For most parents, “free time” is sort of like a pet unicorn — it’s a fun idea, but it doesn’t actually exist in real life.
So if you’re a busy parent trying to lose weight, you might be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to find time to work out or cook healthy meals when you barely have a minute to brush your teeth in the morning.
Kids are awesome, but they also seem to have the magical ability to make entire hours of the day disappear. But how can you set aside some time each day to crush your own goals? (Because, no matter what your mommy guilt says, you are allowed to have your own goals — really.)
Here are a few tips from time-saving experts so you can waste less and accomplish more.
How to Carve Out More Time in Your Calendar
1. Say “no” more often
If your kid loves karate, of course you’re going to find time to shuttle them back and forth to classes. But there are plenty of times we find ourselves committed to stuff that no one in the family actually seems excited about.
When that happens, it’s okay to set boundaries. “Learning to say ‘no’ to requests that don’t help you or your family reach your goals is a good step to gaining control of your time,” says Nancy Haworth, a professional organizer and owner of On Task Organizing, LLC.
2. Streamline the morning rush
When mornings are chaotic, you may feel exhausted before your day’s even started — and that makes it hard to get anything done efficiently. Take some of the stress out of the morning rush by prepping as much as you can the night before.
Pro tip: Instead of trying to do it all in the morning while everyone’s only half-awake, prep at a time when the rest of the family can actually help out. Haworth offers these tips for simplifying your mornings: