Three easy ways to start budgeting your time and energy
If you are having a tough time making changes to your health, happiness, career, etc., one thing that can have a huge impact is taking a close look at what you’re investing your time and energy into.
When you hear the word, “budget” your mind may go straight to money, but there are other aspects of your life that need budgeting as well—what your time and energy go into each day.
The more you prioritize healthy habits like getting movement in and eating whole, unprocessed foods vs. spending time on things that ultimately drain you, the more benefits you’ll gain, like feeling a sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Shifting your mindset to look at what you “gain” by prioritizing positive things, vs. what you “lose” will help you see the benefits of budgeting your time and energy because you will start to see and feel the impacts across your life including your health, your work, and personal life.
In this blog, learn about three easy ways you can get started on budgeting your time and energy for a healthier lifestyle.
1. Make a Life Budgeting List
There are many things that contribute to who you are and where you are at right now. Many of those things are a compilation of your habits and what you spend your time and energy on. Grab a pen and paper and make a list with two columns. One with all the positive things you currently spend time and energy on, and budget into your life. This could be daily phone calls with friends, going to the gym, preparing a healthy meal, meditating, journaling, etc.
In the other column, make a list of the things that you spend time and energy on that may be taking away from you being your best. This could be spending time with certain toxic or negative people, frequent fast-food consumption, excessive alcohol intake, etc.
Writing things out on a list is helpful so you can see everything in front of you and recognize the areas you could use some improvement in. From there, take time to think about how you could add things to the positive list and/or reduce things from the negative list.
2. Use a Calendar App or Physical Planner and Start Time Blocking
After figuring out where your priorities are, a helpful tool to help you stay organized and lay out your schedule is a calendar app or planner. To truly budget your time and energy like you budget your money, you need to allocate a certain amount of time for everything. With the app, you can set up appointment reminders, block your schedule for important projects, and more. Using a planner, you can also block your schedule.
How Time Blocking Works
In addition to using a calendar app or planner, time blocking is a very effective tool to help you manage your time. According to people like Elon Musk and Bill Gates it all comes down controlling their time and schedule. For them, they use "micro-scheduling," which involves scheduling their day in five-minute increments. While that type of detail might not be needed for the average person, there is still a lesson in there for all of us—taking control of your time by scheduling or breaking it into chunks or blocks makes you more productive. And the easiest and most effective way to do that is through "time blocking."
Time blocking is essentially a technique where you block off a period to perform a certain task. This can be used in both your professional and personal life, from scheduling a call with your team, to scheduling time for a 30-minute walk.
To start, identify your top three important workday tasks for the day and schedule those first. This could be working on a certain project or catching up on emails. Then identify your top three personal tasks for the day. This could be spending time with your family, going to a workout class or grocery shopping.
Block your most difficult tasks when you’re most productive. For example, if you know you work best before noon, plan to spend the block before your lunch break on your toughest task.
It is important to note that your time blocks are most effective if they are less than an hour.
Schedule the rest of the day in shorter blocks dedicated to one task per block. These blocks should go in order of priority since your energy level will probably go down over the course of the day. You'll also feel better if you know the hard stuff is done as early as possible.
Focusing on one thing at a time helps you truly give your full energy to the task at hand and focus less on negative distractions. It is important to also remember to reserve time for things that “fill your cup” like calling a close friend, doing a mid-day workout, or finding time to get outside.
3. Create Routines
Big or small, healthy, or unhealthy, our habits combine to form routines that play out every day for us. That’s why, even though we understand the importance of having good habits, sometimes it’s tough to stick to a healthy daily routine and budget time for things that benefit your health and wellness.
It takes time and patience to create a routine, but the benefits are well worth it. Here are a few examples you can start implementing:
Make meals ahead of time
When you take breakfast or lunch with you on the go, it takes time to prepare. Planning ahead and starting this process at home during the evenings makes getting ready in the mornings take less time.
Set aside time each evening or once a week to complete all your meal prep for the next day or week ahead. Put the meals in convenient containers and set them somewhere at eye level in the fridge so you don’t forget it. Not only does this save you time the next day that you can put towards other tasks, but it also sets you up to make healthy choices.
Looking for recipe inspo? The nutrition section of the Snap Fitness Member App features over XXX recipes to choose from. From tofu pad thai to chicken and cashew stir-fry, there is something for everyone and every dietary need. The section also includes nutrition guides created by our experts and shopping lists matched to your goals.
Set out your clothes
This is something some of our parents may have had us do when we were younger, and it is something we should continue to add to our routine to budget more time for the following day. Set out the clothes you’ll need for the workday (whether you’re going into the office or just to your desk in the kitchen), as well as your workout clothes. You’ll be rewarded with saved time in the mornings when you set aside time the day or evening before to prepare for the next day.
Exercise in the AM
Working out early in the morning improves your energy levels and your circulation and sets you up to the crush the rest of your day! Just 20 or 30 minutes every day can make a difference. Mix up cardio and weights throughout the week for all-over toning and general health.
The Snap Fitness Member app is a great resource for virtual workouts you can do wherever, whenever, with over 1200 on-demand classes for strength, cardio, HITT, and so much more. These classes are taught by motivating instructors with options for all interests, fitness levels and abilities
Take Time to Relax
It’s normal to feel stressed from time to time, but high stress levels leave you vulnerable to several health conditions and problems, including depression and elevated blood pressure. Find a healthy activity that relaxes you, and then set aside some time every day to do it as part of your daily routine. This could be journaling, reading an inspiring book, spending time with a pet, meditating, or simply taking a few minutes to remind yourself of everything that is going well in your life.
At Snap, we believe that taking time to prioritize you is essential and hope these tools can equip you to better budget your time and energy and feel your best!
Don't want to miss anything?
Get the latest recipes, workouts, success stories, tips and more right in your inbox.