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Finding time for yourself : 8 things you can do to make more time for yourself

Who has the time these days to...
exercise?
relax?
take a nap?
read a book?

Are you feeling like you’ll never get to the gym or read the book club novel this month?  Here are eight things you can do to save time and find some spare minutes for yourself.

1. Have a “Go-to” outfit.  Each of us knows one or two things that we look great in, feel great wearing and can go anywhere in. It’s important to have the “go-to” outfit ready so when time is short, you know what to wear.  Make a special place in your closet for at least 2-3 go to outfits.  This will save you time in thinking and stressing when you need an extra five minutes or are packing for a business trip.

2. Have a “Go-to” breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the busiest time with getting ready for work, children to school or replying to emails from the night before.  Find something quick, easy and packed with nutrition. Here’s one of my favorites and it’s great on the go too: Breakfast.

3. Skip folding the towels.  Laundry takes time and although folding towels is a simple task throw them into the basket and hang them up in the bathroom using hooks or towel bars instead of leaving them in the cabinets.  Throw the spare sets in a basket and replace when needed.  No one will check your linen cabinets (except maybe Gladys Snooptree- so just don’t invite her over!)

4. Know your make up musts.  Light foundation with sunscreen, lipstick, highlighter, liner and mascara can create a fast, natural look.  If you really need to glam up, then take the time; otherwise having a make up artist help you pick out these items for a simple look will save time and money.

5. Check E-mail twice a day.  Although even I have a difficult time not checking into email constantly, trying to answer emails twice a day has been a huge time saver for myself.  Be sure to have an auto responder message set up for emergency contact by phone or text so that you don’t miss opportunities.  However, you will not believe the extra time and focus you will have with getting things done.

6. Trim your workout time.  Whether you walk a mile or run one, you will burn approximately the same amount of calories.  I understand that higher intensity workouts zap the energy, but they are very efficient in saving time.  Try interval programs that alternate higher intensity moves with lower ones to bang out your workouts in thirty minutes or less.  If you love the walk or have the time, opt for those workouts when possible. Otherwise, get it done and over with to find time for yourself.

7. Get help.  If you spend your time cleaning up after everyone, make a plan to get help.  Kids, spouses and co-workers can and are willing to help if there is a payoff for them too.  Most of the time, they just need direction.  Asking for help in a kind loving way and explaining the pay off’s (time at the park, less crabby, etc.) can persuade most able-bodies to lend a hand.

8. De-clutter.  Although it might take some “time” to de-clutter your home and office, ultimately having less creates having more.  Make it simple.  Throw stuff out and see more counter and desk space.  Just this visual alone can help de-stress your mind and allow a better flow in your home and office.

These are unbeatable tips to save time but ultimately it comes down to choices.  Chose to make time for yourself.  No one can do it for you but you!  What are some of the things you would do if you had more time?

Andrea Metcalf is a healthy lifestyle spokesperson, best selling author and Chicago based fitness expert.  She has trained pro-athletes, news anchors and helped hundreds of people lose thousands of pounds.

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