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How do you spend the 168 hours of your week? Between work hours, commuting, sleeping, and other commitments, it may seem like there isn’t much time left over. If you’re in a constant state of feeling that you don’t have time or you’re too busy to commit to healthier habits, consider these tips to help bring time back into your day.

Use a scheduler/planner. A planner is the best tool to help keep your day organized. Use it to your full advantage. Have activities planned out in your calendar that you know you struggle to follow through with. Whether its exercise, going to the grocery store, or simply doing specific chores around the house, treating them as any other appointment will make you feel more accountable and avoid wasting time debating back and forth with yourself about completing these tasks.

Write everything down. Think back to all of those times you have forgotten something and all of the time you spent trying to remember what it was. Never mind, don’t waste your time trying to think back. Instead, use your time to create a new habit of writing things down. Whether they’re just your own thoughts from a brainstorming session or pieces from an important conversation or meeting, you’ll thank yourself later for being proactive. Use your scheduler/planner to help keep everything centralized.

Limit screen time. Phones, tablets, computers, and televisions have all made certain parts of our lives easier and more entertaining, but they are also consuming much more of our time. If you find yourself mindlessly browsing through social media, or binge watching a new television show, consider setting a time limit or a specific time frame each night to do so. You may be surprised how much time you’ll gain back in your day.

Designate “me” time daily. You’ve probably heard this suggestion before, but setting aside even 15 minutes a day to do something that you enjoy is crucial. Having a small chunk of time available to do whatever you like will help keep a healthy balance between taking care of yourself and other commitments. Weather it’s reading a couple chapters of a book, taking a hot bath, or time to practice a new skill, these 15 minutes are meant for you and only you.

Break through the “all or nothing” mindset. It’s easy to tell yourself not to start something because you can’t commit as much time as you’d like. Instead of waiting until you feel like you have ample time, work on a task little by little. Same goes for exercise. Ten minutes of exercise each day is better than no exercise at all.

Erica Hall, ACE Certified Health Coach, is a Wellness Coach at UnityPoint Health-Trinity.

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