Guess what the number one excuse I get when patients neglect to do their exercises or continually miss appointments?
“Not enough time”
Time is a funny thing. It is the most precious commodity in life and everyone is given the same amount. Work, housework, and the internet suck up the majority of our precious allotment of minutes each day. However, we often forget to take time out to do things for ourselves and our health. This includes getting adequate sleep, cooking nutritious meals, getting exercise, or just taking time to relax after a stressful day.
While opting for fast food or skimming on a good night’s sleep might save some time in the short run, the long term effects of low energy, low ambition, and lack of concentration will kill your productivity in the long run.
I think we all could use some tips on finding just a few more minutes each day to take care of something truly important…our bodies.
1. Get Organized
Make your lunch, set out your clothes, and get everything you need for the next day ready the night before. Have healthy snacks ready to prevent an ill-fated trip to the vending machine. Make enough food for dinner so you have a quickly prepared “leftover lunch” for the next day.
This will free up time to do your morning exercises / stretches, take a few minutes to quietly get mentally ready for the day, or take the time to make a nutritious breakfast instead of opting for whatever processed junk is most convenient.
2. Use Your Breaks Wisely
Instead of checking the status on your facebook, forwarding jokes, or gossiping about the new girl in accounting, take that time and invest it in your health. Take a brisk walk around the office. Drop and crank out some push ups. Perform some relaxation techniques to decompress after that stressful staff meeting.
3. Learn the Most Important Word in the English Language
“No.” It’s a magic word, if you actually learn to use it. If you do not have time to tackle another task, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you do. This will only put more time constraints on you, which will lead to more stress and bad health choices. Wait until more important projects are completed before you take on more responsibilities.
For each day, have 2-3 attainable goals on your to-do list. Having an endless list of tasks will only discourage you and put you in a negative mindset which can kill your productivity. If a task is taking longer than expected, leave it to get something else done and then come back to it with your mind refreshed.
5. Eat That Frog!
Don’t freak out! I’m not saying that actually ingesting amphibians will make you more efficient, although the protein might help you stay sharp… This is a euphemism that comes from a Mark Twain quote: “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” The longer you spend staring at the frog, the harder it will be to eat. So, look at your to do list and find the thing you dread the MOST and do that one FIRST. Then, the rest of your day won’t seem as bad. Plus, the relief of getting that agonizing task done will feel like you just had a 400 pound gorilla climb off of your back.
It’s Up to You
Time is the only limitation placed on human beings. Unless you have a 1982 DeLorean and a flux capacitor, there are no re-dos. You can waste your time or invest it. The choice is yours. But with some careful planning you can get more done and be happier and healthier while doing it!