#2: Is Your 24-Hour Junk List Working For You?

#2: Is Your 24-Hour Junk List Working For You?



In today’s podcast, we are piggybacking off of episode #1. Remember that taking action without taking inventory strips the action of intention and purpose. Motivation will get you up for one day but a goal will get you up every day.

Today, I am teaching you about the 24-hour Junk List and showing you how to be more mindful of how you spend your 24-hours and take more accountability for your time.

The process/tool you are about to learn and implement is just what you need to become healthier, fitter, and happier now and in the long-term.

Are You Ready?


During the last episode, I reminded you that taking action WITHOUT taking inventory of where you are RIGHT NOW might move you backwards.  Today, we’ll dive deeper into this taking inventory deal.

Are you Ready?

What’s a good way to monitor your bandwidth and time usage?

HAHA…I’m bringing tech terms to human life. I am good at making up words. Comes with the Maria territory. Laugh about it. Don’t judge, please. I do PLENTY of self-judging already.

Back to what really matters…

On Dec 5th, 2009 I had the pleasure of meeting Major General Perry Smith who served 30+ years in the Air Force. He’s the author of “Courage, Compassion, Marine” and “Rules and Tools for Leaders“. He was a guest speaker for a Global Economics class, part of Emory’s Executive MBA program.

I remember I was physically, mentally, and emotionally EXHAUSTED. Yet, one of his lessons stuck with me since. And I’ve used it personally and with many clients. And you are about to get lucky.

Gen. Perry Smith called it the “24-hour junk list”.

Gen Smith is an avid reader. He told us that the main reason he was able to read ~100 books/year AND keep up with a very demanding schedule was because had reduced his ‘junk activities’ to almost nothing.

He gave a perfect example…”People watch a football game for 3-4 hours. I love football. But I watch the last 30-minutes—when it matters the most.”

He asked us…

“Have you ever written down how we spent our 24 hours?”

Well, well, well…

Do you feel mentally and physically defeated? Maybe not moving forward at the speed you’d like?

Stop what you doing right now. Let me guide you through this exercise.

Grab a pen and paper. Yes, it’s important you write this stuff down.

Draw out a table with 3 columns and rows. The top row will show the title for each column:

On the left, write “Activity”, next “Length of Time” followed by “24 Hours Balance”.

Then, start adding your daily activity, one per row. Start with your #1 priority…SLEEP. Sleep is the activity. Let’s say you get 8 hours/night, write down 8 under time. Now, the balance on the 3rd column is 16 hours (= 24 – 8).

Sleep > 8 hours > 16 hours (24 – 8 hours)

Next might be a 60-minute prep for the day activities. You’re down to 15 hours (= 16 – 1)

Next might be a 9-hour workday including driving. You now have 6 hours left (= 15 – 9)

Keep plugging away. Don’t MISS A THING:

Personal emails, TV, gaming, streaming, social media, family activities, relationship activities, personal growth activities, side gigs and projects, studying, socializing, laundry, house cleaning, etc.

Feel free to PAUSE this recording to finish your list. Or do this activity as soon as you finish listening.

DO IT!!!!

Most importantly…

>>>Did morning routine, exercise, cooking, grocery shopping, washing and preparing food, relaxation, and fun made to list?  Oh no…

Let me share a couple of stats that blew my mind and might blow yours too.

One of Nielsen’s most recent report, just pre-Covid, stated that people spent almost 4 hours a day on their phones, compared to 2.5 hours in the end of 2018. They added that people are finding more and more ways to keep their attention occupied.

HELLO??? …attention occupied??? while most people’s health and fitness stats aren’t at par to prevent Covid and other diseases?

And this one is even more concerning. Older folks spend nearly 50 hours a week in front of the television.

And according to another survey done in April 2020, streaming went up to as high as 8 hours a day.

This is unbelievable!!!!

So now that you have a better view perspective of how you spend your 24 hours…


It took me a while to take this exercise seriously. I had hit the exhaustion rock bottom trying to do it all and not realizing what I was doing to my body. And I was already a coach.

Yes, coaches aren’t perfect. Nobody is.

I don’t want this to happen to you. Or if you’re there now, book a call and let’s talk.

I had to reprioritize asap. I was IMPOSSIBLE for me to fit all in any day of the week. No wonder I had hit a brick wall all around.

The tip of the day for you is…

Before you say you don’t have time to invest in your health, whether is cooking, exercising, healing a chronic disease, making your own happiness, whatever it is…

  • Do the exercise I suggested in episode #01. If you signed up to receive the podcasts delivered to your inbox, you will get my brand-new Goal Setting and Fresh Start Workbook on epis #3’s email. USE IT!
  • Next, work on your 24-hour junk list.
  • Align your values with activities with your goals.
  • Track your time and adjust priorities as needed.

If you’re a Type A like myself.  START TO LET IT GO OF PERFECTION. I had to do the same to transform my health and life.

Action is the antidote of stuckness. I will keep repeating this. Be comfortable being uncomfortable and with failing forward. Failure is part of the journey. Learn from falls and grow.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, need a plan, and accountability, book a call with me. Let’s get you back on track and re-write your health and life story.

Stay tuned to the next episode. In my records, you’ve been promoted to CHO. More on that soon. You will love it!!!

Oh, forgot to tell you. Over the years, I’ve renamed the list from junk to activity to the ‘24-Hour Opportunity List’. The output of the exercise is INFORMATION. And that gives us the opportunity to edit our journey. It’s a choice you and I have.


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