Planning ahead could include scheduling your workouts, making healthful choices a priority throughout your day, or both. Essentially, planning means embracing the basics of time management.
Time management sounds complicated, but this is the definition in a nutshell:
- Knocking out the easy tasks first gets you in the mood to work.
- Simplify your to-do list. If not immediately time-sensitive, delay it.
- Know your priorities. Your health should be included in this. Wellness should now be one of your top five priorities. (Don't delay priorities for something not time-sensitive.)
- Think about what you find meaningful, and then think about behaviors that sabotage what’s important. Stop allocating so much time to carry out unproductive routines and habits.
Maximize Your Time
Managing your time allows you to maximize the part of the day when you’re most alert. Time management also means getting to know your body clock. The majority of people are most alert from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then are more easily distracted from noon to 4 p.m.
Scientists call these peak and non-peak hours, respectively. And while non-peak hours don’t sound the most productive, they to serve a purpose. Prioritize this part of your day to let the subconscious mind work out issues while directing attention elsewhere.
You can use non-peak hours to do actives like:
- Listening to a Podcast
- Responding to Emails
- Playing Music
- Walking/ Exercise
Reorganize Your Life
When you aren’t in a hurry, you make better choices. If you don’t want to be in a hurry, you get organized. There are simple switch-ups you can make to get organized. A lot of these "chores" our parents made us do when we were in grade school. Let's bring that mentality back.
For example, moving about tedious tasks you normally do during “busy hours" to non-peak hours. The idea with this one is by reducing how often you do tasks on 'autopilot' keeps your decisions and actions intentional.
To stay organized, you should review your actions at the end of each day.
Ask check-in questions like:
Q: Do I feel good about what I accomplished today?
Q: Where should I spend more time tomorrow?
Q: Did my actions today push me closer to my goals?
Q: Are my daily habits aligned with my priorities?
Q: Do I feel guilty about anything I did today and why?
Q: How does it feel to complete a goal I set for myself today?
We did mention some changes that closely resemble old elementary habits that can help you get your life back on track. Several of those habits all began with the bedtime routine our parents had enforced on us. From my own personal experience, my siblings and I had to get the work out of the way (schoolwork, chores, dinner, and showers) before we could wind down with some television time. As an adult, what's your evening routine look like?
Here's what a good evening routine could include:
- Journaling for decompression.
- Lighting candles to invite a calm mood.
- Yoga So your body can unwind.
- Meal Prep so you can spend less time cooking during the day.
- A relaxing soak.
- Planning your outfits so it's one less thing to do in the morning.
A good evening routine can do a lot to prepare you for the next day. Your ritual could consist of small tasks like laying out your clothes the night before. Twice a week, you can dedicate a small part of your evening routine to packing your lunches for the next several days.
All the mothers out there already know the power of the evening routine, but for the rest of us, here’s a reminder. Set yourself up for success by preparing the night before. By freeing up some time, you can take a moment to learn new habits, approaches, or try new things.
So, while no one can add more hours to their day, they can most certainly optimize the time they have each day. We encourage you to not only organize tasks but to do so by your body clock. Do redundant tasks when your brain is less alert. Do your most important work when you feel ready to work. Your best day comes from knowing yourself.