Is your “to-do” list a mile long? Can’t remember where you left your running shoes? Or left your keys at home (yet again)? With only 24 hours in the day, a cluttered brain is a conundrum that many of us face when trying to balance a career and healthy lifestyle.
Focusing on a few areas to simplify your life can help reduce stress and improve your concentration, so here are 6 ways to get started.
1. CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE
A good start to the days is important as it often sets the precedence for how the rest of your day will progress. Create good quality rituals like waking up at the same time each day, drinking a glass of water to rehydrate, and eating a balanced breakfast to boost your energy and concentration are all good habits to practice daily. When you have a set routine you don’t have to spend mental energy deciding what to do, eat or wear, which reduces stress. As a result, you’ll step out the door ready to tackle the day and less likely to forget your gym bag at home.
2. LIMIT YOUR OPTIONS
Now that you’ve got all gym gear with you, it’s time to decide what to do. Should you go for a run, try a Barre Attack class, hit the weights, or get your core rock solid with Pilates? When you give yourself endless options sometimes you end up opting out all together because it’s all too much. Keep it simple by limiting yourself to two choices (e.g. Run or Barre Attack on Tuesday OR weights or Pilates on Thursday). If you can’t make up your mind, just toss a coin and let fate decide for you.
3. SHOP SMART
Food shopping can be a nightmare when you hit the supermarket unprepared. To make it a painless experience avoid the stores at peak times (e.g. weekends), don’t shop when hungry, write a list of what you need, or shop online. This will help you avoid temptation of buying things you don’t need, or getting flustered by the hoards of people on a Sunday evening.
4. EXERCISE EFFICIENTLY
If you’re short on time but still want a killer workout then stick to the power of 3: Start with 3 minutes of cardio to warm up. Then pick three different exercises: one push (e.g. push-up), one pull (e.g. pull-up or row), and one leg (e.g. squats). Do as many reps as you can in one minute before moving on to the next exercise. Aim to do 3 rounds total of the resistance moves then finish with 3 minutes of the cardio again before stretching.
5. DOUBLE UP
Make a double batch of stew, soup, or spaghetti sauce and freeze the leftovers for late nights when you have no energy to cook. This will save you the heartache of deciding what to eat, but also keep your wallet and waistline healthy from skipping the takeaway.
6. SWITCH OFF
Constantly checking emails, or social media can make you less productive and also create a false sense of reality. We all know that our social feeds often showcase unrealistic expectations of how we should live, look, and feel. The result is that we strive for more, which is important for personal growth, but with the drawback of forgetting to be grateful for what we already have. Have a set time each day where you put your digital device away and focus on what’s really important in your life. It could be as simple as reading a book, taking a bath, or talking with family and friends.
HOW DO YOU MAKE LIFE A LITTLE MORE SIMPLE?