Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day? Stupid question, right? I would be willing to bet the majority of us feel like this just about every day. In my last post I talked about some of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of people who want to take better care of themselves but for one reason or the other have a hard time actually doing it. Of the reasons I discussed in that post “I just don’t have the time” is probably what I hear the most when talking to people about why they aren’t currently pursuing their health and fitness goals.
Well if I have learned anything over the last two years on my own journey to get my butt into shape it’s that it’s not about finding the time you guys, it’s about making it. So how can we carve out a little bit of time each day to prioritize our greatest asset, our health? Well in my experience it doesn’t take drastic lifestyle changes. In fact, there are things we can do each and every day that can save us time and allow us to pursue our health goals that only require minor tweaks to our everyday routines. Take a look below for some of the top time saving tips that have helped me tremendously make the time to take care of myself:
- Make a To-Do List – This is one of the first things I do every single day. I am borderline obsessed with making lists because they not only keep me focused but also allow me to plan out my day in order to make sure I get everything accomplished. Keeping a daily to-do-list also allows me to prioritize the things I really need to get done and schedule accordingly. Something about seeing all the things I need to accomplish for the day written down also helps me avoid procrastinating actually doing them and honestly just plain old forgetting something that needs my attention. My days are much more efficient when I have clear tasks and goals right in front of me, besides it feels really good to be able to cross items off that list as the days goes by!
- Get ready for the next day the night before – This is another big one for me that allows me to get up and out the door in a much more efficient and timely manner than I used to. Each night before bed, I make sure I pick out my clothes for the next day, have my food for the day (breakfast, snacks and lunch) prepped and ready to go, and my bag packed for work. I started doing this a few months back and it has helped me save so much time that I have been able to get my workouts done in the morning now when I want to. It is amazing how much time I was wasting in the morning trying to figure out what to wear and what I was going to eat that day all while in a fog because I am just not a morning person at heart. Now I can get up, workout and get out the door in record time and best of all feel accomplished all before 8am!
- Plan your meals ahead of time – Along the same lines as packing your lunch ahead of time, I started meal-prepping about a year or so ago and it has changed my life. Not only does it save me a boat load of time during the busy work week, but I am eating much healthier food because I have already prepared nutritious meals ready to pop in the oven when I get home from a long day. Before I would typically grab take out or fast food several times a week because I was too tired/lazy to drag myself to the grocery store, walk aimlessly up and down the isles trying to figure out what to make and then go home and actually cook it. Nowadays, each Sunday I plan what meals I am going to eat for the week, make my grocery list and then do all my shopping and prepping that same day. Making my meals ahead of time has saved me countless hours not to mention been a huge help in keeping me on track with my nutrition goals…win win!
- Organize/De-clutter – It is amazing how much time I used to spend looking for stuff. Most often it was my keys!! I never put them in the same place two days in a row so I would inevitably waste time searching all over the house for them as I was trying out run out the door. Finally, I got smart and bought myself a cute little key holder that I hung up in my foyer so I could save both time and frustration in the mornings. Getting and staying organized is such a huge way to save time you all. And it’s pretty simple. Have a dedicated spot for all your belongings and just simply return them to that spot when you are not using them. Again, no major lifestyle changes here. Just make a little extra effort to keep your space neat and organized and watch how that translates into other parts of your life!
- Wake up 30 Minute Earlier – Ok I saved this one for last because well I figured it would be least popular of my time saving tips. I totally understand if you just rolled your eyes because I would have too not that long ago. Like I have previously mentioned, I am not at all, under and circumstances, in any way shape or form, a morning person. I am grumpy, a little angry and generally pissed off most mornings when my alarm goes off at least until I have had that first sip of coffee. Months back, however, I decided I wanted to try to switch my workouts to the morning because things kept coming up throughout the day that made getting them in harder and harder. As much as I hate waking up early, I had reached a point in my fitness journey that I hated to miss a workout even more. I began setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier and while it took a few weeks to get used to, I am so happy I stuck with it. 30 extra minutes in the morning, when it is generally quiet, no texts, no emails coming in yet is priceless. I can get my entire workout done for the day which frees up time later to finish all the things on my to-do list. Game changer you guys! If I can do it, anyone can!
Creating and sticking to routines, learning to say no and seriously putting thought into the things that are “time-sucks” (ex. staring at your phone, searching for ten minutes a day for your keys, etc.) are also really great ways to start saving time each day. You basically just want to maximize the time you do have during the day by becoming as efficient as possible in doing the things you HAVE to do and thereby freeing up time for things you WANT to do. Moral of this story, with a little bit of organization, planning and adjustment you can free up very valuable time during the day which you can then dedicate to working on you!
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