Let’s talk about the daily habits you could put into place that can really make a difference to your life. Adopting some of these will not only help your stress levels, but also help you to manage your time that little bit better. Hopefully they will allow you to add in the things that are missing whether that’s a daily workout, extra time with friends/family or time to just be in the sunshine reading a book!
PLAN YOUR WEEK IN ADVANCE ON SUNDAY NIGHT
It’s really all about routines and habits. The first thing that everyone envisages when we mention ‘Sunday prep’ is planning their meals for the week and filling their fridge/freezer with tons of Tupperware containing their ‘healthy’ food. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad idea, in fact it’s an extremely good one … but this blog is about making your week more ‘productive’ NOT looking at your food choices!
Every week sit down with your weekly planner and map out the whole week ahead, so you can visually see it at a glance.
First, schedule in your work days, any appointments, children’s activities, then finally schedule in your workouts / ‘me’ time once you can see where you have a period of spare time to squeeze them in. When you first look at your week ahead in this way you may think there is NO time for these workouts / ‘me’ time, but we’ll come back to that later.
PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE
This next one is simple, but it’s highly effective! Every night before bed, review what you’ve done that day and what you didn’t (but need to) and plan for the next day.
Do this for work, but also quickly review the calendar for your children’s school schedule too. I know we all want to make our children self-sufficient, but it will make the morning run so much smoother without that last-minute panic as you are trying to get them out the door.
Looking at your day the night before and then preparing for it makes the next day run so much smoother!
WAKE UP EARLY OR EARLIER
If you find yourself struggling with not enough hours in the day, getting up at just 30 minutes earlier than normal will help keep that stress at bay. Even if you just have ‘me time’, you’ll start your day so much more ahead of the game as opposed to struggling to keep up!
This is where you really can claw back some time for yourself. I know it’s hard if you think you already get up early, or you struggle with mornings … but if you keep at it and make it a regular occurrence your body clock will respond favourably. Your bedtime will get earlier, and you will adjust to the new routine.
If you are going to bed late at the moment are you just vegging out and watching box sets on Netflix? Are you honestly relaxing in that time? You won’t feel better the next day. In fact, you’d feel tons better if you’d just gone to bed and read for a 20 minutes and went to sleep sooner!
Sometimes biting the bullet and deciding to wake up early to workout is the only viable exercise option since many of us work full time and who wants to work out after work?! How many of you have promised yourself you’d go to the gym or go running later, only to find the day completely runs away with you?
It’s hard to wake up at a time beginning with possibly even a five, but once you are up and at ’em and have that workout over and done with you will feel amazing! Trust me! Once you get in the groove of waking up early, it won’t be so difficult.
LISTEN TO YOUR ‘SMART SELF’
This one comes in handy all the time, but especially if you’ve committed to waking up early and then when morning comes, your ‘selfish self’ starts sabotaging you, saying, “just hit snooze” or “how about tomorrow?”
Whenever those negative or self-sabotaging thoughts get into your head, recognise it and remember what your smarter, ‘best self’, has planned for you.
For example, when your alarm goes off at 5:30 and it’s time to work out and you inevitably hear that voice that says just go back to bed, remember that your ‘smart self’ wants you to get up, workout and be healthy and fit. Don’t sit there listening to that mental conversation in your head … Take action immediately. You’ll have to get over how you feel in the moment in exchange for how you want to live your life. Just trust that after you have completed your goal, you will feel so proud of yourself and that is priceless!
LAY OUT YOUR CLOTHES THE NIGHT BEFORE
How many times have you stared into a wardrobe full of clothes with nothing to wear?! It happens to all of us!
Check out the weather app the night before, then pick out your outfit, down to shoes and accessories! Hang them outside the wardrobe and it’s one less thing to worry about in the morning.
Definitely do this for your early morning workouts too! Even though it’s just a workout outfit, still pull it out of your drawer and put it on next to your bed so it’s all ready to go!
WAKE UP TO A CLEAN KITCHEN
You might wonder how this will help you find more time in your day but trust me it works!
If you wake up in the morning and there’s a sink full of dishes, you might be tempted to want to take care of that first thing instead of heading out to a workout or getting on with the day you have planned.
For me, waking up to a clean kitchen just sets my day off on the right foot! Try it …
TAKE TIME OUT
Our lives are often so busy, and we’re pulled in so many directions that it’s truly amazing to stop and realize that there’s a helping hand out there for us, just waiting to be called upon.
I know your first thought will be, “I have so much to do today I don’t even know where to start”. You’ll hear a voice inside your head that will tell you, “you don’t have time to take time out”, but in reality this is exactly when you need it the most.
Headspace is the app I would highly recommend.
We ALL have 10 minutes to sit down and be still. You could try it now. I bet you’ll end up with a better sense of calm and focus after.
Which of these habits will you start incorporating today?