3 Easy Ways to Budget Your Time And Energy
Feel stuck when it comes to making changes to your health, happiness, career, or other area of your life? You can create a huge impact on your goals by taking a close look at what you’re investing your time and energy into.
When you hear the word “budget” your first thought is likely money, but there are other aspects of your life that need budgeting as well—the areas of your inner and outer worlds that your time and energy go into each day.
Shifting your mindset to look at what you gain by prioritizing positive habits and lifestyle choices, vs. what you lose by saying “no” to the things that don’t serve you is so powerful. This simple adjustment will soon show when you see and feel the impacts across your life—including your health, your work, and personal life.
For example, the more you prioritize healthy habits like moving your body regularly 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, confidence, and control.
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
Your life is built with a combination of your mindset, habits, and day-to-day activities. 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, which you choose to 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 these lists gives you a chance to reflect plainly on the ways you budget your life, plus it may help you recognize the areas that could use improvement. Take time to think about how you could add items to that first list and/or reduce things from the second.
2. Use a Calendar App or Physical Planner and Start Time Blocking
After figuring out where your priorities are, you can lean into your priorities by using a tool to help you stay organized and lay out your schedule, such as your calendar app or a planner. To truly budget your time and energy like you budget your money, you must recognize that every habit and activity requires an investment of your time. You can use a range of phone apps or color-coded written systems to set up appointment reminders, block your schedule for important projects, and more.
In addition to your standard calendar apps, you can also use tools like Any.do.
How Time Blocking Works
Take control of your calendar with time blocking. According to people like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, the success of their careers all comes down controlling their time and schedule.
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. The easiest and most effective way to do this is through "time blocking."
Time blocking is a productivity technique that requires you to block off periods of time to perform set tasks. This strategy 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 three most important workday tasks for the day—this could be working on a certain project or catching up on emails. Block an allocated time for each of the tasks, and plan to remove all distractions during the allotted time. 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. Again, block the time on your calendar and hold yourself accountable to using that part of your day as you intended.
Block your most difficult tasks when you’re most productive. For example, if you know you work best before noon, plan to spend a 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. That’s why, even though we understand the importance of having good habits, it is sometimes tough to stick to a healthy daily routine and to 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, the Snap App, features plenty of recipes to choose from. From simple smoothies 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
It may make you feel like a kid off to their first day at Kindergarten, but choosing your outfit ahead of time allows you to budget more time to the important parts of your morning routine. Set out the clothes you’ll need for the workday (whether you’re going into the office or just to your desk or the kitchen), as well as any workout or specialty activity clothing. You’ll be rewarded with saved time in the mornings that you can re-budget for more important habits or activities.
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! Moving 20-30 minutes a day can improve your fitness. Mix cardio and weights workouts throughout the week for full-body toning.
The Snap App is a great resource for virtual workouts you can do wherever, whenever, with over 1,200 on-demand classes for strength, cardio, HIIT, and so much more for opted in clubs. 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 prioritize it by budgeting it into 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 Fitness, we believe that taking time to prioritize yourself is essential. We hope these tools can equip you to better budget your time and energy and feel your best!
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