It can be difficult to find space on your schedule to balance the demands on your time with activities that you enjoy, but as we’ve learned, doing so can be key to avoiding burnout. In Principles and Labs for Fitness and Wellness, 12th Edition, authors Werner W.K. Hoeger and Sharon A. Hoeger share a few tips to keep in mind as you prioritize your time. Employing some of these ideas can help you keep your balance as you wrap up this term and look toward the future — hopefully with some time to enjoy a break in between!

  • Say “no” to things that could stand between you and tackling your top priorities. When someone asks you to do or take part in something, take a moment to consider whether you have time, what your motivation would be to accept, and whether this will get in the way of completing something else that’s a higher priority.
  • Focus on one task at a time. Set aside time to work exclusively on one project or activity and see it through to the end, rather than splitting your focus by multitasking. Hoeger and Hoeger do caution that one exception would be working on a particularly difficult task. In that case, you may be best served by working on it in chunks and focusing on another activity in between.
  • Plan ahead for distractions. It never fails – you finally find time to devote to a project, and someone else walks in requesting your help or attention. Think in advance about how you’ll handle distractions. If you truly need this time to finish an activity, make it clear that you’re not available – it could be as simple as closing your door and posting a note that you’re not to be disturbed.
  • Plan time for activities you enjoy. We all need balance in our lives, and scheduling shouldn’t be an activity relegated exclusively for work. Set aside time to do what you like, whether it’s reading, exercising, going to a movie, or all of the above! (p. 378)

How do you prioritize your time so you can enjoy more of the activities you like outside of work? Share your response in the comments section below, or e-mail us at [email protected].

Reference: Content adapted from Hoeger, Werner W.K and Hoeger, Sharon A. 2014. Principles and Labs for Fitness and WellnessTwelfth EditionBelmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.