Value your time

Time is money, right? …Time is a lot more than money. Time is commitment. Time is motivation. Time is energy, work, play, health, relaxation, slumber. Time is everything.
If time is everything, planning is everything too. When it comes to fitness, how likely are you to commit to a workout if you don’t find time for it? Stuff happens. You might lounge around all day, and then be donning your sports bra when your friend calls and invites you out. It’s really easy to think “Yeah, I’d rather go out than work out tonight!” You might be overwhelmed with work, cleaning or homework, and consider that a legitimate excuse to skip your workout. But that can be avoided if you plan your time wisely.
Time management is an important skill that can affect your job, your relationships, your school performance, your fitness, your diet, and your sleep. Here are some of my best tips for honing your skills of managing time.

How to schedule your time:

1. Go day by day, and start big. Don’t schedule your classes around what TV show you like to watch. Start with the stuff you consider most important: work, school, business, sleep, meals, working out, doctor appointments, etc. Then fill in the spaces with other things you need to get done that day but are more flexible: shopping, relaxation, homework, cleaning, chores, time with friends, family, or pets, etc. Also make sure you schedule time to work on your schedule, if you need it. However, it’s important to keep ALL of your plans in mind as you schedule. For example, I can’t schedule working out without thinking about sleep.
2. Leave time for travel and prep. If your work day ends at 5:00 and you live 20 minutes away, don’t plan your workout for 5:00! You want time to get to where you need to be, set your stuff down, and get dressed for your next plan. Leave a little room for error (traffic, etc.) too.
3. Plan “me” time. If you feel too busy and overwhelmed you are likely to drop things off your schedule. Instead of doing that to yourself, plan time to relax or leave open time to do whatever you might feel like at that moment.
4. If it isn’t working, fix it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. Don’t stress if your schedule just doesn’t work or if something changes. If you just couldn’t drag yourself out of bed at 5:00 AM for your morning workout, make it an evening workout. Schedule it for after work, or an hour before bed. Do what works for you so that you will commit to it. This could take weeks or even months of editing. Life is dynamic; planning is always a work in progress. But the effort will be worth it when you have time for everything you need to do, time for everything you want to do, and some time left over!
5. Commit. Once you find a routine that works, stick with it. Everyone needs a rest day every now and then, but you can plan those too. Don’t let a lack of time management alter your success in life. You are capable of doing what you want to do- all it takes is commitment.

My actual schedule this week!
My actual schedule this week!

If you still don’t know where to begin, here is an example. This is legitimately how I schedule my time.

I start with my day job, which has primarily static hours.
some Mondays, and Tuesday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Next I schedule my evening job, which is 100% flexible, but requires 20 hours per week. I leave time for my 15 minute commute as well as room for error so that I will be on time for my clients. I also keep in mind that I like to do Zumba class on T&Th. I can run straight into there and it’s OK if I’m late, so I don’t leave any prep time. I like to get off early on Fridays so I can have a social life, and Saturdays are very flexible for me.
Monday and Wednesday, 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM.
Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM.
Friday, 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM.
Saturday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

My third big thing is my workout/meal schedule. I plan it for before work most days so that I can skip a shower or driving to the gym, and so that I can walk my dog. During the week I make sure it is early enough so that I can eat breakfast directly afterwards, then shower and drive 20 minutes to work. I also try to include my favorite fitness classes. I schedule my heavy lifting for Saturday because I have enough time to do it at the gym (I can’t lift heavy at home) and then go home for a run and a big meal. Meal planning is directly related to workout planning. Scheduling workouts is actually a very fine art, if you are not already following a schedule. I will talk more about workout scheduling and meal planning in another post, so stay tuned :)
Monday, cardio (TurboFire and walk my dog), 5:30 AM.
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Tuesday, warm-up (walk my dog), light strength, cardio (TurboFire), 5:30 AM.
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Wednesday, cardio (TurboFire and run my dog), 5:30 AM.
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Thursday, warm-up (walk my dog), medium strength, cardio (TurboFire), 5:30 AM.
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Friday, cardio (TurboFire and walk my dog), 5:30 AM.
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Saturday, cardio (TurboFire), 7:30 AM.
8:30 AM. Shower, 8:45 AM.
-Heavy strength,
2:00 PM. Snack, 3:00 PM. Run my dog, 3:30 PM. Lunch, 4:00 PM.
Sunday, REST DAY.

Lastly I add the other things I need to do- work from home every night before bed and during my off time at my evening job, shopping at lunchtime or on Sundays, and training my dog (without a run or walk) on Sundays.

Hope you learned something! If you still have questions or could use some help with planning your schedule, please feel free to reach out to me. Stay tuned for more motivation and advice!

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