Why would we, as nutrition coaches, care about your time?
A couple of reasons: one, oftentimes we hear things like “I don’t have the time to track my food intake”. Two, in this modern day, we’re often dealing with clients who are so overscheduled and stressed that their body isn’t adapting to good nutrition as efficiently as it could.
So here are some tried-and-true ways to reclaim back some of your day:
Meal prep once to twice a week
Instead of spending an hour a day cooking and cleaning each meal individually, dedicate a couple of hours to bulk cook all your proteins, carbs, and veggies so you can come home from work, eat, and chill.
Grocery shop once a week
Piggybacking off the previous point, you know anyone who stops by the grocery store everyday? Take into account the travel to and from the grocery store, plus the gathering and paying, and that’s a lot of time wasted. Put in the effort to write a grocery list, head to the store, and get everything you need for the week in one shot.
Limit social media time
I didn’t realize how much time I wasted mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram until my iPhone gave me a screen time report one morning. It’s amazing what feels like a couple of “quick checks” actually adds up to. Considering downloading an app like In Moment that allows you to limit the amount of time you spend on certain apps.
Limit TV time
We’re in a culture of binge watching TV shows because episodes are available all at once via services like Netflix and Hulu. While that’s great, it’s easy to blow away two to three hours a day catching up on addicting television shows. There’s certainly nothing wrong with watching a little TV but when it’s taking time away from you getting things done, which can ultimately leave you more stressed, than that’s when we can reel it back in.
Set up automatic payments for billing
We live in a world of automation and while it’s not always appropriate, it’s great to take advantage of the time-saving perks of things like automatic billing. If you find yourself spending too much time doing administrative work, consider automating it and saving yourself some time.
Outsource things appropriately
Everyone’s circumstances are different but if you hate coming home from work just to do two hours of housework, consider hiring a housekeeper or asking help from someone in your family with the tasks. There’s a cost to everything, so you need to figure out what’s more valuable to you: your time or the cost of outsourcing those things.
Take public transportation
Again, this is super individual and depends a lot on where you live and what your circumstances are, but if you have the option consider taking the train instead of sitting hours in traffic. Taking public transportation allows you time to catch up on emails, read a good book, or just chill – all better options than sitting, stressed out in rush hour traffic.
Check emails at designated times
This is a practice that some of the most influential, successful people practice. Instead of being a slave to their inbox, they dedicate a particular hour or two throughout the day where they are focused specifically on answering emails and clearing out their inbox. Ideally, this is not when you first wake up.
Turn off your notifications
I used to have all my notifications turned on — emails, texts, Instagram, Facebook, etc. — until I realized that every small notification was a distraction from what I was doing. Even if I didn’t immediately unlock my phone, I would see the notification, read it really quickly, take mental note, and then have to re-pivot my focus back to what I was doing. Lots of wasted seconds there. Considering we only 86,400 of those a day, it’s not a trade worth making.
This takes practice but consider time blocking your day. It’s a surefire way to take control of your schedule and make sure that your days aren’t just busy, but productive. You have to really respect and honor those blocks but when you do, you’ll accomplish more and save time.
Prioritize your day
I was the queen of long to-do lists until I realized I could only get to a couple of things a day and then felt like a failure for having so much more left on my list. Now, I choose three big things I want to get done that day — things that are of highest priority — and time block them into my schedule. This ensures I end my day feeling accomplished.
Remember, your day is yours. You just need to put in some practices to help you make the most of it so that you have time to do the things that are not only important to you, but good for your mental health.