WELLNESS

Time management tips

Here’s how a few small changes to your schedule can make a big difference to reaching your weight-loss goals.

5 Ways to manage your time and maximise weight-loss results

 

Time. We all wish we had more of it, right? But the truth is we all have the same number of hours in the day, so it’s about how we use them most efficiently. Studies reveal that lack of time is one of the barriers to losing weight, but effective time management is associated with improved overall health and less stress.

It’s about prioritising what’s important to you and spending more time doing that. If that means weight loss and healthy living, then it’s time to start clocking up the hours on yourself. How? Follow these tips. Of course, everyone’s life situation is different, so find what works for you.

 

1. Ask for help


We might not want to believe it, but it’s practically impossible to do it all! Raise kids, nurture relationships, hold down a job, keep the house tidy, make meals, stay on top of the life admin, look after ourselves … it’s exhausting! If you feel like your to-do list is getting the better of you, write down where you’re spending your time on a typical day or week. If it’s leaving little time for taking care of yourself, it’s time to delegate some tasks and ask for support.

Tips for success

  • Instead of doing the grocery shopping each week, have it delivered and spend the time you would be at the shops to go for a walk with a friend around the park. While you might be ‘walking’ around the supermarket, the social and fresh-air benefits of outdoor exercise outweigh strolling the aisles.
     
  • Get your partner to feed the kids breakfast while you go out for 30-minute morning walk or gym class.
     
  • Have the kids help you clean up after each meal. This means you don’t have to do it all and you’re teaching them life skills at the same time.

 

2. Make time to plan


Planning is an important part of weight-loss success from planning what to cook for the week to planning your activity. But you need time to plan. Set aside a time each week to do this as well as how long you’ll give yourself to do it – the more specific the better.

Tips for success

  • Every night, take five minutes to write a to-do list for the following day.
     
  • Every Friday at 8pm, spend 30 minutes planning meals for the following week and write the shopping list.

 

3. Say no … sometimes


This applies to many things, from social outings to a second helping of food or a dessert you don’t want. Do – or eat - the things you really want and forgo others. And don’t just say yes for the sake of it – saying no to someone else often means saying yes to yourself. Just because you have a spare hour in your schedule doesn’t mean you have time to do what you’ve been asked. Sometimes that spare hour could be better spent on yourself, especially if it means doing something for your wellbeing (and that could well mean doing nothing at all!).

Tips for success

  • Say yes to two social occasions per month (of course more if you want to and can manage it).
     
  • Only eat a sweet treat if you really want it, not just because it’s there or you want to be polite. Pause before having it and ask, ‘Is this worth the SmartPoints®?’

 

4. Be a master of multitasking


A good way to be more time efficient is to do a few things at once. Remember, not everything has to be done perfectly. Take that pressure of yourself and it might give you more time in other areas.

Tips for success

  • As you’re dishing up dinner, have containers next to you for leftover portions you can freeze so they’re ready for meals when time is super-tight.
     
  • Listen to a podcast or mindfulness exercises while you prep lunches (yours included) the night before.

 

5. Organise ahead


Saving time by being organised can make a huge difference to sticking to your healthy life goals because it takes the guesswork and extra time out of doing things.

Tips for success

  • Just before going to bed, lay out your active wear so you can quickly slip into them for a morning activity (if it helps to sleep in your workout clothes, do it!)
     
  • Once a fortnight sort through the pantry and fridge to make sure healthy foods are at your fingertips and not sitting at the back where you can’t see them. Check out our healthy pantry basics article below for inspiration.
     
  • Each time you unpack the shopping, spend five minutes chopping up fruit or vegies and putting them into containers you can easily reach when you need a snack or need to prep dinner quickly.