One of the biggest misconceptions about living a healthy lifestyle is that it takes too much time. Instead, I would argue that it takes time management. You set aside time for your job if you want a successful career, and you set aside time for your family if you want to show them you care. Why wouldn’t you prioritize yourself and your health in the same way? Here are ten tips for better time management.
Write down a list of the things that matter most to you. One the same sheet of paper, write down where and what you send your time doing each week. Are you spending the most time on the things that matter the most to you? If not, what can you change?
Planning looks different for everyone. If you work a traditional work week, set aside time on the weekend to plan your workouts for the following week. Set aside time to write a grocery list and shop. Batch cook and store your meals for the week. It may sound like a lot at first, but once you find what works for you, you can really run with it!
Planning will go a long way in helping you harness your energy for specific activities. If you know that you’re working from 6-7 am and you will be having a healthy dinner you already planned around 7 pm, you can focus on other things (work, volunteering, family activities) throughout the day without a buzzing brain. Healthy living should enhance your life, not take over. Give 100% of your focus to whatever you do and you’re guaranteed to succeed.
4. Get rid of perfection
Things are going to come up. If you have to deviate from plan A, don’t give up. Move on to plan B and make time somewhere else. Don’t let disappointment and negative thoughts slow you down.
5. Say no
Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Look back at your priority list- notice I said YOUR priority list- not your best friend’s, your child’s, not what you think your priority list should be. It is okay to let go of some things to make room for others. In the end, taking care of yourself will make you a better person for everyone around you.
6. First things first
Not everyone has the option to work out first thing in the morning, but if you have the ability, it will help you manage the rest of your day. When your workout is over, you know that you’ve checked one big important task off your list and you can continue your day without wondering if it will get done or not. If it’s the first thing you do in the morning, traffic, work and your favorite TV show are much less likely to get in the way.
7. Create limits
If you’ve done your planning and prioritizing, you may have noticed that TV or internet took up way more time than you thought. Create time limits for yourself so you’re spending your time effectively. There’s nothing wrong with a lazy weekend on the couch sometimes, but if you want to see changes, you have to make changes.
8. Get some rest
If your’e not well rested, it’s easy to roll right through an entire week without accomplishing much. Sleep is an important part of health. If you’re well rested, you’ll be more focused, driven and motivated to meet your goals.
9. Work within your circle
It’s easy to waste time and energy on things that actually have little to no effect on us. Do you waste time gossiping or browsing Facebook comparing what everyone else is doing? Do you let family drama drag you down? Keep in mind that there are certain things in your circle of concern and certain things in your circle of influence. You can be concerned about things without having any chance at all of changing or influencing them. Don’t waste time on things you can’t change. Give that time to yourself instead. What a gift!
10. Make lists
Last but not least, keep a notepad by your bedside. Each night before you go to bed, when you’re likely thinking about everything you need to do, write those things down. Alternatively, you can write a list for each day before you leave the house. It will feel good to check things off and help you manage what you have left.
Do you have any time management tips to share?