People often tell me they don’t exercise regularly because they don’t have time. Many people put exercise off for the day when their schedule lightens up, but that day never arrives. Waiting for your life to slow down will just keep you waiting. If exercising and keeping your body healthy is truly important to you, you have to prioritize exercise and schedule other things around it. As productivity expert Stephen Covey says, “Don’t prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.” Make sure what’s most important to you shows up on your daily calendar first.
Find more time in your day with some of these tips!
1. Don’t Put Off Your Workouts (Unless You Are Extremely Self-Dedicated)
While there’s plenty of debate over when the best time to exercise is, I only promote morning workouts so they actually happen. Working out in the morning doesn’t guarantee a better workout, it only guarantees that it’s more likely to happen. People who work out first thing tend to stick to it. If you save it for later, later turns into never. Before you know it, a friend asks you to have a drink after work and then you choose that instead of hitting the gym or the jogging trail.
2. Bundle Your Activities
Checking your email throughout the day—or obsessively as soon as a new email pops up in your inbox, eats inordinate amounts of your time. Try checking your email only three times during the day instead. Bundling similar tasks together and planning to do them at a specific time can really help you to get more done.
Related: How To Stop Wasting Time
3. Batch Everything You Can Do In Less Than 15 Minutes Together
Rather than scatter quick errands or tasks throughout the day, group them together. Make a list of tasks you can finish in under 15 minutes and do them all at once. You won’t lose time switching between small tasks or scattering them throughout the day. When you tackle them all at once, your mind will be clear to focus on bigger priorities.
4. Have a Planning Day
I think Sunday is a great day to plan for the week. I go to the grocery store on Sunday and stock up for the week so I won’t have to make multiple trips throughout the week. I also use Sunday to prepare food. I boil up some eggs, grill up some chicken breast, wash and cut up fruit and put it inside Tupperware containers to get food ready for the week
You can even loosely plan the coming month. Do you know what you want to accomplish with your health in the next 30 days? Without a goal, you don’t know your destination. Be clear about your goals and write them down. Use this tactic for all of your goals, even if they aren’t health related. It’s a great way to track your progress too.
5. Work Your Days Backward
Approach your day with the end in mind. How would you deem your day successful at the end of it? What needs to happen for you to have a sense of accomplishment and feel great when the day concludes? If you know those things or can identify them at the start of your day, you will visualize your ideal day and make it happen.
There’s a difference between being productive and being active. We often fool ourselves when we think being busy means we are being productive. Sure, maybe we are getting a lot of little things accomplished, but we aren’t getting our most important things accomplished. It’s a form of procrastination to make yourself busy with little things while you knowingly don’t make progress on the most important things. Make sure you are making progress on your priorities. Plan your day for success!