I’m a procrastinator. I think, to some extent, most writers are. When I was a newspaper reporter back in New Jersey, I would do all my research for an article, all the interviews, even outlines, and then just sit on the story. For days. I still do that at times!
I am learning, sometimes the hard way, that managing my time more wisely helps me make better choices throughout the day.
For example, this morning I wanted to get up earlier to have time to walk/run before work. But I hit the snooze button. Even though, my life and blogging guru Javacia had just reminded us on Facebook yesterday that getting up earlier is paramount to achieving your daily — and larger — goals, I still decided to sleep a little longer.
However, once I got up, I made the most of my time before work. I cleaned one of the bathrooms in the house, ran to the grocery store for some healthy snacks to keep at work (thanks Publix for opening at 7 a.m.!), and I even started this blog post (which I’m finishing while on my lunch break!).
There is time in each day to achieve small goals — and as Javacia has also coached me on, breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks can bring those larger goals into reach even faster.
As you know from reading my blog, one of my major goals is working on my health and fitness. Fitting in time to grocery shop, prepare meals, work out and get enough sleep seems impossible at times. Here’s a few suggestions (that I need to put into action more often, too!) that will help you in this area:
1. Meal plan to make grocery shopping more efficient. When I plan out dinners for the week, and think of simple lunches to prepare, I can get all my shopping done in one trip. This makes it easier to have healthy ingredients on hand, including snacks, and makes grocery trips less frequent and less of a chore. I highly recommend keeping snacks to last a whole week at the office, too, so you don’t reach for the convenience of the vending machine.
2. Workouts can take place anywhere, anytime! As many people have pointed out to me over the years, workouts don’t have to be at the gym or last for hours, or even a full hour. Get some movement in, whether it’s a video tape or Wii game at home, a walk around your office building or neighborhood, or a circuit in the living room while watching a favorite TV show. And one of my favorite ways to socialize is to meet a friend for a class or a walk. Get that time with your besties while getting your workout in, too!
3. Make sleep a priority. I love to sleep. Like, LOVE it! I’m not ashamed to go to bed early. But sometimes turning off the TV, putting down the iPad or closing the book can be hard. I’ve recently become less of a night owl because I realize I am usually more productive in the mornings. At night, most often, I’m just killing time on Pinterest or Facebook. So going to bed — for me, by 10 p.m. is ideal — ensures that if I get enough rest, I’ll wake up ready to tackle the day. And the TV show, iPad and book will always be there the next morning (that’s what the DVR is for!).
I’m a big fan of keeping lists, and this also helps me schedule time for what I need to do. I have weekly tasks (like cleaning and laundry) and daily tasks. Here’s my schedule for today:
I highly recommend keeping to-do lists for your larger goals, but also daily schedules to help keep you on task. I’m trying something new, too, where I clean one thing every day so I don’t go crazy with a huge cleaning list that needs a bigger chunk of time. I’ll let you know how this goes!
How do you manage your time? Are your health goals built into your daily schedule?