Most experts recommend about an hour a day of exercise. That might sound like a lot, but to put that in perspective, that’s about 4% of your time. Now for some of you an hour might seem completely out of reach right now. That’s OK I understand, let’s start with an hour 3 times a week, or maybe a half hour a day. Now we’re down to 2% of your time. Let me ask you a question: Do you think your health is worth investing 2% of your time? If your answer is no then keep scrolling… but I know you know it IS worth it, or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. So let’s dive right in with tip #1…
- Split your workout. If you don’t have an hour block of time or even a half hour block of time, split it up. Do you think you can find 15 minutes twice a day to exercise? Maybe once first thing in the morning and once right after work. Or 10 minutes 3 times a day?? So if an hour seems completely out of reach I know you can find 10 or 15 minutes!
- Wake up earlier. If you wake up earlier you’ll beat the morning rush hour, everything is quieter, you’ll encounter fewer interruptions and get more accomplished in less time. Some of you could gain an hour each day just by doing this one thing!
- Work less overtime. Overtime may be a fact of life but if you find yourself saying yes to overtime every day and it’s taking a toll on you physically & emotionally, you may need to put up some healthier boundaries and learn to say no more often.
- Use an Agenda. What’s an agenda? A prioritized list of things to do, however it’s not the same as a "to-do" list or a task list. Here’s how it works: First thing in the morning before you start your day, write down everything you need to do that day. Don’t worry about prioritizing anything yet, just write things down as they come to mind. Once you’re done then you’re going to prioritize each task in terms of importance. Put a #1 next to the most important task, then #2 next to the next important task, and so on. Now you have your agenda for the day. This great tool helps you take control of your day and be more intentional about how you spend your time. Of course things may come up that aren’t on your agenda, you may have to be flexible at times, but you have an aim, you have a goal, having an agenda will help you stay on track and get more done in less time.
- Batch your tasks. Or combine similar tasks. For example if you have an errand to run, wait till you have 2 or 3 errands and do them all at the same time instead of running back and forth needlessly. This tip is particularly useful when it comes to eating healthy. We all know it’s healthier to cook your own meals at home, but that takes time. Let's say you’re going to make a tuna sandwich for lunch, which would take you about 10 minutes. Why not make a whole week’s worth while you’re at it? It may take you 15 or even 20 minutes but it will save you an hour or more throughout the week. I know guys who do all their meal prep for an entire week, in just a few hours every Sunday afternoon.
- Allow yourself to focus. When you are actively engaged in a task, focus means preventing external factors from affecting your ability to concentrate. This means you take more control of your environment. It may mean turning off your phone and letting co-workers or family know NOT to disturb you for the next hour.
- Identify time wasters. I have 2 words for you: Social Media. Well maybe not all social media is time wasting, but much of it is. Break the habit of constantly texting or checking your email or Facebook or Instagram feed. Turn off the TV unless there’s something specific you want to watch. And there may be other things in your life you can identify as time wasters that you can limit or cut out completely.
- Multi-tasking. Combine 2 tasks into one timeslot. For example listening to an audiobook while doing dishes, or taking an online course while doing cardio. Use your imagination, and you’ll find creative ways to multi-task.
- Take a break. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but one way to get more done in less time is to stop for a few minutes. When you’re overworked and stressed out, you don’t get nearly as much done and you’re more prone to making mistakes, which end up costing you even more time. So it’s wise to plan a few breaks in your day, you come back refreshed and are actually more productive.
- Get help. There’s only so much you can do alone. At times it may be a good idea to ask for help from a co-worker or family member. “Many hands make light work” as the saying goes. Share household chores, there’s no law that says you have to do it all. You may be able to delegate some tasks completely.
So there you have it, 10 practical tips to make the most of your time. I understand that maybe not all of them apply to you, but I guarantee if you put into practice the ones that do, you will easily carve out enough time to start exercising and eating healthier.
Of course the key to making all this work is YOU, your determination and motivation that you bring to the table. Now if you’re like most of us you may find it tough to get going sometimes. If you fall into that category, I created a free resource on motivation called “Do what you *Really* want.” - the 3 Step Motivation Hack. It's a pdf guide that breaks this whole motivation thing into 3 simple steps that will help you get started, or keep going on your fitness journey.
The link is below. Thanks for reading, and God bless you!
Free 3 Step Motivation Hack: https://www.spiritandmuscle.com/motivation