I decided to post about this because I want to share how very possible it is to be busy and still find the time to have a healthy lifestyle (if that’s what you desire.) I know everyone has different sorts of commitments and challenges but I’m very busy (by choice) and I know some of these tips can help you. When people become aware of all the activities and commitments I have in my daily life, they’re shocked and often ask how I find time to do all these things, still have a social life and not be stressed. Before I get into the details, let me say, I don’t have kids (yet) and I don’t watch anywhere near to the amount of TV the typical person watches. I am past the age of clubbing and going to bars and such on a regular basis. I also really enjoy everything I do and I like being busy so stressed out, I rarely am.
In a given week:
- I work about 40 hours at my full time job as a Training and Development specialist. My usual commute is between one hour and one hour, 15 minutes each way. About 30% of the time I have a 30 minute commute each way. I love these days!
- I teach five one-hour spin classes per week.
- I am a part-time health/nutrition coach
- I attend 90 minute Bikram yoga classes 5-7 days/week.
- I will also resume running twice/week to prepare for an upcoming race.
- I get 6-8 hours of sleep each night (still working on this)
- I spend time with family and friends whenever something is planned.
Here are my top 5 tips:
- PRIORITIZE: You must figure out what is most important and what you will commit to making time for. Obviously my full time job is vitally important. We all have to work, be on time and be productive. The bonus is I really like my job. Outside of that, I LOVE teaching spin classes and practicing Bikram yoga. Two of the five spin classes I teach are at 5:30am. So they really don’t cut into my daytime hours. I just have to get to bed a bit earlier two nights/week. Luckily my job does not require me to take work home, apart form sending and responding to emails. Bikram yoga takes up a lot time because each class is 90 minutes long, not including the time to drive there, and get ready. The studio at which I practice is less than 10 minutes away. This may seem like a small thing but, I shower at the studio after class so that when I get home, its one less thing I have to do. Eating healthy is another major priority. I’ll talk more about that in Tip#2. Watching TV is NOT one of my priorities. With the invention of DVR it is easier to be able to watch shows when it’s most convenient. My fiancé enjoys watching TV, so we watch a few recorded shows. This also serves as some of our quality time together.
- GET ORGANIZED by having a consistent schedule and do things at the same time each week. Some say eating healthy is time consuming. It can be if you don’t plan ahead and if you aren’t organized. I make two-day supplies of green smoothies twice per week. It really doesn’t take that long. I use the pre-washed veggies from Trader Joe’s. That’s a lot of minutes saved each week. I cook and bake on the weekends and it is usually enough to last me for a few days. Even though many of the foods I eat do not have a long shelf life, they can last anywhere from one-two weeks. I visit the grocery store once/week either on my way home or during my lunch break at work. I use the outlook calendar on my iPhone to keep track of very single appointment. I have all my monthly bills automatically deducted from my account. I still look at the bill to make sure it’s correct but sending checks and manually paying on line are very time consuming ways to pay your bills.
- MULTITASK AND CONSOLIDATE. I have a one-hour commute most mornings. I listen to music during my lengthy commutes and sometimes plan the rides in my head then write them down when I get home. I also use these commutes to clear my head, listen to the news and talk to my Mother and friends (on blue tooth of corse. Safety first.) If I have to run errands or have medical appointments I try to get them all done in one trip or on the same day if I am off from work.
- COMMUNICATE with your loved ones. My fiancé understands how much I enjoy my activities and he is very supportive. He does his best to plan events on days and times that work best with my schedule.
- BE REALISTIC AND FLEXIBLE. There are just some weeks where I know my routine schedule just ain’t going to work. I sometimes have to find a sub for spin class because I’ll be out of town or because I have a business meeting or event that is earlier than usual. There are some weeks when I don’t get to yoga s much as I’d like. Sometimes I’ll even skip class because I know that I haven’t spent enough time with my fiancé or I have social engagement that I really want to or should attend. I also don’t schedule every single hour of every day and I leave some room for error when possible. I don’t enjoying shopping as much as I used to but I still like acquiring ‘stuff.’ I do most of my non-food shopping online. This saves so much time. I schedule my clients two weeks in advance on the weekend when I have the most free hours.
I will admit, I’m not very spontaneous and if plans are sprung on me at the last minute, I don’t like it and I probably won’t be able to make it happen because how I spend my time is so planned out. Sometimes you just have to say NO. I hope this will help you to make some changes in the way you use your time for the better.