A Canadian study showed that confident people who have the ability to make and stick to a schedule are most likely to exercise regularly. Furthermore, in other research people who take the time to plan a grocery list tend to make better food choices in the store, which leads to weight loss success. Inversely, studies have shown that people who get caught in time drainers are linked to higher calorie food choices and subsequently higher body weights.
Master Your Schedule
I often hear people say, “If I had more time I could (insert activity here)”. Some people have their time in check; others struggle day-to-day to make it work at a minimum. Whatever category you fall in these time tips will get you together and take you to the next level! As stated above, planning is crucial to your weight management success. Here are some ways to turn your every day calendar into a tool for weight loss success.
Which Calendar Do You Prefer
What kind of calendar do you like to use? Some people prefer a physical planner, some use their phone for the reminders. If you are like me you need your phone, a physical planner AND a few sticky notes! And if by chance you don’t use any of these methods pick one and try it and if it doesn’t work try another until you find something that works for you. To fill your schedule out successfully, try these tips:
1. Schedule your needs first. Work, appointments and family tasks come first. Make sure to include activities that are important to YOU like your meal planning and exercising.
2. Make you schedule when you are most on point. Whatever time of day that is for you use it to plan when you are at your best. You want to be clear and not distracted when you are making your schedule because it has to be a clear and achievable plan.
3. Plan your workouts. Workout time should be scheduled and completed at that time. Plan to workout when you have the time and energy to do it. The goal is to make exercising a habit that you cannot live without!
4. Plan your meal planning and grocery shopping days. If you are still struggling in this area make time to plan your meals for 2-4 weeks at a time. It sounds like a lot but it really only takes about an hour and you are done for the month! Just make up your lists for the week and get shopping. This tip will literally change your life!
5. Create a family calendar. You don’t want to have scheduling conflicts with your personal and family calendars. In Google calendars you can create different calendars and share them with the family so that everyone is on the same page.
6. Don’t book up your ENTIRE day. We all must create a certain level of balance in our lives. Making a schedule will surely help with this. Tally up how many hours are in your typical day and save about twenty-five percent of your time for rest and fun!
We all have unavoidable things that come up during the day, don’t get so rigid about your schedule that it stresses you out. Yes, you should follow it closely to stay on track but it’s really just a guide, not a law. Be good to yourself and if you don’t do as well as you would have liked just remember, tomorrow is a new day. You will never fail if you do your best!
Things That Waste Your Time
Let’s talk a little bit about what is draining your time. Here are some common time drainers and how you can check them.
If you drag your feet when it comes to working out join the club. Surveys show exercise is one of the main activities people hesitate to complete.
Check it: Exercise in small amounts even if you don’t want to. Odds are once you get going you won’t want to stop. It also helps to have a workout partner for that extra accountability. You two can motivate each other and prevent procrastination before it even begins.
The Digital World
Video games, social media and the Internet can suck up literally hours out of your day. The CDC did a study and it revealed that adults who play video games weight more than adults who do not play.
Check it: Set a time limit on your digital time. Cutting your digital time in half would definitely give you extra time in your day to exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is not healthy and increases your risks of hypertension, diabetes and other chronic diseases. If you must get your digital fix, make it interactive, something that gets you moving.
Putting You First
People can put a lot of demands on you and completely suck up your time. Unexpected drop ins, people who call multiple times a day and favors can drain much of your free time.
Check it: Set time in your schedule every week for these activities and don’t let them dominate your free time. Learn to say no sometimes and be clear on the amount of time you have to spend. Give them another time that works in your schedule as an option.
Emails and texting are also huge time drainers. Emails pile up and a text conversation can easily go on for hours. Surveys show that the average American spends 23 hours a week on digital communication.
Check it: Batch your email tasks. Don’t keep responding to all emails all day. Of course you will have your priority emails that need to be addressed, but for the ones that can wait schedule a time to go through them all at once. You might even want to have two times throughout your day to check emails. Don’t get caught in text conversations. Wait until your break time to respond and if you check your text messages during you day respond when you get the time.
The Art of Saying NO
Many people have a phobia of saying NO! You must learn that saying NO isn’t to be mean, it’s to give you the freedom to control your time.
· If you are asked to do something you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do just say, “Unfortunately, I am not able to make that.” You aren’t hurting anyone’s feeling and you are being honest with yourself and respecting your time.
· If you have some time to help out but not much time then offer to help in a different way. Offer up time that you do have available or offer up a simpler favor than the one requested. Example, “I can’t bake a dish but I can bring one instead.”
· If you really aren’t sure about what you want to do then say, “Let me check my schedule and get back to you”. Now, you have time to decide what you want to do without the pressure of obligation.
How Will You Master Your Time
Everyone can benefit from having better time management. Whether you need time for exercise, planning and preparing your meals or other tasks that are important to you mastering your time will be the key. Schedule those tasks first and then fill in your calendar with other tasks but make sure you leave some free time. Identify what is draining your time so that you can make some changes and make time for what matters to you.
If you are ready but still don’t know where to begin, get our time management workbook. The workbook guides you step by step as you track and analyze your time, find ways to streamline, automate or eliminate tasks and block time your day for maximum productivity. All of the worksheets you need to master your time are included.