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Breaking Down the Time Barrier

Do you find it challenging to find the time to exercise, eat healthy, practice self-care, etc.?...You are not alone! This is one of the most common challenges we hear in the health coaching world. Most of us live fast paced and busy lifestyles, so there is no wonder it can be challenging to find extra time to fit these type of items in. However, it's so important to remember that we can't pour from an empty cup. If we are feeling run down, sick, overly stressed, or experiencing health issues, it's going to be impossible to sustain what we need to get done on a daily basis. Therefore, we will actually be more productive and efficient in the long run if we prioritize our health and wellness. Now this can be easier said than done, so let's discuss some strategies to support you with time management for your health and wellness goals.

Use the Four D's of Time Management Method

The four D's stand for do, delay, delegate, and drop. This approach can help you to better manage your time, so that you will be able to free up some time to nurture your health and wellness.

  • Do: Write down and work on the items that you must complete.

  • Delay: Temporarily pause a task that does not need to be completed immediately, and schedule it out for a later date.

  • Delegate: Reassign an essential task to someone else that is capable of doing it.

  • Drop: Remove tasks that are unnecessary on your schedule to free up time.

Set Realistic Goals

Something is ALWAYS better than nothing! Setting smaller goals you can achieve is going to be more efficient than setting bigger goals you can't achieve. Below are some examples, and consider referring to this post to support you with setting more realistic goals:

  • Finding it hard to exercise for 30 consecutive minutes daily?...Maybe start out with trying 30 minutes 2-3xs/week, 10 minutes per day, or 10 minutes 3xs/day.

  • Finding it challenging to carve out some me time?...Maybe start with setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier to do something for yourself. This could be a meditation, deep breathing, stretching, a devotional, journaling, drinking your coffee in silence, etc.

  • Finding it challenging to pack a healthy lunch to work everyday?...Maybe start with packing your lunch 2-3xs/week, or keeping some easy to grab fruits and veggies at your office to add to your lunches and snacks.

Identify Available Time Slots

Monitor your daily activities for a week to determine available time slots. Once you've identified these, consider scheduling them or setting alarms as reminders. Remember, even just 5-10 minutes can make a big difference! Also, if you are using the "Four D's for Time Management", ideally some more time slots should open up. Some examples include:

  • In the morning before daily activities begin

  • On your breaks at work

  • In between meetings

  • During your baby's nap

  • After work

  • Later in the evening after everything has winded down

  • Doing something active with the kids such as a bike ride or walk

Plan Ahead

Planning is a key component to breaking down the time barrier. Without planning, it's going to make it even more challenging than it already is to prioritize our health and wellness goals. Some examples include:

  • Making a healthy grocery list

  • Writing down the plan

  • Meal planning

  • Scheduling out exercise, meals, self care time, etc.

  • Creating a realistic to do list of things that must get done

  • Creating a backup plan

  • Setting alarms

Choose Convenient

If you can only find little to none available time slots, consider implementing more convenient and simple actions into your every day. Some examples include:

  • Parking further away

  • Taking the stairs rather than the elevator

  • Taking a few deep breaths

  • Keeping a journal or coloring book at your desk

  • Standing up more often

  • Stretching, walking in place, or doing exercises at your desk

  • Stocking up on healthier frozen or pre-prepared meals

  • Keeping easy to grab snacks on hand such as nuts, fruit, veggies, etc.

  • Keeping some frozen veggies in your freezer

  • Keeping a jug of water at your desk

  • Playing a more active game with your kids

  • Ordering healthy groceries off Instacart

  • Ordering from restaurants with healthier options

  • Breaking activities down into short increments

  • Doing HIIT workouts


Lean on your support system to help you with freeing up some time for your health and wellness. Some examples include:

  • Delegating some essential tasks to someone that is capable of doing them

  • Having your spouse watch the kids while you get your "me time"

  • Creating a chores list for the family

  • Scheduling out your time on a calendar and sharing it with your family or friends

  • Having others support with doing some of the cooking

  • Sending someone else to get the groceries

  • Meal planning as a family or with friends

  • Getting your family and friends on board with activity or healthy eating

  • Leaning on your coworkers for support so you can take breaks as needed

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you have a happy and healthy rest of your week!

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