Once you proactively DECIDE that you're going to start working out on a consistent basis, the next logical question is WHEN? There is so much we have to get done in a day that it can make our heads spin and utterly exhaust us. Did you see this on Pinterest?
That totally feels like me some days. I am back to work now, so time management is especially important these days. I'm going to share some time savers that I've been employing lately in my quest to make time for the gym.
Television is the first thing to go and I find it's the easiest to cut out. Don't get me wrong, I'm still watching every episode of The Voice, but I used to keep the t.v. on all the time, even as background noise when I was blogging. Now, I find I really prefer the sound of silence and then I can concentrate and give my full attention to what I'm doing.
Pre-bed preparations are the checklist of things I do before going to bed that help ensure the mornings run smoother and more efficiently. Some of these things are "little" but, when you're rushing around trying to get out the door in the morning, it all helps. The list includes:
- Doing the dishes and quickly wiping the countertops in the kitchen. It's so much nicer to wake up to a clean kitchen and empty sink. I feel that when I get up in the morning to be greeted with a sink full of dirty dishes, I'm not starting my day off with the best energy.
- Laying out the dishes and utensils we will be using in the morning (plates, forks, cups and the syrup for our pancakes). Our kitchen is large, and if I don't do this, I feel like I'm opening 15 cabinets and walking back and forth to get everything we need for breakfast.
- Setting the coffee to brew (essential).
- Packing my son's lunch.
- Laying out my son's clothes (I actually set out 5 outfits for the week).
- Laying out my clothes (and accessories, if necessary) but I usually wear the same watch, ring and earrings everyday.
- Paperwork/necessities ready and in the car. I go ahead and load up my car the night before so I'm not busy packing up in the morning. For instance, sometimes I'm bringing my laptop somewhere, James' freshly washed blanket and pillow to school, or 5 rolls of paper towels that need to be brought to the classroom.
- Packing the gym bag. In mine, I always have my iPod, workout worksheet and pen, gloves, and water bottle. But if you are going straight from work, obviously pack your gym clothes or leave a few sets in there - and don't forget the shoes and socks!
If I know the morning is going to be especially tight (or I just know I need a little extra sleep), I wash and dry my hair the night before and put it in a pony tail or wear it half up/half down the next day. Styling my wet hair (drying + curling) takes a good 30 minutes. You can also just shower at night and skip it in the morning, but I find I need to get at least a quick shower in the morning to help wake me up.
I've mentioned this before, but allowing some time twice a week to prepare several meals in advance is a life saver. Since I'm eating several small meals a day, I couldn't do without it. I pack my lunch and snacks for work the night before and bring them with me. But, there are other food preparations I like to do to save time as well. This includes washing my fruit and vegetables and portioning them out when I get home from the grocery store. It's so much easier to eat some carrots and hummus when the carrots are already washed, peeled and sliced.
We often feel that there just aren't enough hours in the day, and truthfully, some days there aren't. I hope these tips help you find some "extra" time in your day. Do you have tips you can share?
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