Alternative Title: How The Freak I Get It All Done!!
I juggle a lot of things in life. I’m a mother. I’m a blogger/personal trainer. I’m a fitness enthusiast training for my first full marathon. I’m a volunteer. I’m a small group facilitator. Basically…I’m a busy woman.
I won’t pretend to have it together all the time because putting on a fake front isn’t my style. But I will say that, over time, I have discovered ways to make the best use of my time in different areas. I certainly don’t have it all together, but I can at least have it a little more together. The following things help me get as much done as possible in all that fills my life with such joy.
I am a queen at to-do lists. I love them! However, I can find myself caught up in checking off menial to-dos instead of focusing on the more important things in life. I have since adopted a “Must Do” list for the day. I pick two or three things that I find most valuable in life and make it a must to take time for those values. Some of my “must-dos” are playing with my kids without interruption, calling a loved one (like my mom who has recently been diagnosed with MS), or even going to bed at a reasonable hour. Focusing on the “must-dos” first gives my life more balance. I have found that the things that truly need to get done…will get done.
When it comes to time efficiency in my workouts, I rely a lot on full body strength training circuits. I pick 6-8 moves that work the entire body and go through them one right after the other only resting for a minute or two between each circuit. I up the ante and make it more challenging by using stabilizing moves or adding in bursts of cardio intervals (such as plyometric training). The non-stop movement and cardio bursts keep my heart rate high while I also build up my strength. I’m able to get in, out, and on with my life in no time flat. I will also split up my cardio and weights on some days into two 30 minute chunks to fit my schedule. With the exception of Saturday long runs, I rarely workout for more than an hour a day. And I know the positives it brings me, so it becomes one of those “must-dos”. I make it happen and will adjust my schedule/workout accordingly.
Effective To-Do Lists
And we’re back to the to-do lists. Even though I try to focus on the bigger things in life first, we still have those pesky little tasks (laundry! dishes! email!) that inevitably pile up. In order to make the most of my time, I make a game of it. In essence, I race against the clock. The timer on my phone is such a useful tool. I set it for 20 minutes and BAM! Before I know it, I have cleaned the downstairs in speed fashion. The key is dividing and conquering one thing at a time. Go big. Go fast. Get ‘er done. And make that oh-so-satisfying check on your list before moving on and conquering the next one. Seriously – timers work!
recycled photo (obviously) but same idea
Having so much to do and constantly feeling that pressure to go-go-go will wear on a woman. In order to keep myself working effectively with a (mostly) positive attitude, I have to find moments to take a deep breath sporadically throughout the day. I do this by setting reminders on my phone to go off every few hours during the day. For me, I have the reminder to pray, but set whatever reminder you wish that will help you step back, take a deep breath, gain some perspective, and move on refreshed. I also make it a priority to wake up a few minutes early every morning and set aside a few minutes every afternoon for quiet time.
Last but not least for all you bloggers out there – how I make the most effective use of my blogging/working time. Between posting, catching up with the community or brand relationships, and creating workout plans for clients, I have to bang out a lot of work on the computer. Thank heavens for nap time — aka when I get 75% of my work done.
As for posting, I have gotten it down to a science so my blogging habits do not interfere with my other responsibilities. How? Planning and tools. I pre-write posts at times where I can have little distractions (usually early morning). I use timers when writing so I force myself to stay focused. I draft my posts in my head so when I sit down to type it just flows out onto the screen. I write what is on my heart and mind most prevalently because then it comes more naturally when I’m not trying to “fit a standard”. Then, I utilize tools like Windows Live Writer and Picasa to make the actual post crafting, editing, and design seamless. Plus, I’ve been practicing for almost 2 years and written over 1000 posts…it gets easier with time.
So there you have it. 5 important parts of my life and how I help them all blend together. It’s a crazy, hectic world…but it’s a fun one.
How do you streamline everything going on in your life?
Don’t miss this week’s Tuesday Trainer! Click below for the workout!