The most valuable, yet limited resource we have. It cannot be created, bought, loaned, rolled over, or saved for a rainy day. We all get 24 hours in each day and there is nothing we can do to change it.
However, what we can do is change the way we spend our 24 hours to maximize our potential each and every day.
Below are 4 ways to truly get the most out of your day without burning out–and actually feel more energized while doing it.
This seems simple–just put the most important “to-do” items of your day first. But, do you know what is the most important task of the day? What if that task is just the worst and you (like most, including myself) keep putting it off until it is not longer possible to procrastinate? I will tell you this: Attack the most important first (yourself, family, pets) then go to the most difficult tasks (big client call at work, uncomfortable conversation about the work progress of your colleague, etc.) and knock them out as soon as possible, preferably before lunch.
The reason for this is to 1. Get yourself in gear for a great day by going to the gym, eating a proper breakfast, and getting your family set for the day and 2. To avoid wasting more time throughout the day avoiding the big items. Yes, you will spend time daydreaming about what can go wrong with the big client meeting, or visualizing how you are going to approach your colleague to correct her work. So by crossing these items off your to-do list first thing in the morning, you will create more space mentally and physically throughout the rest of your day.
Just as it is important to physically schedule going to the gym on your calendar so you don’t miss it, scheduling breaks will allow you to collect your thoughts and get tempting distractions (email, Facebook, celebrity gossip websites) out of the way in an efficient manner.
Have you ever noticed yourself starting to check out “one thing” on social media which leads you down a rabbit hole and suddenly you are looking at pictures of your best friend’s cousin’s baby’s 1st birthday? Avoid that by setting a timer for 10 minutes for your break throughout the day to do anything you want, including browsing social media, grabbing a coffee, taking a walk and it won’t take up more of your time throughout the day.
Running late for the train because you spent an extra 10 minutes looking for your other shoe? Don’t worry, it happens. As does adding two minutes to pack your lunch, another minute to be sure you have everything in your bag, and don’t forget to add time looking for your keys and pouring your coffee to go. These small minutes add up to a chunk of time that can be used to do something productive like reply to an email, or perhaps even hit the snooze button one more time (ahhhhh!) to gain extra energy.
Avoid these small time-sucks by preparing for your day the night before. Lay out your clothes, prepare your lunch and leave it in the refrigerator, even prepare the coffee filter and grounds so all you have to do is hit the “brew” button on your coffee when you wake up. Be ready for your day even before going to bed and you will save precious time in the morning that can be much better spent.
Multi-task during small activities
I am a huge fan of being fully present in whatever activity you are doing, however, sometimes you just need to multitask. One good example is taking advantage of your train or bus commute to answer emails, read a book, write out thank you notes from your child’s birthday party, etc.
It is important to capitalize on down time to get other smaller jobs done. Another favorite of mine is to throw something in the oven to bake while I get ready, as it often takes around the same time and I know I will be home so it is safe to have the oven on. I also like being productive while waiting for a doctor’s appointment (which we all know we have plenty of free time in the waiting room!) which is the perfect time to look for a new recipe…or even write a blog post.
As you can see, there are several ways we can lose, and maximize our time within a day. If you are looking to get the most out of your day, be sure to avoid as many time-suckers as possible and allocate your time in a smart and efficient way.
Happy #WholeThoughtsThursday, everyone!! The weather has begun to thaw out here in Philly and I am enjoying sunshine, milder temps, and moving into my 3rd week of Whole30. Things are looking up!
This week, I wanted to talk to you about working out and how you can ensure that you get those workouts in that you promised yourself earlier this year. I will give you a hint–it doesn’t come from the results!!
5 ways to increase your success rate of getting your booty to the gym (or yoga studio, barre, etc!)
Find what you love to do.This may seem pretty obvious, but one of the main reasons people don’t go to the gym is because they simply don’t like their workout. Maybe running mindlessly for 30 minutes on a treadmill is not for you, or contorting your body into a pretzel for yoga makes you wish you were getting a root canal instead–and THAT’S OK! Not all exercises were meant for everyone which is why it is important for you to try a variety of them before committing to a full membership.
*Tip–if you want to actually try them all, head on over to Class Pass and try out a wide variety of classes offered nationally so not only can you try them out at home, you can work out when traveling, too! This honestly saved me from workout boredom and introduced me to so many new workouts I would have never tried!*
Seriously, find the workout that makes you literally skip all the way to class and dream about all day (or night) until the time has finally arrived to work out. Don’t worry if Zumba seems less effective to you than Spinning. If you don’t show up, nothing will be effective. Start with what you love to whet your appetite to get into workout mode, and then add on from there.
Who likes school because of the actual work? We all liked school because of our friends, right?? So, make a friend who attends the same gym/studio as you, or recruit one of your already-made friends to join you for a workout. Trust me, it is way more enticing to go to the gym when you know your pal will be there so you can gab about last night’s Bachelor episode, or trade notes on what healthy breakfast you both enjoyed that morning. As an added bonus, you can even make plans to grab a coffee or tea (no pastries!) after class so you know you are getting physical and emotional nourishment by putting on those yoga pants.
Create a routine.If you begin working out every Monday at 7am and after 4 weeks you skip it, you will definitely will notice a difference. Suddenly, there will be a void in your day as if you didn’t brush your teeth. Things will feel off and it will be because your normal routine was disrupted. Do this again on Wednesday, then add Thursday, and maybe a weekend morning and before you know it you have 4 days down that at exactly the same time every week you are working out. Your body and mind will thank you.
Write it down.You know that 9am team meeting every Tuesday that you have scheduled in your calendar? You don’t miss it because you schedule other obligations around it. Your workout should be the same way.
Actually create an event that shows up on your calendar for your workout. Be sure to block enough time to include the commute and, if necessary, the time to get ready afterwards. This will create a visual block of time in your day that you cannot miss, and yes, it is just as important (or maybe even more important if that team meeting could be done by email) as your other meetings. It doesn’t matter what time you have it in the calendar–5am, 11am, 11pm…you get it…just make sure it is on the calendar for you to see and schedule around and you will not miss that appointment!
Appreciate the outcome.Ok, so getting a nice bod by working out is a great bonus. Yes, it is a bonus, not the main reason to work out. If you focus on the results as the main reason for you to hit the gym, you will inevitably feel defeated after a few sessions since results do not happen overnight, which is why the above 4 tips are incredibly important to your success.
But, when you do start seeing those results, appreciate them. Show them off. Let others know how hard you are working and how it is paying off. You can even treat yourself by buying a new tank top or shorts to keep you energized for going to the gym and celebrate your newly toned body. You earned it and you deserve it. Do not be ashamed of that!
To recap–You are going to succeed at keeping those workout commitments this year by finding a class/workout you absolutely love and cannot wait to attend, make friends with the other girl/guy who goes at the same time as you (as you obviously have similar schedules and interests), and you will not miss this class because it is on your calendar so nothing can be scheduled during that time to disrupt it. Then, after you notice your newly toned arms and flatter tummy, you are going to wear that dress that has been hanging in your closet for far too long and even buy that Lululemon tank that shows off all of your hard work.
Sound good? Great. Get to it.