Many of us are guilty of not planning our day properly, which can lead to poor nutrition choices. But with a little bit of organization and forethought, we can all make sure that we can easily follow our plans to better health in the long run. Here are some tips for better time management when it comes to your health.
Containment and Optimization
Time management is about time containment and time optimization, both of which are important for successful nutrition. Time containment is about protecting time blocks from being eaten up by other activities. Time optimization is about using that time well. Both time containment and time optimization are required to make time in your healthy lifestyle effective. If you want healthy nutrition, exercise, family time, and rest, then you need these time management skills so that they don’t get whittled down by distractions and other low-priority activities!
- For time containment – the time contained with nutrition includes time for food preparation, shopping for healthy ingredients, etc.
- For time optimization – scheduling involves time for exercise (which often means containing time by being diligent about bringing your gym bag to work), time for rest (which can be time-contained by time blocking off time specifically for relaxing time), time with family, etc.
Time Containment for All Areas of Life
Time management is one of the most important skills for anyone to learn if they want to accomplish more in life. One time management skill that’s often overlooked in a healthy lifestyle is time containment. Containing time means protecting time blocks from being eaten up by other activities and distractions. Healthy time blocks include time for nutrition, rest, exercise, and family time.
Time contained for nutrition includes preparing food ahead of time and making sure you have healthy ingredients on hand at all times. You can time contain food preparation time by doing things like: pre-washing and cutting up vegetables, cooking healthy proteins (like chicken), cooking beans ahead of time and freezing them, etc. The time contained for nutrition also includes time for grocery shopping once or twice a week to replenish your healthy ingredients that you use up over time.
One time management skill that people often forget is time containment in exercise. When you’re at the gym it’s easy to get caught up in looking up your next workout, checking Facebook on your phone, talking with friends, taking gym selfies… and before you know it an hour has gone by!
If you want to preserve time in your day for exercise then this means having everything ready so you can go to the gym and focus on your workout. This time containment includes planning ahead by taking a shower at work or bringing clothes to change into, having your gym bag ready with everything you need inside (including any healthy snacks), getting your plan in place, and maybe even scheduling time to check yourself out in the mirror (if that’s what you’re into…).
Another area of life that people often forget is to schedule time to spend with family members. Let’s say you have dinner every night with your spouse and two kids under five years old. If you can’t time contain this event then it’s likely to get whittled down to only 30-45 minutes of time for everyone – if not less! If you want more time for family dinners, you can start containing time by doing things like limiting activities other than dinner during dinner hours, planning ahead of time, and making sure there is time to go grocery shopping for dinner beforehand.
Rest time is time dedicated specifically to rest and relaxation and is extremely important for all areas of life. You need to schedule time for rest is time that would otherwise be taken up by unnecessary stress or worry about other things in life (it can also be considered time used for planning). Time for rest means not checking emails, social media accounts, or text messages every ten minutes while watching TV or sitting at home (unless you’re looking forward to resting time!). To reach full relaxation, remove yourself from all of the distractions and find a quiet place to lay back and just take it all in!
Scheduling for Successful Nutrition
Time management can be time consuming in itself if you plan to contain all the time blocks mentioned above- unless you plan ahead, that is! Planning time for nutrition ahead of time works much better than trying to time something after it has already happened. Therefore, take some time to schedule your day or week to fit all of the tasks into your routine to reach your health goals. Here are some examples of how to fit time management into your daily schedule.
- Eat a healthy breakfast . You can time contain this by preparing food ahead of time the night before (for example washing fruit/vegetables) or buying food already prepared/pre-cut.
- Make time to eat a healthy lunch at work. You can time contain this by planning ahead and bringing food from home, packing your own lunch the night before, etc.
- Take time for healthy snacks throughout the day . If you get tired of eating fruit or vegetables then time spent here could mean buying some raw nuts from a store or making time to make homemade trail mix mixtures with things like walnuts/almonds + raisins/other dried fruits + dark chocolate chips.
Managing your time is one of the most important skills you can learn to live a healthy life. It’s not enough to just exercise and eat well, if you don’t manage how you spend your time each day then it will be easy for unhealthy routines or habits to creep back into your daily routine. So, try to schedule according to your goals and your time will be much easier to manage!