I am one busy girl. Not only do I work an 8-5, which has lately been more like a 7:30-6:30, but I am in-transit for about an hour and a half each day, I cook myself dinners every night, try to go to yoga regularly, and I'm in school earning my health coaching certification. Oh, and did I mention I'm car-less? That little factor makes things all the more interesting. Whenever I need food or other things, I either bike to the store or I walk somewhere on my lunch break at work and lug my purchases home from the train station on my way home from the train station after work.
For awhile I was getting really down on myself for not managing my time better or for not giving enough priority to things I needed or wanted to do. The thing was, though, I just didn't have enough hours in the day! I wanted to be blogging but I needed to make and eat dinner. I wanted to work on my health coaching business but I needed to take a shower. After I finished doing all the "have tos," it was past 11:30 and I was ready for bed! I'd go to bed feeling like I didn't get anything done in my evening hours and I'd fall asleep and repeat that very cycle again the next day.
Well, I came to realize that my number of waking hours each day are limited and that, truly, I only can do so much and some things are going to have to be sacrificed throughout the week in order to get other, more pressing, things done. I'm slowly becoming okay with this and learning to ease up on myself. It's definitely a process though and I'm, by no means, "there" but I'm closer than I was!
That all said, I do have some practical how-tos for how to get more done in the same amount of time. They're things I've found work for me, personally, and i know they'll work for of you too! My list certainly isn't exhaustive but it's a good place to start. Try out my suggestions (where applicable) and see which ones work for you. Please make sure and leave your comments below too and let me know what you've found helpful!
1. Change your shower schedule.
Fortunately or not, we all have to bathe. For some of us, myself included, taking a shower and getting ready can take up quite a chunk of time, between shaving, blow drying and styling your hair. If you normally take showers in the morning and find yourself waking up super early in order to do so, try taking your shower at night instead and ladies, throw in some curlers so your hair is ready to go in the morning. This little change might give you more time to do something else or, at the very least, allow you to sleep in later in the morning.
2. Journal or blog in-transit.
Perhaps for you it's not journaling or blogging but some other outlet for creative expression you have (or want) to do every day. Don't sacrifice it for the seemingly more "necessary" tasks. Creative expression IS necessary, you just need to find a consistent time when you'll be able to do it, whatever "it" is. For me, I've started to find that my ride into work in the morning and home in the evening is a perfect time to work on my blog, which I'm doing right now, and/or update my Integrative Nutrition journal. I used to try and work on these things every night after dinner but, realistically, that wasn't happening so I found a time and place that works for me. I encourage you to do the same. For those of you who use public transportation, I highly recommend getting your "creative on" when you're in-transit!
3. Dedicate exercise nights and wind-down nights.
You can do this either rigidly or fluidly. To do this "rigidly," say, for example, you'll dedicate Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to yoga and set aside Mondays and Fridays to cooking a nice meal or watching your favorite television show. A more "fluid" approach would be to say you'll be active three nights a week and chill two nights a week. Again, find what works best for you but go in with a plan!
4. Pack a lunch the night before.
I've kind of always done this but I realize many of you do not. Some of you may throw things haphazardly into a brown bag in the morning or skip the whole lunch packing thing altogether and buy your lunch at work. For those of you who DO pack lunch in the morning, try out packing it the night before. I guarantee you your lunch will be better. You won't feel rushed and can put thought into what you actually want to include in your lunch rather than what's fast and convenient. Fast and convenient is still good (think fruit,) but so is setting aside time to make a collard wrap with all of your favorite fillings!
5. Embrace your weekends!
For all the things you wanted to accomplish during your week but didn't, use your weekend time to do just that--or don't! Weekends are about flexibility, fun and sometimes laziness. So if those unfinished things are important to you, do them. If not, forget about them and just have fun! Fully LIVE your weekends and drink them up like nectar. I encourage you all to do one new thing every weekend. It can be something as little as going to a different farmers market than usual or as big as taking a red eye flight to Las Vegas to try and win some big ones, but fully live. After all, you aren't going to be able to do these things during the week so take advantage of your weekend time. Explore!