The people-pleasers and overachievers among us are always told that we need to get better at saying no—but sometimes deciding what you say no to is more challenging than actually saying the word. Check out these suggestions for taking back your time in a smart and efficient way.
Say No (Thank You) To…
…Excess meal prep and cleanup. Try lining your pans with foil for easy cleaning, or buy pre-cut veggies and fruits for various meals to limit preparation time. Love gadgets? From immersion blenders to hand choppers to slow cookers, there are myriad ways to save time and sanity in almost every step of the meal-prep process.
…Daily TV time. Save up your must-see shows and watch a few together, bypassing commercials. Why? It condenses your TV-watching time while opening up other time slots. It also helps build anticipation—you’ll feel rewarded for the time you’ve earned.
…Workout excuses. Don’t leave room to nix your workouts. Being ready to go (sneakers and clothes laid out and gym bag packed) will keep you from making excuses about getting the exercise you need. Try to plan with a friend (in your paper or digital daily planner for extra points) a workout schedule you can both commit to. You’ll be that much more likely to say “yes” to exercise.
…Rigidity. If you think exercise is only available in fixed-length sessions that repeat the same activity, open your mind. How about a couple of 15-minute weight training sessions instead of 30 minutes of running? And don’t forget about intervals. Alternating intense exercise (like sprinting) with your standard speed can both intensify and shorten your workout.
…Mindless fun. The occasional disappearance into social media or Candy Crush saga is fine in small doses, but sometimes it can feel like getting lost in an abyss, so don’t let it swallow too much time. Need a trick to stop once you start? Use a timer.