Creating More Time When Your Schedule Gets Crazy
Life moves at a very fast pace in our culture. Often through no fault of our own, we find that our schedules are jam-packed and there is very little room set aside for ourselves. There is a job that takes up the majority of the day. Maybe running a business is taking up all your time. Perhaps you have kids that you are raising. You have to make time for grocery shopping. On top of all that, you must maintain friendships and spend time with family.
Throw that all into a calendar and it is easy to see how the days fill up. A chaotic schedule can be a huge source of anxiety and stress. Your goal should be to reduce stress by making more time in your schedule that can be used for rest and recuperation, or at the very least, activities that you enjoy.
Here are a few helpful strategies to make extra time in your schedule that will help you slow down every once in a while.
Plan Meals Ahead of Time
Prepping food can be a big drag on your time. Some meals can take anywhere from ten minutes to several hours to prepare. Often, if you get to the end of the day and feel exhausted, it is super tempting to simply order takeout because you don’t have the time to make that meal or even the energy.
Planning meals ahead of time can allow you to still enjoy home-cooked meals without spending hours every day cooking and preparing the food. Meal planning often means cooking for a few hours on the weekend and then portioning the meal out into containers in the fridge/freezer for several days in the coming week.
Find Healthy Shortcuts When Pressed for Time
Maybe you have times your routine just right and have just enough time to prepare a meal. Maybe you would rather spend those precious minutes relaxing on your back deck or reading a book before starting the rest of your day. Some healthy shortcuts can help you when you are pressed for time.
For example, meal replacement shakes can provide a lot of nutrients while cutting down on the prep time. Additionally, these shakes are beneficial for weight management since they are packed with ingredients like protein and fiber, both of which can leave you feeling full.
Step Away From the Digital World
The Internet can have an interesting effect on our minds. Since we are constantly connected, we feel the need to be on the go all the time. We often hop onto social media or our inboxes any chance we get to see if we missed anything. This can easily leave you feeling crunched for time and stressed.
There are many tips to reduce stress, one of which is to take breaks and go on walks. Getting away from technology and experiencing nature can help you slow down and avoid the rushed nature of social media and the rest of the Internet.
Go to Bed Early
This might sound counterintuitive. How can you make more time in your schedule by going to bed earlier? That feels like the only time you have to relax a little. First of all, going to sleep earlier means you are more likely to reach the recommended hours of sleep each night.
Second, going to bed earlier means you can get enough sleep to wake up earlier as well. Mornings can be the quietest time of day before the chaos begins, which means they are an opportunity to recuperate before starting the day’s activities. You can use this extra time to read, enjoy your coffee a little more, or just sit outside in the rising sunlight.
Start Saying “No”
Saying no is a skill that many people lack. They feel the pressure to make others happy and end up agreeing to way too many activities or responsibilities. This is the fastest way to have an overwhelming schedule. Freeing up time in that calendar means learning to say “no” to low-value activities.
Consider if this event or responsibility is completely necessary or if you are just doing it to make someone else happy. Be willing to say “no” to some of these invites to preserve time for yourself.
Make Time in a Time-Obsessed Culture
In many ways, busyness is seen as an admirable trait in our society. The busier you are, the more value you seem to have to various parties. This can be an unhealthy way to live your life. Always being busy is detrimental to both physical and mental health.
Burnout is right around the corner when you barely get a second to breathe each day. Try out some of the strategies listed above to make some more time in your schedule to focus on yourself and recuperate your energy.