5 Ways to Max Your 24!


by Mindy Irish



Every now and then I will cross paths with someone that will ask, “How do you have the time to {insert task here} with four kids?”  It never ceases to amaze me that people will use their children or the fact of becoming a parent as an excuse to stop living their lives.  While I do agree there have been sacrifices my husband and I have made since becoming parents, we have never pulled our “parent card” as a reason for not getting to something important or as an excuse to be so busy to not be able to make the day count. Having kids is a blessing and a gift, but when you choose to find your balance, you can pull off a lot more than you ever thought imaginable.  It’s a mindset!

So how do you max out your 24 daily hours with all the hats you wear?  I’ve come up with five tips that have helped me and I practice these every day.  I emphasize “practice” because just like in any sport, business or venture, you don’t get the goal mastered on the first try and most times not even on the 50th attempt.  It’s a daily push…..we’re all a work in progress!

This is what has worked for me in this season of my life.  Ask me in two or five years and I would imagine things would be different then.  But as I start my 40s with kids ages 11 and under, this is where I am in this moment.  Maybe you can relate or maybe one or two will apply to you?

  1.  Discover Your Purpose!

I would not be where I am today if it were not for my faith and discovering my purpose and passion.  As I’ve discovered that on a daily basis, I’ve learned to love myself and my wiring even more and in that I listen to the call that’s placed on my life for my purpose and destiny.  There have been a few key people in my path who have really enhanced my journey and I give thanks for them daily.  Stay connected.  Know and discover what it is your supposed to be doing in this life because it helps you filter out all the little stuff that seems to steal your time.  Ultimately, your role is to pause to listen!


  1.  Learn to make yourself a priority!

People hear this and assume it’s selfish or neglectful of those around them.  But it’s all about perspective.  I realized just after having my fourth kiddo in 2009 that I was not taking care of myself.  My sleep was minimal, my physical activity was sporadic, and my fuel choices were on-the-go and mindless.  Additionally, I made little to no time for self-improvement and I definitely was not in a good place with my #1 above!  At that rate, how was I to take care of anyone else effectively WHEN I WASN’T TAKING CARE OF MYSELF?  Little by little I gave myself permission to be a priority in my life.  I started taking care of all parts me-mental, physical, emotional and spiritual-and a new me {inside and out} was {and is} in the works.

My physical change became apparent to others, but in time I believe my internal change is what shines brighter.  My loved ones know that in order for our family system to work best, that Mom has to make time to take care of her body with mindful thoughts and planning for my workouts, adequate sleep and the regular consumption of whole foods. They also know that I value alone time, self-development and time in worship.  My motto became, “Take care of you so you can take care of others” and that is what gives me permission to push on with my wellness in mind daily!


  1.  Say No!

You will get bombarded with a request to be on every committee, at every event and many opportunities and functions along the way.  Bottom line, I believe in balance. There’s a time and a place to give back and if you feel more pulled than supported and pushed, then it’s time to say the word, “No {thank you}”!  I recently joined a committee and filled a spot of a gal who was no longer involved.  When she and I connected, she apologized for not being able to help out and my response to her was, “Don’t feel guilty or apologize.  It takes a village to meet other people’s needs and there was a time and season for your help.  Now it’s time for someone else to step up and assist.  What you gave at that time was greatly appreciated!”  After keeping your #1 (above), all while working on your #2, you’ll also be able to know when to say yes and when to say no, without feeling guilty!


  1.  Use a to-do list!

I learned from an incredible mentor, Chalene Johnson, how to set goals and use a daily to-do list to make the most of my day.  Her 30-day online course is well worth your time and it will change how you tackle your day.  The big picture of it is that I learned how to set goals, monitor my progress and then set up my daily activities to tackle those goals using a daily to-do list.  While it did take some initial investment of my time and a major rework of my habits, it’s been one of the best TIME CREATORS.  I’ve learned how to let go of the little things in life, delegate, and then focus on what really matters.

What happens is I actually get to so much more in my day and get to enjoy life because I’m not filtering through the clutter or allowing it to fill the important spots.  If you’re wanting change and willing to own your actions, her system is a must and using it daily is key to maxing out your 24!  When I say “maxing”, it does NOT mean that you are actually doing more.  It means you are doing more of what really matters.  Often times it means you do a lot less, but make a bigger impact along the way.

Delete busy, insert productive!


  1.  Step Away from the TV!

I once heard Zig Ziglar say that, “TV is the biggest time waster and income stealer.”  I used to watch a ton of TV and it was how I enjoyed my down time.  As of now, most times my kids will have it on in the background or I’ll have a must-watch show on while I’m tackling another task, but overall, I rarely sit and just watch.  Although there are special movie nights in our home where we watch a show together, in general, my week occurs with very little input from the tube.  When you factor in all the numbers above, you realize that it’s just not where your heart wants or needs to be on a regular basis.  I’ve started living by the Lou Holtz WIN philosphy (What’s Important Now?!)  So off the TV went!


As I said, these are the top 5 that have impacted me at this season of my life.  I no longer say, “I don’t have time” because I realize that my 24 hours is the same as the next guy’s, it’s just how I choose to use them!  I share this NOT to say that you should get to MORE in your day or attempt more tasks.  Quite the opposite.  I share so that you can learn as I am learning how to let go of the little in your life so you can focus on what truly matters and give more time to LESS in your day.

So next time someone asks you, “How do you have the time……?”  Smile and give them YOUR Top Five!


Fill Your Bucket

Mindy Irish


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