“If you had as much time as I have, on that clock, what would you do with it?”
“I’d stop watching it. I can tell you one thing. If I had all that time, I’d sure as hell wouldn’t waste it.”
Remember ”In Time” with Justin Timberlake? What would you do if every minute became a currency?
A major excuse many of us sounds like this: “I don’t have time for that”. The ugly truth is your day might be packed with urgent and important things, but you, my dear friend, have time. Especially for something so precious and irreplaceable as your health.
Keep reading and learn my 10 time management tips for your health, whether you need to clean up your nutrition, get more energy, or spend more time doing things you love.
Time management for your health
I’m not one to judge – I feel like everyone is susceptible to this band-aid of denial and imbalanced priorities. In the past, I was way too dreamy and slow to take action, but also I didn’t think it was important to invest daily, weekly, and monthly time into my health. I ended up sick and miserable back in 2012. It took me good 6 months of work (mind you, hours and hours every day) to get my health back and acquire my amazing balance of mind, body, and wellness. I was a full-time student going for a 4.0 GPA and a brand new startup owner who was about to get married and trained for her first full marathon? Yeah, if you do the math, I don’t know how I had time at all and I was a perfectionist to boot! All I know is “Everything is figureoutable” as my favorite guru Marie Forleo says.
Every week, I run into women who share how exhausted and disheartened they feel in their body…and yet they repeat it like a mantra that they don’t have time because other things are more important (jobs, husband, kids, parents, etc.). Here’s the vicious circle: You don’t have time for health issues => you’re not getting healthier=> you’re not enabling more time to do things you prioritized to begin with. Those important things that involve people you love. So show yourself some self-love, my beautiful friend, find your time with 7 tips!
- get your workouts done
- always eat squeaky clean
- get enough beauty sleep
- have time to read a book, go to a spa, enjoy a bubble bath
- Have more time to do what you love and what makes you happier!
10 time management tips for your health
1. Examine your current time management and schedule
I’ll be honest – the cell phone addiction is a real thing in the 21st century, so the first thing I’ll ask you to do is to audit your time and see where it seeps and leaks! I’m guilty of mindlessly picking up my phone and then – oops – 45 minutes later finding myself exiting out of a social media scroll haze. Your time management “black holes” might be different than mine – TV, staring out a window, chatting at a water cooler for too long, running to get your fifth snack, petting your dog. Do a 3-day audit to get a better idea of how you spend time. Record every 30 minutes what you did, and summarize by the end of the day. Surprised?
Also, if you are a phone apps addict like I was, try some really awesome apps (counter-apps I call them!) like OffTime or Flipd to stop using your apps for a limited time. It’s good for your overall health and wellness to be more present in real life rather than digital space.
2. Have a purpose and clear intentions
If your to-do list never gets finished in a day…you have a) unrealistic expectations b) poor time management c) possibly a combination of two.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’m a very zealous planner and want to squeeze the maximum from each day. Getting stuff done feels good. Here’s what you can work on:
Narrow down your goals. What’s the purpose of each day? Of course, you may have a few but having one priority intention behind them will help to stay focused and centered. Every morning before my feet hit the floor, I ask myself what I’d like to accomplish today, how I want to feel and what’s the most important task of the day. Often, all three can be aligned in one intention.
For example, today I want to help two women in their health journey. I want to feel inspired, supportive and encouraging during our coaching calls.
Use Eisenhower’s important/urgent matrix. We often focus on things that actually can be done later, spending our energy and then worrying about important and urgent matters that didn’t get done. If squeezing in a 30-minute workout in the morning is your priority because it’s a part of your self-care and/or 2019 goal, make it urgent, important and non-negotiable or it won’t get done!
Stay the course. Trust me, you’ll be more than willing to jump off task if something is complex and worth procrastinating in your day (accounting is IT for me!). Keep your eye on the prize and know that simplicity, purpose and clear intentions were set, all you need is to follow through. Just like with developing a habit of eating more veggies…staying the course with time management will provide some amazing benefits.
3. Have a shorter to-do list
A former perfectionist in me would roll her eyes. What do you mean a shorter to-do list? Well if you’re just putting things on the list that take seconds or minutes to accomplish – just do them. Avoid the clutter, and focus on your purpose. Like many entrepreneurs, I wear many hats and boy oh boy am I tempted to take on even more tasks and projects daily! I’ve learned that more than 3 things are perceived as “many” by our minds, and personally, that leaves me scatterbrained. Often, we implement a new habit, routine or regimen, we are all gung-ho about it and trying our best to do it all and at once! Purge the pantry, count calories, workout 8 days a week, have your protein shake, stretch every night, etc…Those are great intentions but they can be perceived as a long, tiring laundry list of items for your mind. Make it short and to the point: 1) drink my water. 2) get 30 minutes of movement in. 3) eat all the veggies.
Much simpler, right?
4. Eat your frog, first thing in the morning
That promised email you were meaning to send for a week now? A phone call you need to make to schedule an appointment that magically has been delayed for a month? Face your demons and do that ugly thing you hate right off the bat. Your day will improve 200% automatically. For me…it’s morning water. I’d rather sip on my coffee than get going with a glass of water to meet my goals. Who wants water in the morning, after all? But I do it. What helps is if you can “prep” your dirtiest task beforehand. Yes, you can lay out your workout clothes (pick something cute!), store your leftovers in a container for your lunch at work, fill your water bottle, set up a meditation pillow – anything you “don’t really want to do but should”. In the morning…don’t question it, just do. Read “Eat the Frog” by Brian Tracy – it’s amazing!
You’ll feel accomplished, proud of yourself, and motivated to do more all day!
5. Eliminate distractions
You will think about what’s due by the end of the week. Yes, you will get distracted thinking of pizza this Friday night. But if you’re focusing on today and limit the noise and clutter in your mind, you’ll achieve your [health] goals much faster. What’s one thing you can do today to make tomorrow better, healthier and happier? When there is a lot on my plate, I often find myself in a “squirrel” mode, switching tabs, mindlessly checking my email and apps, petting my dogs extra (takes about 40 minutes) and doing some serious daydreaming. It takes twice as long to get back on task after being interrupted or distracted. Now I normally close down all the tabs and put my phone in the airplane mode, shut the door, and get to work. Only turning everything back on when done!
Pomodoro technique works wonders, as well! You can apply this technique to spare more time for your health and fitness OR apply it directly to your health and fitness (if you find yourself in the Instagram blackhole in between your sets of bicep curls or chopping veggies).
6. Block things together
The project manager in me is a good planner but not the best doer. Blocks of tasks chunked together are a proven method for many, especially if you can focus on a task for a longer period of time. Why does it work? Well, how do you like running out of your house 3 times, to get groceries, to go to a farmers market, and to run to the store to get some detergent (you mindlessly forgot)? It can happen but it won’t if you plan things through. I don’t like driving in my area 3 times a day, so if I’m out of the house, I’ll lump 2-3 more tasks together to the main task. This is a simple example, but it shows how putting similar tasks together can save time. Same things in the kitchen. Do not wash every single dish you used right after. Block similar tasks together, and use the repetitive momentum as a sort of meditation! It’s fun! Meal prepping? Don’t spend the whole day on it. Run to the store, bake your proteins, chop veggies. Done.
7. Outsource, delegate, SOS
It’s not only the guys who hate asking for directions. Many of us don’t like asking for help. It makes us feel disempowered, weak, and incompetent. If you’re about to try something new at the gym and have no idea how… you may hurt yourself. If you’re embarking on a keto diet but have health issues…it may not work for you. If you’re already snowed with everything in your life….Hire a coach. Join a group program. Ask that fit guy at the gym how to do sumo deadlifts. Ask your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/mom to help if you decided to clean up your nutrition. Remember: asking for help is creating time and energy you need to make your health a priority.
8. Say Yes AND say No
Speaking about priorities! When you’re saying “yes” to watching your favorite show at 11 PM on a workday night, you’re saying no to 8 hours of sleep and working out at 6 am (because it’s just cruel!). When you’re saying no to more vegetables and instead choose a fast-and-furious drive-through option…you’re saying Yes to more inflammation and gut problems. Choose wisely. Also, I love repeating a wise woman’s words.. “if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a heck no!”.
- Make a top 5 list of priorities for your health (here’s mine: 8 hours of sleep, daily movement, daily vegetables, daily gratitude, and 15 minutes of reading). Do not negotiate this list!
- Commit to saying Yes to these top 5 as often as you possibly can.
- Say “No” to things that will stand in the way.
- Say “yes” to things that will enable more time and energy for you to continue working on your top 5.
- Rinse, lather, repeat.
9. Fill out the idling/waiting TIME
Since I was young, I hated small talk and standing in the street while my mom/friends were exchanging hour long pleasantries. Don’t get me wrong, I love to chat but I love substantial conversations and action. So I’d count things around me. Plan my day in my head. Read a book. Dream.
Now I’m using every chance I can to read, learn, and develop new opportunities to grow my business. I’m listening to audiobooks when I’m putting my makeup on, driving places, and walking my dog. I love podcasts for the times in the kitchen, and I’m always learning on the go (lately, I’ve been taking breaks in between work tasks and learning Spanish on Duolingo).
Also, I’ll drop and do push-ups in between calls/meetings, stretch and meditate in the middle of the day, journal when I have a minute. Find what you need more or and what makes you feel incredible, and get some movement, learning, and inspiration at any time. Especially, if you’re sitting in LA traffic. LOL
10. Rest to do more
Hustling is great until you can’t hustle anymore. Your body may comply with fast pace for a while, but if stress/emotions get to you, it will force you for rest. Fatigue, cloudy mind, anxiety, worry, and low energy are your first red lights to stop, pause, and rest. Don’t worry about that important workout not being done. Rest, recuperate, and get it done when you’re at your best. Trust me, you’ll perform much better then.
What time management tips do you have? I’m all ears!
Author: Anya Perry
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitalit… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets and yo-yo results. She can’t live without coffee and challenges.