I love playing puzzle games!

I love playing puzzle games!

Sometimes I feel my working days are made from small puzzles and my job is to ensemble those little pieces into a glorious picture. At first it looks impossible but when I add my secret ingredient – suddenly everything fits! And my secret ingredient?

Time Management.

In my ensembled picture there is my family, there are my friends and lots of fun, there is my job and time for learning and – of course – there is work out.

If I want all these pieces to fit in a single day, I have to plan. Without a solid plan I can face missing a parent meeting at school, forgetting about my friend’s birthday, missing deadlines at work or skipping my exercising. And you can imagine how I feel…😊

The worse side effect of all these “slips” is higher stress level and stress has a big impact on health. Stress can be a reason we skip meals or eat too much. It can even lead to anxiety and emotional eating. With a full agenda and under stress we usually cut out training and give room to more work – which again leads to stress, and we are caught in so called vicious cycle: if we want all the work to be done, we need to feel good, to be fit, but we don’t take time to exercise and to plan our meals …

A big revelation when I finally got my day in a solid plan and was sticking by it for a while was exactly that – no more stress. I knew what I must concentrate on at this very moment and what comes next, no more jumping from task to task, no more fighting with my husband who will pick up kids, no more missed deadlines.

There was also a second big revelation – time management is a skill that can be learned, that can even be mastered.

There are some first steps I would advise you take. But very first thing a person needs to do is to make peace with him or herself and not feel any guilt for spending time or doing something for him or herself.

So, think about your day and your tasks considering:

·      prioritizing – are the tasks that consume a lot of your time important to and for you?

·      goal setting – ask yourself what would you like to achieve? At work think about the outcome of the projects you’re involved in, and at exercising think about losing weight, feeling better or simply be healthier …

·      delegation – managers often take too much on their shoulders because they think their reports are not up the responsibility. That is not a good leadership, and you have to work on trusting your teammates. And the same goes for running your household – trust me, your family members will be happy to share responsibility, just give them a chance.

·      scheduling – and finally put all that in timetable.

We all have same 24 hours and if we know what (prioritizing) we want to achieve (goal setting) and are surrounded by people we love and trust (delegation), we can eventually come up with daily/weekly/monthly plan (scheduling) where important activities, tasks and people have the time they need.

I’m not going to lie to you, it will take some time to find the right balance for you. My experience is that it’s crucial to go easy on yourself (😊), to allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them. That’s the only way to evolve, to grow.

Let me finish with three very simple and practical advises that made a big difference in finding time to exercise to me:

·      Put all your activities and tasks in your calendar. Take some time and really work on that color scheme of categories in your Outlook. It’s practical and it’s fun – you’ll see, your calendar will really look like a colorful puzzle! 😊

·      Wear an activity tracker. Yes, you’ll be using your smart watch for messages and calls but looking at your workout stats will make you think about your physical wellbeing more often. And seeing how far you’ve come may motivate you to do even more.

·      Commit by hiring a personal coach. Working with personal trainer not only guarantees you high quality work out but can also make a difference in times you might not be feeling like exercising. It gives you a holistic experience (effectively) that includes basic nutrition coaching, helps you internalize new habits faster and with personal approach you can address your overall life situation and adjust your transformation approach. It’s much easier to skip group fitness than the one you have 1:1 and it is less likely to have holistic and effective transformational experience that will last (even if it’s online).