Time, or a lack of, is often the reason people give for not getting stuff done, and as a result, letting themselves fall out of line with where they want to be - whether that is professionally or personally.
I'm in the game of getting people results with their health and fitness and do you know what some of the most common phrases I hear are?
"I've tried eating healthy, but I don't have time"
"I'd like to exercise, but I don't have time"
We're all given the same 1440 minutes AKA 24 hours every single day.
The difference between the successful people and the people that struggle to get stuff done?
I know because I've been on both sides of the time management spectrum.
I've been the poorly organised guy who has skipped meals or eaten rubbish because he hasn't planned ahead. The person that has had to skip a workout because he's sat around all day procrastinating, and left it too late to train.
Even now, I sometimes plan my days poorly and miss out on valuable time that could be spent on developing myself!
But I've also been to the good side of time management - where my day's and even my week is mapped out in front of me and I can systematically tick through my to-do list as I go along.
I have all of my meals prepared so I can grab and go, and I know exactly when and what I'm going to train in the gym.
So how have I turned things around?
For the last few weeks I've been using this planner, diary, schedule organiser - whatever you want to call it.
For me the first step of time management is to determine what it is that you want to achieve, why and how important it is to you?
See, we make time for things that are important to us and our future selves.
So, if you want to drop your body fat levels down your answers might be:
What: To drop 2 stone and lose 7% bodyfat
Why: To feel confident about my body, to fit in my favourite dress/suit, to feel sexier.
How Important: 10/10
Now that you've answered these questions it should be easier to map out what you need to do day-to-day and week-to-week to reach those goals.
We know that to lose weight and drop body fat % we need to maintain a Calorie surplus - through exercise, nutrition or both at the same time.
Due to the importance of achieving your goals, things around exercise or nutrition should be the first thing in your diary (your number 1's), alongside other important things you need to get done during the day.
These are the essentials to maintain or improve your quality of life and need to be done on that day. Give them the VIP treatment in your diary and stick to them.
Plan your time to exercise and create wholesome, nutritious foods that keep you on track (if you're super savvy you'll invest an hour over the weekend and smash out 3-4 days of food prep in one go)
Next you need to list the things that need to be done, but are not time bound (number 2's). This might be to get your hair cut or buy an outfit for that upcoming wedding.
Then your number 3's - the stuff that you'd like to do, but are by no means important - check out that new TV show on Netflix or try the new restaurant down the road.
Planning your days like this ensures that you get the important stuff done, and ignore the things that don't really matter to you right now!
Tick things off as you complete them and make sure you stay on track with the number 1's
You don't need a fancy planner - a simple notebook or cheap diary will do the trick. But make sure it becomes your bible!
The problem, is we often trick ourselves into feeling like we have no time, when in fact we are spending our time doing stuff that just isn't important to what we really want to do/achieve.
Netflix ISN'T vital...
Constantly scrolling on social media ISN'T vital...
Going to the pub three times a week instead of the gym three times a week is just ridiculous if your goals are to get into shape!
Prioritise and manage your time so that there is less wastage and more of getting the sh*t done that needs to be done!
If you're struggling with accountability, check out the '14 Days To A Better You' email course and get yourself back on track.