A lot of us are constantly on-the-go, which often means there’s little to no time to really focus inwards to make the changes necessary to live our best lives. To help you out, we’ve come up with five ways that you can improve your life, without taking up too much of your time.
1. Make Lists.
We all have responsibilities and tasks that need to be completed in order to avoid headaches down the line. The best way to have a smooth week—which will turn into a smooth month, year and life—is to make lists. Everyone knows their work schedule for the upcoming week, but may forget the events that don’t happen every day. So sit down, perhaps on a Sunday, and flesh out the details. If you have any after or before work plans, jot them down. A lunch meeting, a party to plan, a museum date with friends, a game after work, doctor’s appointment, no matter what it is, add it to the list and check it off as you go.
And if you don’t want to take it old school and physically write these things down, there are tons of apps available to keep your work schedule and social life organized. A lot of apps allow you to input dates, times and, best of all—multiple alerts to make sure you stay on schedule. There’s nothing worse than forgetting an important meeting or event because it slips your mind. Getting organized is definitely a great habit that will improve your life.
2. Go To Sleep Early and Wake up On Time.
This might seem like a no brainer, but many of us—whether it be due to an active social life, bringing work home, or having the habits of a night owl—don’t get enough sleep. A lot of us are stuck in a cycle of waking up tired, staying up all night, complaining about it during the day, and repeat. Developing good sleeping habits are key to improving your life. There are few things that feel as good as waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Some sources even say that sleeping longer is better for weight management and overall health. So how do you do it? For some, it may be as simple as getting rid of the distractions. Turn off your television when you’re getting ready for bed; there are reports that blue screens affect our biological clock. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, don’t keep it on your bed or side table—put it across the room. This helps in two ways; one, you won’t be able to absent-mindedly play with it, and two, you will have to get out of bed to turn it off in the morning. If you’re a light sleeper and get too many texts at night, go old school. Get an actual alarm clock and put your phone on silent.
3. Get Moving.
We’ve all heard the saying “just take the stairs.” Although I’m not entirely sure who coined the phrase, its safe to say they’re onto something. Humans live pretty sedentary lives compared to those that came before us. If you work at an office job you probably spend your whole day sitting at your desk staring at a screen. You might even sit in your car, or in public transit, to get to and from work. When you get home you’re most likely exhausted and spend your evening sitting in front of the TV. Now there are always exceptions to the rule, some people workout daily and have jobs that keep them on their feet all day. For those that don’t, getting in a workout may seem like a task, but it may come as no surprise that getting even a little bit of exercise everyday can improve your life. Sources say it can also boost your mood, mental health and reduce risks of some cancers.
So how do you get in a workout if you’re busy, or just not interested? Start small. If you take the bus, get off a few stops before yours and walk the rest of the way. At lunch spend half of your allotted time getting out of the office and exploring the neighbourhood. Forget the elevator and take the stairs to your floor if you live in an apartment, or work in a building with more than one floor. There are also a lot of apps available to get you moving. Nike Training Club is a good one that provides workouts depending on your skill level and availability. They range from five-minute workouts, to hour long workouts.
4. Get Ready For Tomorrow, Today.
A lot of time is wasted in the morning, running around, scrambling to get ready and out of the door on time. A good way to cut out the morning scuffle is to prep the night before. Lay out your clothing (if you want to go the extra mile, lay out a week’s worth) and shoes– even iron if you need to. Pack a bag with your essentials and have items like your metro pass or car keys laid out preferably near the door, so you can grab them and go. Prepare and pack your lunch and put your phone and/or tablet on the charger. On weekends, do the same thing if you have an event, or even just plans with friends. In this way, you’re essentially getting a head-start on your day, before it even begins. As a bonus, it may also give you more time to sleep in!
5. Drink Water.
While the optimal amount of water necessary to keep us hydrated is often disputed, what isn’t is the fact that water has numerous health benefits. According to the CDC drinking water helps to keep your temperature normal, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and sensitive tissues and also helps to get rid of waste through ease of urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. If water isn’t a part of your daily routine, try buying a reusable water bottle so you can refill it when needed. Aim to drink one bottle a day and go from there. You can also get water from fruits and vegetables and even coffee and tea.