Here’s the truth: you can have anything you want – you truly do have enough time to make that happen…
…no matter your circumstances!
One of the ways to help you get your time back is to be aware of the crap fillers that are sneakily eating up your time during the day. Often in ways we don’t even realize.
They act like a leaky faucet with the time you have.
Time that could be used to play a supportive role (like folding laundry to help you stay on top of things) or even moving the needle in a big way to help you reach your goals (like getting in a 15 minute workout).
In today’s podcast, I go into detail about crap fillers – what they are and more importantly how to cut back on them to help you get your precious time back!
I’ll see you inside! xo, Janeen
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[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey there you guys. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I am Janeen Alley, and you are listening to Mamas Who Do today. We are going to be talking about how to cut crap fillers with your time, and I have to say that slowly so that you understand what it is that I’m saying. So the goal of this episode is to really help you think about your time in a new way.
[00:00:25] So you might be wondering right off the bat, what is a crap filler ? So you might know from listening to other past episodes of the podcast that I am a huge proponent of the quality of ingredients in the food that I eat. That started long ago. But over time I have also been very particular about the ingredients in the products that I consume or even the products that I put on my skin, like my lotions or my face oils, or my makeup or whatever it is.
[00:00:54] And about 10 years ago, I learned about how cosmetic companies increase their profits.[00:01:00] If they’re offering, for example, a low ticket item, They have to sell a lot of that product, and so in order for them to drive their production costs down, they lower the quality of their active ingredients and they also use low quality fillers to bulk up their product.
[00:01:16] To create more volume for their product, for pennies, right? So that’s how they increase profits is by putting in crap fillers. Fillers that don’t do anything specific for you. They might even cause some harm. In some cases they might do that, but there’s no rhyme or reason for putting them in there except to bulk up the volume of the product so they can sell more of the product for less money ultimately, or what they do is they’re gonna increase the price of their goods and market in a way that makes their product seem more valuable than it is, and they might add in a few special ingredients, like vitamins or specific essential oils or whatever. But again, they’re adding in crap fillers [00:02:00] to bulk up the volume again, for less money on their end to produce the product.
[00:02:05] And this is also the same thing with our food. There is, for example, cellulose in shredded cheese, which is essentially sawdust. and the purpose is to keep the cheese from sticking. So it’s a, it’s a filler that’s used instead of just allowing people to shred their own cheese. But
[00:02:22] it’s a way to make that product very convenient for people. And it also, of course, is going to keep the product costs down because they’re just using sawdust. That’s not something that nutritionally beneficial for us, although I’m sure somebody could find something that would also prevent cheese from sticking that was good for us.
[00:02:42] But it’s a cheap crap filler. So I hope you get the idea about what a crap filler is. It’s just garbage either in your food or in your cosmetics that is either not harmful for you, but bulking up the product so that companies make more, or it is [00:03:00] bulking up the product, it’s just not good for you. So I’m kind of fed up with the whole system, , and at one point, , I got a lot more careful with what it is that I consume, not only with the food that I eat, but also with the skincare that I choose to use on my face.
[00:03:16] And for a long time, I actually tried to make my own stuff and that went bad. when I tried to make my own sunscreen and I decided I was gonna test it out when I was on a trip to Hawaii and I got burned really, really bad. And so I have been a little bit more cautious, , and a little bit more wise about the things that I am choosing to create on my own, but I also am very conscientious about products that I buy from different companies to make sure that they use high quality ingredients in their products not just a crap filler, but it’s something that is good for my skin.
[00:03:53] So you might be wondering, how does this apply to my time ? So let me tell you, our brains [00:04:00] sometimes have sneaky ways to get us to essentially fill our time with crap fillers or we essentially waste our time .Even though we don’t want to, or even though we feel like our time is scarce, or even though we know we have better things to do, we end up filling our time with crap fillers.
[00:04:20] We tell ourselves things like, I’m just so busy, but you’re not exactly sure where all of your time goes. And I have been totally guilty of this. We have 168 hours in a week. That’s actually a lot of time and it’s enough time to get everything done that you need to and more with downtime. So what are you doing exactly with your time?
[00:04:43] Do you know? Do you really know? . I always love to ask that question because if you had asked me do I know what I’m doing with my time 10 years ago, I would’ve been totally, I totally know what it is I’m doing with my time, but I periodically do this exercise where I track my time [00:05:00] over like a three or four or five day period of time where I am.
[00:05:04] Very specific and meticulous about how I’m spending my time, so I know how to clean up these crap fillers that I have in my life because they have a tendency to creep back into my life, even at this point, even though I’ve been doing this for a long time. So how do we do this?
[00:05:19] Well, first I wanna talk about how we let in some of these crap fillers into our lives. So the first way is we don’t make a plan for our lives. this is something that I thought I was really good at for a long time. I thought I was good at planning my life, but what I realized was I was good at getting the laundry done.
[00:05:42] I was good at getting dishes done. I was good at kind of like home chores and kind of baseline things, but what I wasn’t good at was following through on my word to myself when I wanted to improve my physical fitness, [00:06:00] for example, and this was hard for me because I had worked at a gym for many years as a personal trainer or as a group fitness instructor, and I struggled for myself to get my own workouts done.
[00:06:12] and that was really hard for me to admit to myself because I kind of had this level of pride going on with the job that I had. I just thought, well, since I’m in the gym, , since I’m there, , this must be rubbing off on me . But I couldn’t get myself to show up when I didn’t feel like it or when I didn’t want to.
[00:06:33] I was really good at knowing what it was that I wanted. So I was good at kind of making long-term plans, but what I wasn’t good at was translating those plans into monthly or weekly, or even daily goals.
[00:06:47] Other times, we just don’t set goals at all. . We don’t get specific with our goals. We don’t create a plan for these goals because we’re just like, why should I bother? I don’t know how to execute on these things. I feel like I’m [00:07:00] terrible at following through on my word to myself and I can’t get myself to the gym no matter what I do. and I’m using the gym as an example. You’re probably consistent doing something in your life, but why aren’t you doing some of these other things? Because we fill our time with crap fillers or we believe our excuses and all those things, okay?
[00:07:19] Another reason why we fill our time with crap fillers is because we’re reacting to our lives. We pick up our phone, we get on social media, we text, we email, we just get distracted with things.
[00:07:31] Another way that we fill our time with crap fillers, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. I’m sure there’s many, many ways that we do this, but we spend time thinking, what if? What if someone needs me? What if I get started on this and I can’t follow through? What if I fail?
[00:07:52] A lot of different ways that this scenario comes up, but we end up saying no to something that we really want because we [00:08:00] are spinning out in what if land. Someday this might happen so I’m not gonna take this thing on right now, so I might as well just watch a TV show, or I might as well just listen to those podcasts.
[00:08:12] Or I might as well just clean my bathrooms, . It’s getting something done, but it’s not the thing that I really wanna do. because something might come up. Okay.
[00:08:22] Another reason why we end up filling our time with crap fillers is because we don’t believe that we have very much time. , which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if we have a 10 minute window of time or a 15 minute window of time, we just feel like, well, I’m just waiting for the next thing to start, or I’m just waiting for the next thing to happen.
[00:08:38] Instead of being proactive with that smaller block of time to move the needle on something like folding a basket of laundry or getting the dishes cleaned up so that you can start dinner or whatever it is. That’s kind of looming cuz you don’t wanna do it. , you’ve got this 15 minute window of time that you could do it, but you’re just like, nah, I don’t have very much time.[00:09:00]
[00:09:00] And so you don’t get to something that would be helpful either getting something done that matters to you or play more of a supportive role in your life.
[00:09:09] Okay, so how do we cut back on crap fillers? Okay, so the first thing that I’m gonna mention kind of goes with the last thing that we just talked about is what I like to think about is 15 minute magic.
[00:09:21] So you wanna have kind of a mental list or even a list that you keep on your phone of things that you can get done in a 15 minute window of time. I don’t know about you, but oftentimes I am waiting to pick up a kid or I am in the mix of what other people in my family are doing. And so I find myself waiting.
[00:09:42] I find myself, well, like I’ve got 15 minutes before we need to leave, and this block of time is open, and so how are you gonna fill that time? . I have gotten really good at using that time really well so that I make space for other things later.
[00:09:58] Think about that for a second. If [00:10:00] you have dinner, 15 minutes in and it’s prepped and it’s ready to go, how fast is it for you to finish that at the end of the day, five o’clock at night. It’s super fast, right? So you wanna use that 15 minute window of time to do something that is going to play more of a supportive role for you in that time. In fact, I’m gonna take this podcast for example. I knew I had a 30 minute block of time. So I spent time reviewing my notes and I’m like, all right, let’s go time. Let’s get this done. 30 minutes . So that is something that I can do in a short period of time. I know that’s a little bit longer window than we’re talking about, but I want you thinking about that.
[00:10:38] I want you thinking, how can you use a smaller window of time to play a supportive role? Now you’re not gonna paint a room. Right? You’re not going to get in an hour long exercise session , in a 15 minute window of time, but you can get in a 15 minute workout, okay? So if you only have a limited amount of time and you’re used to working out 60 minutes a [00:11:00] day, but that day you only have 15 minutes, use it. Use it for your health, instead of thinking to yourself, well, I don’t have enough time. You have enough time. In fact, I did a 15 minute workout this morning with my friend.
[00:11:13] The next thing is be aware where your time is going. I actually mentioned this on the podcast a couple weeks ago about tracking your time.
[00:11:20] Literally track your time, figure out where your time is going, figure out where you’re losing time because you’re unaware of how your time is slipping through the cracks. And the best way to do it is to track it. So print off a sheet. Put an app on your phone, do whatever it takes, but figure out where your time is going. It will be eye-opening for you, and you’ll be able to literally see how you can save yourself time and cut out crap fillers.
[00:11:51] Okay? Another way to do this is to understand what the trade off is. And again, this is gonna be an easy thing to do with your tracker. If you’re [00:12:00] spending, for example, five hours a day on your phone.
[00:12:03] what are you not doing in that time? What are you not doing? And if you open your phone, I know on my phone I’m able to get into my settings and I’m able to see exactly what apps are opened and for how long on each day. I mean, it’s really clear how you’re using your time. And I love going in there once a week or so, sometimes every two weeks.
[00:12:25] But just taking a look and seeing where is my time getting away from me. and how can I cut out crap fillers in my life. So I don’t have games on my phone. I have timers on my social media.
[00:12:39] So all those things are gonna help you cut back on crap fillers that you have on your phone that is bleeding your time, . It’s like you’re hemorrhaging your time and you don’t even realize it. Okay? The next thing is you wanna plan your breaks. How do you want to take a break? I rarely wanna take a break on my phone. [00:13:00] Sometimes, full disclosure, sometimes I’ll play Wordle, but Wordle is just a one game thing. It’s done. You play the game, you get the word, and you can move on with your life.
[00:13:08] I play this with my kids sometimes. So we play Wordle. So I wanna take a break. I’m engaging with them playing a game, , that’s it. But I never just want to be reactive and just be like, well, I don’t have anything going on right now, and pick up my phone and take a look at it. That for me, is a massive time suck.
[00:13:25] So you want to be intentional with how you’re taking your breaks. What do you wanna do?
[00:13:30] Do you wanna take a break reading? Do you wanna take a break meditating? Do you wanna take a break just taking a nap. I mean, there’s so many ways that we can take a break. Just don’t let it be something that is reactive and something that is not intentional in your life. I think for so many people, They’re not intentional with their time, and then they get frustrated that their time is getting away from them, and they don’t even realize how they’re filling it.
[00:13:57] The next thing is you wanna set [00:14:00] boundaries with yourself. And again, the tra the time tracker is gonna be really illuminating in this exercise because you’re going to see how you quote unquote, waste your time. And I know that’s subjective, but how are you spending time in ways you wish you weren’t? So tracking your time is gonna tell you that. It’s going to stare that information back at you in your face, , you are going to be able to see in a really clear and easy way how you’re spending your time.
[00:14:28] You can make decisions from that point. Um, this is a yes or this is a no. If you don’t like how much time you’re on your Instagram, you can create a time limit for yourself during the day. I have a 10 minute time limit on Instagram every single day. Same with my Facebook app, cuz I want to find. how my family is doing.
[00:14:46] I wanna interact with people who are engaging with my, with my posts and those kinds of things, and so I have a time limit on there, but any kind of distracting apps, you can remove those things, or you can just set boundaries with the way [00:15:00] that you’re saying yes or the way that you’re saying no in your life.
[00:15:03] Okay. The last thing that I’m gonna say here before I sign off for today is how are you going to schedule your down time? So not only decide how you’re gonna spend your downtime, but I want you to schedule it. And I have to say here, my entire life is not planned, but we all need downtime and we don’t realize that we can actually schedule in our downtime. So you might be thinking, well, what’s the point of doing that? It’s just going to get scheduled on top of. You are the one who’s in charge of that, my friend. Don’t let your downtime get scheduled over. Schedule your downtime, look forward to it, be specific with how you’re gonna use that time, and if you wanna scroll through Instagram for 30 minutes, then schedule that on your phone. This was something that was a really big breakthrough for me because in the early days of my business, I would procrastinate by checking my email. I was nervous to do something scary, and so I would procrastinate by checking my email [00:16:00] until I had one of my mentors say, listen, checking your email is fine.
[00:16:04] Just schedule it and that’s the time that you’re checking your email. So, and the one last thing that I wanna say here is, and this is for people who love to have white space and love to have free time and all of that stuff, schedule spontaneity into your life. And I know that might sound kind of counter to what spontaneity is, , but you want to just schedule the space.
[00:16:25] Just schedule white space in your calendar to do something fun, spur of the moment fun. You just schedule that block of time and just say something fun. And then when that calendar time comes up, you’re like, all right, sweet. It’s time for something fun. So that you have that to look forward to. And as you do this, you’ll get ideas during the week like, oh, wouldn’t it be fun if we did this?
[00:16:47] Or Wouldn’t it be fun if we did that? And then you can schedule that in that block of time so that you have those ideas to pull from as the week goes on .
[00:16:56] All right you guys, that’s it. That’s what I have for you guys today. I [00:17:00] hope this episode of the podcast was helpful to you. This is something that kind of spontaneously came up with one of my one-on-one clients in a coaching session, and I just was talking about crap fillers and she’s like, oh my gosh, you gotta do a podcast out of that.
[00:17:14] So here we are. So I hope it was helpful for you too. And if you would like to schedule a one-on-one appointment with me to get coached yourself, head over to my website at janeenalley.com/programs and click on my booking link over there and we’ll have a call about what that looks like and all that that entails over there. I hope that this episode was helpful for you. Have a beautiful rest of your week. We’ll talk to you guys soon. See ya. Bye.