Do you want to live healthier and get the best out of yourself, but you just don’t have the time to be consistent and really make it happen? That’s how it is for many people.
Time flies – it’s like a constant race against the clock. Whether work, events, family, friends, or relationships take up most of your day, many of us feel like we don’t have time for ourselves.
But, are we really too busy? Is there really no time to breathe, move and give our body the attention it really craves and deserves?
We’ve put together a checklist to help you manage your time better and achieve your fitness goals, even when you’re “too busy”.
Keep a diary of your time management
Being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. In fact, many of us use the phrase “I’m so busy” so frequently that it causes our brains to block out any free minute we might have.
So the first item on your checklist is to figure out what is taking up your time the most. Often there are pointless time gaps in the day – on the one hand, due to poor time management and on the other hand because you just don’t know what the next task or activity should be. By writing down your daily routine, you can determine what you spend your time on, how you achieve your goals, and how you can increase your productivity.
How it works:
- Set a specific period of time (e.g. 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month). We suggest documenting and writing down every day for a week.
- Categorize your tasks and track them by intervals.
Organize your main daily tasks into categories (e.g. commute, work, email, meetings, lunch, exercise, miscellaneous). Set an interval (e.g. 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes) and at the end of each interval write down what you did and how many minutes it took you to do it.
- Summarize, analyze and prioritize
At the end of each day, note which category took the most time and how many minutes were spent on unplanned activities.By the end of the week, you should have enough data to see where most of your time is going and if you have any time gaps.
After analyzing your time record, you should create blocks of time for your daily tasks and activities. This allows you to prioritize and reevaluate what you should be spending your energy on. It also helps you gauge how much free time you have.
Set SMART fitness goals
SMART goals help you get a clear line and focus on getting the most out of your goals. They also motivate you and prepare you mentally for the challenges that may come your way.
What are SMART Goals:
S – Specific
It is important that you describe your goal precisely. For example: “I want to lose 4 kg this month”.
M – Measurable
After you’ve defined your goal, the next step is to think about how to measure your progress. To make your goal “lose 4 kilos in a month” measurable, you can consider the following:
“I want to lose 1 kg every week for the next 4 weeks”
A – Attainable
Now that you know how to measure your goals, it’s important to take the next step to make sure they’re achievable. For example:
“I want to lose 2 pounds a week and I can achieve that by measuring and reducing my daily calorie intake and exercising 5x a week at moderate to vigorous intensity.”
This gives you clarity about how you can lose 1 kilo per week and thus achieve your goal.
R – Relevant
When a goal is relevant, it is directly related to you and your lifestyle. In this case, losing weight improves overall fitness, confidence, and mental and physical health.
T – Time-bound
Setting deadlines helps create a sense of urgency and motivation. It also makes it easier to measure progress over a set period of time. Having a fixed schedule also makes it easier to make adjustments to achieve the desired outcome in time.
Focus on results
When it comes to fitness, there isn’t just one way to achieve your goals. The wealth of information can be confusing, making it difficult to understand where to start and what to focus on.
However, if you focus more on the results than the process, you’ll gain clarity, minimize distractions, and stay consistent long enough to reach your goal. Motivation is the be-all and end-all!
How can you focus on your results?
– Celebrate even the small successes (e.g. if you have completed your workout). Record your training sessions and note your progress
– Find out your weaknesses and consciously work on them
Prepare your meals
Good eating habits and a healthy approach to food are essential if you want to achieve your fitness goals. Preparing meals not only saves time, energy and money, but also gives you a clear overview of your eating habits. This will help you avoid bad eating habits and make it easier for you to make conscious choices, such as prioritizing protein, vegetables, and fiber, and develop a regular eating routine.
How it works:
- Create a meal plan
If you’re new to meal planning, start with a baseline plan that includes all of the macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats). Find out what foods you like to eat the most in each macro group and create 1-2 favorite dishes for each time of the day (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner).
- Find out which preparation method suits you best
There are different ways to prepare meals. The best option is the one that works with your schedule.
• Batch cooking & freezing – Prepare and freeze larger amounts of a meal for portioning at a later time.
• Individually portioned meals – Prepare complete meals and portion them into separate containers for the whole week.
• Ready-to-cook ingredients – if you prefer to cook your meals before eating, portioning out your ingredients and setting them aside (e.g. chopped veggies, measured rice) will save you time. This gives you more leeway and you can swap out ingredients depending on your mood.
Use your morning for this
It’s usually easiest for us to be consistent in the morning. That’s because you’re well-rested, with the least amount of interruptions, and a chance to set the tone for the day.
Develop a mindful morning routine that gives you at least 30-60 minutes to work on your fitness goals.
It’s so easy to take time for granted and waste it needlessly. This is due in large part to the work culture that says “being busy = being productive = achieving some form of success”. The truth is, being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive.
Using the tips above can help you manage your time better, increase your productivity, and improve your chances of achieving whatever goals you set for yourself, whether it’s in life, fitness, financially, or in a relationship.