Today, I’m going to share with you some of the ways I manage my time, stay on track & save time in the long run! Basically, I’m going to tell you how I manage to fit EVERYTHING I do in one day!
Let’s be honest, I know that I do a lot & that what I do might not be what you want to do or the lifestyle you want to pursue! It might also not be feasible for you based on your family, work, school & life, overall! I’m just here to share with you my tips & what works for me!
I just want to put it out there that if I did have children or a family to support &/or take care of everyday, I don’t know that I would be able to do everything that I do now. I know that when I have kids, they will be my top priority. So, if you’re a mom & you have young children, please don’t get down on yourselves if you’re not where you want to be just yet with your healthy lifestyle. I literally think that moms are superhuman! They do it all, they try to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of themselves, all while taking care of their children & their families & doing everything in their power to make that their priority. I know that it’s hard to accept not reaching our ultimate goals, but please acknowledge how amazing you are & how strong you are! You have something that so many people strive & want to have one day so cherish it & don’t let it bring you down – just find your balance! And, keep in mind that as your kiddies get older, it will become easier for you to adopt a healthier lifestyle & focus on you! I’m not a mom yet, but I just wanted to put that out there because I know sometimes, it can get discouraging!
NOW, HOW DO I DO IT?
First things first, as you guys know, I am a firm believer in meal prepping. If I didn’t meal prep, I don’t think I would have the time to do everything that I do. Especially since, as you guys know, I’m someone who likes to make home-cooked meals, most of the time. I don’t eat in restaurants much. I guess it’s safe to say I’m a “homemade girl”. If I had to come home every night & whip up complex, intricate meals that takes hours to prepare, for one, I don’t know if I’d have the energy to do it & two, I wouldn’t be able to fit in everything that I do in one day (workouts, social life, work, chores, me-time, blogging etc.).
If you need some guidance & don’t know where to start with meal prep, as well as some recipe ideas & suggestions, check out my full post here: Kelly In The Kitch’s Guide to Meal Prep a.k.a. Why The Heck I Swear By Meal Prep!
Trust me, it will change your life! It makes your life SO MUCH EASIER. And yes, while it does require some time invested over the weekends or at the beginning of the week, in the long run, you end up saving so much time & energy (& avoiding lots of food-related stress & bad, impulsive decisions!).
In line with meal-prepping, I like to do one big grocery haul once a week. The groceries usually last me throughout the week (Of course, keeping mind that I do what I have to do to preserve my fruits & veggies and keep them fresh, storage-wise). It does take a lot of work, but it’s worth it. I’m not one of those people who go to the grocery store every day or every two days to get ingredients. I know a lot of people believe in that because it’s fresher, but I think it’s a waste of time & that it ends up costing you more because you’re tempted to try new things every time you go. I prefer to get everything I need for the week, keeping in mind that I may have to run out for an ingredient or two here & there. Doing this saves SO MUCH TIME! We don’t realize it, but groceries can actually take a lot of time. We have to actually do the shopping, put it away, prepare, chop, cut, store the fruits & veggies, etc.
MAKE YOUR GYM/WORKOUT SCHEDULE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK
Another thing that helps me stay on track is making my gym schedule every Sunday night. (Keep in mind that this is a particular perk that I get with my gym. Not every gym will allow you to register online. But, if yours doesn’t, you can simply write it down for yourself). What I do is book all my classes for the week so that I have something to keep me accountable. Yes, sometimes things come up, sometimes classes get cancelled, sometimes I’m tired. In those situations, I’ll cancel & skip the class. BUT, knowing that I made my schedule at the beginning of the week keeps me on track, gives me a schedule & allows me to plan my week around my workout schedule so that I don’t double-book things! It also makes me go, literally. It’s kind of like when you have a doctor, nail or hair appointment. You know you’re going to go because the appointment is made & there’s a set time for it.
I LIVE FOR LISTS!
Guys, I swear. I don’t know what I would do without the concept of lists! I seriously cannot think of a day that’s gone by recently without having made a list! I make them for everything. Some mornings, when I wake up, if I feel overwhelmed and I know I have a big day ahead of me, I’ll take ten minutes, sit down & make a list.
The way I do my lists is in two columns, one for the things that I absolutely MUST do today & the other for things that can wait until tonight or tomorrow. Doing this calms me down, takes away that feeling of being overwhelmed & takes away the worry and anxiety of having to do everything in one day! It teaches me to prioritize too!
I don’t know about you guys but ever since high school, CEGEP, university & Bar school, checking things off a list is the best feeling in the world. Not only does it mean you are physically getting things done, BUT you feel accomplished, mentally. You feed your mind mentally with feelings of accomplishment & success and this encourages you and motivates you to want to continue to be productive.
GET AN AGENDA! (A Kate Spade one, preferably!)
I am a firm believer in WRITING DOWN what I have to do. Call me old-fashioned, because I know a lot of people will use the calendars on their iPads or computers. But, for me, writing things down just works! I write down all things from beauty appointments, to blog posts I want to get out, to meetings, etc.
Some people have asked me if actually sitting down & taking the time to write in my agenda is a waste of time. But to me, it isn’t. It’s kind of like meal prepping. Yes, it takes a bit of your time at the beginning of the week to get all your appointments & whatnot in order, but I’m saving time in the long run because everything is organized! Being in order allows me to be productive. For me, when my thoughts feel like they are all over the place & I am overwhelmed, it’s hard for me to be productive because I jut don’t know where to start. But, when everything is written down right in front of me, I feel like there’s order in my life, I know what I have to prioritize & I’m calm and at ease.
Plus, who doesn’t love writing in an agenda with pretty pens, let’s be honest?
DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW!
That’s the way the expression goes, right? BASICALLY, what I’m trying to say, is not to take on more than you think you can or more than you think your body can sustain. Doing that will just result in you overwhelming yourself. As human beings, when we are overwhelmed, it stands in the way of productivity. Our thoughts are running & we simply have no idea where to turn, what to do or what to start with. In the end, this sometimes results in us simply doing nothing at all. It’s counterproductive.
Yes, it feels great to say that we’ve taken on more challenges & been given more opportunities, but at the end of the day, if we don’t have the time or energy to do those things, why are we taking them on in the first place? Why overwhelm yourself when you know that it will ultimately lead to discouragement & procrastination? Be smart about what you accept. Know your limits.
This is something I’ve really learned recently & throughout recovery. Those of you who know me know that throughout my life & academic career, this is something I didn’t know or understand. I constantly took on more than I could. I was overwhelmed (& yes, I was productive because I put too much pressured on myself), overworked, burnt out, depressed, tired, weak & void of any social life.
Now, throughout recovery, I’ve learned to find balance and to know what I can sustain and take on. I think that this is one of the most important things to learn & to teach yourself to really live a genuinely healthy life. It’s the crux.
If you’re overly stressed? You’re contributing to an unhealthy gut. And as you guys know, 80% of your immunity & your health is in your gut. It’s really central to your overall health. If you’re stressed out and constantly taking on too much, odds are, your gut will be unhealthy & that can lead to a host of other health problems, such as inflammation, chronic disease, digestive problems, etc. Everything is connected & interrelated.
When you find that balance & learn to take on what you genuinely can, you will see that your life will fall into place, right where it needs to be. You will feel more mentally stable & in tune with what you have to do & your emotions.
I know, we all strive for success, to do more than what we can. We all have standards, we all want to do more and to be challenged. Basically, we’re ambitious by nature, but we have to balance that with the knowledge that letting that get to our heads can actually be detrimental to our health. I have really lived and gone through this FIRST HAND. I’ve seen it happen right before my eyes & I’ve seen myself go through years of self-neglect & IT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT!
MAKE TIME FOR YOU & FOR SELF-CARE
Find time for yourself and for self-care. I know a lot of people think that self-care is selfish and say that they don’t have time because they’re constantly busy doing things for others. And don’t get me wrong, doing things for others is the most selfless thing in the world, especially when you have kids and a family, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO DO THINGS FOR YOURSELF.
You must learn to see the value and the balance in being there for others but also being there for YOURSELF. Self-care can be anything from reading a book, listening to music, taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine and nothing else, going to the gym, making a fun recipe with your bf/gf/fiancé(e)/hubby/wifey/kiddies/best friend, talking to your best friend on the phone for an hour, going for a walk, playing sports, face masking, scrubbing; basically: anything that’s going to make you feel good about yourself and like you are doing something for yourself! Everyone is different & that’s okay. WHAT MATTERS IS THAT YOU ENGAGE IN SELF-CARE!
You probably think I’m nuts. I’m sitting here telling you how to manage your time more efficiently, yet I’m telling you to do something leisurely. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT, right? WRONG. Self-caring will make you want to do other things, it makes you happy. You will be able to acknowledge that you did something for yourself, you’ll feel good and relaxed about it, your stress levels will decrease & you’ll be able to better perform in all other tasks that you have to complete. So many people underestimate the value in self-care but it’s VITAL!
For me, going to the gym, writing, reading, blogging, talking to you guys, face masking, doing my hair, going to get my hair or nails done, etc. is self-care. All these things are therapeutic for me, they allow me to relax & to disconnect
All this to say, self-care is more important than you think it is. Find the time to do things for yourself & you’ll see how rewarded and happy you will feel and in turn, how much better you will perform in everything else that you do!
EAT TO SUSTAIN WHAT YOU’RE ASKING YOUR BODY TO DO FOR YOU!
In terms of performing, I say this all the time: If you’re expecting to do a lot in one day, you gotta eat to sustain it. It’s as simple as that. Give your body the fuel that it needs to do what you’re asking of it. You cannot expect to wake up, have just a coffee & go about your day until 3PM with nothing else in your system and be productive, focused and concentrated.
Food is medicine. Food is fuel. You have to eat for benefits. If you want to have energy and have long days at work on-the-go, then feel energized enough to go to the gym, make dinner, pick up your kids, go out with friends etc., you need to fuel your body. Your body loves you. Love it back. If you don’t feel up the “gas tank”, the same way you would for your car, your body won’t want to love you or be there for you OR MOVE FOR YOU. It’ll be tired, weak and want to chill the F out because it won’t have the fuel to do what you’re asking of it.
I eat a lot. And that’s why I’m so energized all day long. I eat a lot because I know I’m going to be asking a lot of my body throughout the day and it’s going to need that energy! Sometimes, on days where I’m more on-the-go than others, I feel that afternoon slump (i.e. on days where I do two workouts, or where I meal prep for 4-5 hours straight).
MOST IMPORTANTLY, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
Sometimes, you can feed ur body all the food in the world, but sometimes, it’s just going to want & more importantly, NEED TO STOP. There are days where you’ll wake up & you will be more tired than others, you may come down with a cold or flu. All this to say, if your body is asking you to stop, chill, relax… THEN, STOP, CHILL & RELAX.
This is something I have huge issues with. I deal with it everyday & sometimes, I just need to remind myself that I just gotta chill. The other night, I contemplated not going to my gym class for about 30 minutes, when ultimately, I knew I was too tired. I have to teach my mind to just say “STOP!”. I’m giving you this advice because I know that it’s something I consciously work on day in & day out.
Learn the value in listening to your body. I say this always: Your body cannot speak to you. The only way it can communicate with you is through how YOU FEEL. If you feel tired, weak, lacking energy and like you can’t do what you’re asking yourself to do, accept it. If you feel like you’re not in the mood to make dinner, like you’re too tired for a workout or like you just want to sit on the couch & binge watch Netflix, DO IT (as long as this isn’t everyday, obvi!).
Tomorrow is a new opportunity to do whatever you thought you would do today! Find your balance. Listen to your body & to the cues it sends you. In the long run, you will see how rewarding it is. Sometimes, stopping & chilling actually makes you MORE productive. You give your body the rest its asking for, it refuels & it’s excited to be productive tomorrow!
That’s it lovies! These are the top tips & tricks that work for me to stay on track, save time & be productive! Again, everyone is different & time management is very subjective. All of this largely depends on your mindset, perspective, outlook & on your lifestyle (family life, work, school, etc!).
DO WHAT YOU CAN! Every baby step is a step in the right direction!