in a way, a gift. You have more time to yourself now than you will ever have once you’re married, and or decide to have a family.


Recently I saw a post that said something along the lines of, “your success is determined by what you do with your time outside of work”. 


The author was pointing out how much free time we actually have each and every day - and that every day, we get to make the decision of how to use our time. 


Every day we have the opportunity to choose to develop, learn, create and progress with reading, learning a new skill, taking care of our bodies with exercise, making healthy food, etc… Or we can choose to waste away our time by mindlessly watching tv or scrolling through social media.


It’s up to us.


And honestly, since reading that post I have come to the realization of just how much time I actually have at the end of my work day. 


And now that I am aware of the time I do have, I am consciously making an effort to use it to the best of my ability.


Some days “my best” includes going on a run and meal planning for the week. Other days it includes an hour long nap after a hectic day followed by some beach volleyball with friends. And some other days it includes quality time with friends and community. 


It all depends. 


But one thing I do know is that now that I am aware of the time I do have, I am consciously making an effort to use it in a beneficial manner.


And that is all that matters.


So when I catch myself scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, I pause, and ask myself what it is I should be doing instead. Am I exhausted? Would a nap be better? Am I bored? Should I instead pick up my book or join friends at the beach? Am I anxious about something and using this as a distraction? Should I pick up my bible or go on a run to clear my head?


This awareness is all that is needed to start making better decisions with my time and I would recommend that you give it a shot yourself.


So humor me and answer this question:


What time do you typically get home and what time you generally go to sleep? How many hours are there in between.


How many hours do you have?


For me it is something like 6-7 hours. That is almost as long as an entire workday. That means I have a pretty large chunk of time everyday that I get to choose what to do with.


Are you using your extra hours for your benefit or no? 


By knowing the answer to that question alone you can be on the way to changing your life.


So if it turns out you are like me and are LUCKY enough to be living the single life, embrace it, because this phase of life - this time where you can focus on yourself and use the time you do have to make yourself better - is really a gift not to be taken for granted or wasted. 


What will YOU do with the extra hours you have? Do you have a goal you want to work towards? Is there some skill you want to cultivate? Let me know in the comments below.

Is Productivity Killing You?

Productivity secrets and life hacks are great. At least, I love them.


I often find myself browsing online and clicking on nearly every link promising life changing “hacks” to make my days more productive and easier. When I scan through an article I find myself thinking - wow! these could actually work!


Every once in a blue moon I may actually apply one to my life - sometimes to great success.


One of my favorite “hacks” is making layered salads in mason jars for the week. Saves so much time and money later in the week. Gives me an easy, healthy, go-to lunch everyday, and means I have one less decision to make at 6am- which is always appreciated.


So I love these things. And honestly, I think much of the first world does as well.


Who doesn’t want tools to help us make less daily decisions, get things done in less time and with less stress?


So what is wrong with these?


Well fundamentally nothing. In fact, the more clever ideas can help people, the better.


However, I would argue that what is wrong is not the ideas themselves, but what they represent. 


Ultimately, the popularity of these ideas shows us that we live in a society that prizes productivity and getting more done in less time. 


“Well, duh…” you might say, “whats wrong with that?” 


Well nothing - until it gets in the way of resting and down time.


The problem I see is that we so badly want to get more and more done that when we reach a point emotionally, physically and/or mentally when we need a break - we struggle to actually give ourselves a break without overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame. We feel guilty about off time. We feel FOMO (fear of missing out) for fear of missing something fun. On sick days we find ourselves still working - just from home.


There is something wrong with this.


When our bodies reach the point where we get signals to slow down and rest we need to listen, respond and honor them.


Instead, we see this as weakness and as something that we can work or play through.


Side Note: Going and doing fun things whether playing a sport, hiking, going out for drinks - as much as they can be rejuvenating to a certain extent - these things still do not count as rest because you come home just as exhausted, if not more so than when you left.


So what do I propose?


I propose that we give ourselves PERMISSION.


We give our society and our friends permission to take a break.


Rather than guilt our friends into joining us when they tell us they need a day off - we should respect it and tell them we both understand and are impressed they are taking care of themselves.


Rather than reach out to coworkers on their sick days to see if they are well enough to get some work done - we should encourage them to turn off their cell phones and email and allow themselves to fully recover for work the following day. 


Rather than beat ourselves up over not getting the to do list done on a Saturday - we should respect our bodies and the innate understanding they have about our needs - and remember that anything that needs to get done can be completed the following day when our energy is back to normal.


And when we find ourselves craving a nap rather than a run on a Thursday afternoon- we should be willing to listen to that as well (within certain reason - we don’t want nap time taking over exercise).


Because ultimately if we give ourselves the time we so deeply crave to rest and be still and truly recover - we can and will be stronger than we can ever imagine when we reemerge fully recharged.


So what do you say?


Lets make a pact with one another to consciously choose to run on full battery rather than half. Lets make the intentional effort to no longer guilt ourselves or others when they need a day off and be willing to listen to the cues our bodies are giving us day in and day out.


Because I can only imagine how awesome this world could be if everyone were fully engaged and living life to their fullest.



In the comments tell me, what are your thoughts on productivity and how does it hurt or help you in your day to day life?

Your To Don’t List

Todays blog is going to be a bit more practical than normal.


To Do Lists.


We hate them. We love them. And we love to hate them.


Many of us live by them. Whether written down, in an app, noted on our phone or just cluttering up our thoughts - it seems the to do list goes on and on with no end.


Yet it feels so satisfying to check those items off.


At least it does for me. 


And at my current job, it seems I am constantly checking items off and adding more at the same time. I sometimes wonder if it will ever be completely done. (Probably not).


So when I saw this idea of creating a To Don’t List I was at first confused, then intrigued and then surprised by how genius and yet simple it was.


Everyone has things they know they shouldn’t be doing. The things that fill our time and lead us to think at the end of the day, “Where did my day go? How did I get nothing done?”. 


You know exactly what I’m talking about.


We all have our time wasters - the things we do out of habit or because we don’t want to think or because it will only take a minute - but instead end up taking one hour, a few hours or an entire day.


We also all have choices we know aren’t in our best interest - that we do anyway. Whether its going out drinking when we know we have responsibilities the next day. Or staying up watching TV series until 3am when we need to wake up at 6. Or even choosing to do something other than that thing we know needs to get done - like now.


We have To Don’t List items related to our personal goals. For example, when trying to lose weight we know that rather than sitting around drinking beer and watching football all day - that it may be better to be active outside and eat a salad instead. Or if we’re trying to start a business - it can be a better choice to work on our latest blog post rather than watching movies with friends. Or if we are always tired, it may be better to get to bed an hour earlier, rather than cleaning the house.


All of these things apply.


And for each one of us it is personal.


There is no one right or wrong To Don’t List.


We each have our own based on our personal desires, goals and what we want out of life.


So maybe it’s time we each sit down and really consider what is getting in the way of us pursuing our goals and make our own To Don’t List.


I know I will.


In fact, the more aware I’ve become of the To Don’t List, the more I’ve caught onto the number of undesirable activities I have in my own life. The things I use to distract or numb myself. The things I use to validate myself that take up unnecessary time. The things I procrastinate with. The things I know don’t take me a single step towards any of my goals. 


It is time I’m honest with myself, point these things out, and consciously choose to avoid them.


So the next time I lie on the couch thinking I will scroll through Facebook for only a minute - which always ends up taking much longer than that - instead I will recognize it as one of my To Don’t List items and instead do something that I know will make a difference in my life and take me a step closer to my goals. Like going out on a run or working on my website or reading a book I’ve recently picked up or spending time with God.


Because I know when I reach the end of the day, I will be much happier with myself if I chose to do something progressive towards my goals rather than realize I spent my day on social media (like I did this past Saturday - stupid me!). I will feel more accomplished and like I did something that mattered.


That moves me forward.


That changes me for the better and allows for progression.


As we all know, we never stop changing. Change is good and it is inevitable - so we may as well be changing towards the life we want to live and who God made us to be - rather than staying the same or regressing. 


And if you’re a goal driven individual like me, then you have likely heard some version of this quote,


“It’s not about “having” time. It’s about making time.”


And if that is the case, then this is the perfect way to make sure you utilize the 24 hours you have been gifted each day to their fullest potential. Because we’ve all been given the same 24 hours - and it really comes down to how you use it.


So what will you add to your To Don't List? Let me know in the comments below.