The last blog post I encouraged you to look in the rearview mirror before planning goals for your new year. Did you have a chance to do that? If not, take another look at that message, because looking at LAST year is a critical first step to achieving your goals for NEXT year.
And based on many conversations I’ve had with many clients, here’s the problem my clients encounter: they run out of time.
They know they “should” be taking care of themselves… that when they feel healthy they feel better about themselves… that exercise and proper nutrition give them energy to do all the things they want to do…
But finding time to get to their workout every day is challenging.
So let me help you “find time” in your schedule, so you don’t put off taking care of yourself.
If you’re thinking about something, especially something you need to do, write it down. Once it’s out of your head, you’re able to focus on the tasks or people in front of you, and not on this other thing you should do… later.
Chunk your day into blocks of time. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but if you haven’t, let me share it with you: Don’t try to multitask. The human brain actually sucks at this. Instead of doing two things at once, it switches back and forth, losing energy – and time spent reacquiring attention – with every switch.
Time chunking could look something like this:
- 15 minutes to confer with your calendar and make sure you know what’s ahead in the day
- 90 minutes on a creative task
- 15 minute break (your brain needs breaks)
- 90 minutes on another creative task
- 30 minute break
- Meetings and appointments as necessary
- 30 minutes replying to email
- 30 to 60 minutes on other small, relatively mindless tasks
- 15 minutes reviewing the day and planning the next day
What those creative tasks are depends on what your daily tasks look like, but I think you get the idea. If you identify your most important activities for the week, and the tasks that will help you accomplish them every day, knock those off your list first thing. They are usually the “harder” things to do, and take more willpower, so do them early in the day before your willpower is depleted.
I also recommend setting a timer and turning off all distractions during your 90 minute creative tasks. Time chunking is a proven system for getting things done, so try it out – and tweak the timeframes if necessary – if you haven’t used it yet!
Use other people’s time. If you’re a natural control freak, this may be challenging, but do it anyway.
In fact, the more you empower others to do their job (from colleagues to kids), the more time you will have to yourself, and the less stress you will experience. Hire a housecleaner if you have to, or a VA for your business. Your time is valuable; don’t waste it doing things you hate, and that don’t help you accomplish your goals.
Celebrate small wins. Your brain thrives on positive feelings, so create positive feelings of happiness and inspiration by celebrating every little win.
I know this may look silly, but it really works. When you achieve even a small task that moves you forward on a goal, stand up, punch the air with your fist, and yell “Yes!! I did it!!
This physical activity actually changes your body chemistry, making you feel great. When you feel great about yourself, it’s easier to dive back in and try to get the next goal accomplished. Remember, your brain craves those feel-good moments, so give it as many of them as you can!
Plan in some daily “nothing” time. If you have to, actually put break times into your calendar and do something that doesn’t require a lot of attention.
And be aware that those moments when you’re daydreaming are an indication you are not fully engaged in your task. If you have to, stand up, stretch, walk over to a window, down the hall, or go outside, and let your mind wander.
Your brain is processing everything you’ve been working on and thinking about. Now give it a chance to solve problems. If you don’t give it regular breaks, it’s like trying to grab the steering wheel from someone else when they don’t want you to have it!
Use technology if it helps you move faster. Sometimes technology slows us down because it distracts us from the task at hand. But many times it streamlines a task and makes it more efficient. Figure out where you can use technology to your advantage.
When you start applying some – or all – of these strategies, you’ll begin to feel like you have more time in your life. And what’s the best way to use that new free time? By taking care of yourself!
We at AFC would love to be able to help you create a time-efficient workout and/or nutrition plan. Let’s start your new year on the right foot.
Here’s to an amazingly healthy 2018!
The AFC Staff