Losing Time? Start Planning, Prioritizing and Preparing for Success!

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People often cite lack of “time” as a barrier to focusing on our health and wellness. In today’s society, we have been socialized to be “pleasers”, “role players”, and/or “servants”, giving others our time and attention (family, relationships, work, community, etc.). Many find it hard to make time for ourselves, or identify and advocate for our own needs. We subscribe to the notion that we will have “time” in the future, leaving us to either recover, reverse, or prepare for medical intervention for the lack of attention to our personal needs. So just to summarize, if we don’t make time, time will be taken from us. That includes the time needed for building our health, fitness and nutrition-related skills and behaviors. Possibly impacting us financially, our personal quality of life, and even our lifespan on Earth.

Based on our experience, in both the professional and fitness space, we as people are not always good at planning, prioritizing, preparing and at time management. Well, you may be good at these things in one, or a few, areas of your life but not usually in all areas. For example, you may be a highly successful professional, managing a team or profitable business however your health and relationships may be compromised. We can have the life we want however it takes work, being intentional and strategic, in these areas of our life. But it starts with “self”, ensuring you are fit and healthy to perform. To do this, you must plan, prioritize and prepare to achieve success. Sounds exhausting, well aren’t you already exhausted? Please read the scenario below to see if you can identify with similarities to your life which might explain your exhaustion.

You hit the snooze button a few times so you can sleep until you absolutely have to get up to avoid being late for something but finally do get your day started. Rushing to the bathroom, turning on the shower, yelling at the kids to get up and get ready. Quickly taking care of your personal hygiene (taking your shower, a quick brush of your teeth, maybe a little makeup), running downstairs brushing your hair. Throwing in a pop tart, reaching for a yogurt (that’s healthy right?) or a banana, throwing protein bars in your bag as you decide to figure out lunch later because it’s time (or past time) to leave the house. Maybe the food truck will have something somewhat good for you? Get everyone in the car or off to the bus stop with your coffee in hand (Coffee is a bean, right? So you congratulate yourself on getting one serving of healthy food in for “breakfast”). So thankful for this energy source! It should get you through at least the first half of your day. You’ve got functional stress driving you, you got this! After all, you do this on most days so it feels like a normal day.

You arrive at work and you are off to the races! Your brain is on high alert. Yes you feel stress however that’s just the little energy kick that you need to do more and be your best self, right? You don’t want to drink water because the bathroom that is down the hall always smells and feels too far away to justify leaving your present task you’ve been working on. Then you can get to the important thing that you have to finish before the end of the day. Ah, but now you really have to go to the bathroom because of all the coffee you drank. You think, ok, quick bathroom break and maybe the coworker you like will be kind and get you some more coffee so you can keep your energy going. You take a quick 10 second break, run a search and rescue mission for the granola bars you threw in your bag. And damn it, you forgot to eat the yogurt. It’s kind of warm so you throw it out because you definitely don’t have time for Listeria based food poisoning as you're not even close to the weekend.

Lunch time arrives and you think to yourself, “I’m starving. What do I eat?” So you ask your co-workers and they are definitely having something from the food truck. Due to the amount of time it took to get to the food truck, order, prepare and bring it back up to your desk, you might as well do both, eat and work. You just have to get this one other task done. But, a meeting just appeared on your calendar that you have to attend, so you push your lunch and assignment to the side and hurry to the meeting. Awesome, it’s a discovery meeting and you know that you will never get back to your lunch or the projects/tasks that you need to get done. Better grab your “Death By Meetings” coffee mug and get down the hall or join the zoom meeting.

You eventually end your physical work day however the projects that you did not get done are still racing through your mind as you quickly get in your car to pick up the kids and get to the store. Fighting traffic, kids are either full of energy or not speaking to you at all. So you mentally go through what you remember is in the fridge and pantry as you ponder what you will feed your family for dinner? You ask the kids and they just want burgers and fries. You ask, “how about a vegetable?” The response, “ I ate that at lunch. Can we just have fruit for dessert?“ You're exhausted and you don’t have the energy to debate. You think to yourself, how can I turn granola bars and warm yogurt into a meal for four? You quickly push that thought out of your brain and decide to just pull something out of the freezer.

You get home, start cooking, cleaning, taking out the dog, checking your social media and you put yourself in a quick timeout. Your partner gets home and unloads their day on you. Dinner is done and you call everyone to the dinner table to have a meal together but, of course, someone will always “be there in a minute.” You have to rush because you have to finish homework, hopefully to be done before your favorite show is on.

You have to send out one more email before tomorrow so you can get a response, hopefully, before you start your day tomorrow (fingers crossed). Then you notice the onslaught of emails that came in while you were away from work. You’ll just take a quick look so you know what tomorrow looks like. Dread, curiosity and happiness for the one thing that did go right!

Get your kids to bed, pay some bills, clean up and you think, “no I’m just too tired to workout and you have to spend some time with your partner”. So you elect to watch some TV in bed and rest. You fall asleep thinking, “tomorrow will be better.”

Wow, that scenario gave us a lot of anxiety, however that scenario is not uncommon for many individuals in the workforce. Now, even working remotely, many of us are not immune to the chaotic work/life balance compromises and we are getting lost in the whirlwind of our daily schedules. Hell, you don’t even have to be in the workforce to have these experiences. However, please understand that we are making a decision to live this scenario (if you can relate) or any mismanagement or dysfunction of our daily schedule. Once we take responsibility and ownership, only then can we make changes toward improvements in such routines

Did you see some opportunities in the scenario provided? Would you make any changes or do anything differently?

Here’s a couple we quickly identified:

  • Possibly waking up earlier:

Time for self care


Plan for the day (priorities)

Food prep for meals (self and family) especially for lunch.

  • Setting out clothes the night before.

  • Having water in your bag and/or at your desk where it’s visible.

  • Schedule time blocks on the calendar to work on projects, set up timelines and/or action steps for completion.

  • Setting up time buffers (5-10 minutes) on your calendar 2-3 times in your workday to use the restroom, rest/destress and nourish your body.

  • Ask a family to assist with preparing the meal and assign roles to serve and cleaning up.

  • Leave work at work or schedule a time to do follow-up work. 1 hour and no more.

  • Scheduled bed time to ensure you get required sleep 8 hours.

  • If you plan on working out in the evening, plan for childcare and place it on your schedule.

So to actually improve your overall health, fitness and quality of life, you have to plan, prioritize and prepare for it.

The Self-ish Life Program facilitates a process, to help our clients take self inventory to examine current behaviors and habits to determine your strengths and identify opportunities for growth, then decide and develop a plan of action to create the change you want to see.

In previous blog posts, we talked about components of the Self-ish Life Program. First, overall health and wellness includes nutrition, fitness, stress reduction, sleep, medical prevention check-ups, guidance and structure. Next we discussed the Stages of Change Model, a tool used to describe the process for behavioral change and determining your starting point using this model. Our last discussion, Think and Become Your Best SELF, was centered on discovering your personal goals and desire for your life. Our journey thus far has been about planning and preparing for today’s conversation. Now it’s time for us to discover where we are spending our time so we can prioritize our schedule.

Here’s an activity to assist you with identifying where you are spending your time. Are you ready? This will take work however will be a game changer for you! For one full week (including the weekend), complete the following document scheduling and reflecting upon your day. First, you will plan out your schedule one day prior, list your top 3 goals and/or priority for the day and other tasks that absolutely need to be completed. Next, you will complete the following tabs, reflecting upon your day. We strongly encourage you to spend quality time reflecting upon your day and re-reading your previous post throughout the week. Need help with this process? Join our coaching program by contacting us at

Join us for our next blog post, where we will provide additional information on planning, prioritizing and preparing for success. Thank you for joining us on The Self-ish Life, now go out and live life intentionally.


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