Through my own trial and error due to procrastination and when life happens, I have found a few key ways in helping me not only see where I am wasting time, but also ways to maximize getting things done in order to find balance between work, working out, eating healthy, spending time with family and flat out relaxing.
My top 5 MUST-DO's for balance:
1. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN - I use a planner (compact Passion Planner) and write absolutely everything down, even to the point of remembering to take the recycling out. I'm a visual person so I find it easier for me to see the year in calendars as well as a break-down of the day in order to plan accordingly. If you write it down in your planner, keep with it. I write everything with Sharpie pens because I hate the look of crossing something out or using white out. Set a plan, stick with it;
2. MEAL PREP - "If you fail to plan, plan to fail", exactly! I do not meal prep by cooking all of my meals for the entire week, I choose to cook 2 days of lunch and dinner at a time and breakfast is always cooked fresh on day of. This is something that is done with trial and error as well, if cooking for a whole week works for you then by all means keep with that;
3. LOG MEALS - many of you are probably thinking I mean calorie counting which is incorrect. I log my meals and snacks daily according to my fitness goals in order to (again) see where I can make changes in my daily food intake to optimize my fitness goals. I do not count my calories, but I do track my macronutrients;
4. PLAN WORKOUTS FOR WEEK - If you are not following a day by day routine, find it hard to stick to that plan, don't feel like going to the gym, or don't know where to begin, planning out an activity every day for a week on the first day of the week is a good start. For example if you choose to bike on Monday, swim on Tuesday, do yoga on Wednesday etc, it's a start. At the beginning of each week I like to look at my workout routine and see what I will be doing for the week, that way I can mentally prepare. I also like to check the weather, if it's going to be super nice outside I may opt to do an outside workout or go kayaking instead;
5. B R E A T H E - that's right, just b r e a t h . Ah, that's better. At the end of the day I look back in my planner and see how productive my day was in order to see where I could have optimized my time or if I had wasted time doing something. Again, I am a visual person, so seeing how I spend my time in a day is very beneficial to me. This gives me the chance to look for any openings in my schedule for time to read, call up a friend, bug my husband, or just play with my Bengal kitten. I also like to disconnect from all technology an hour before going to bed. This allows me to really breath and put my mind at ease before sleeping.
Making little tweaks to how to conduct your day will help you not only find balance in many aspects of your life, it will also make you happier. :)