This post is part of a series focusing on Time Management for Teens, Students, and High Schoolers. Get the complete online course here or order the book here!

How Health And Sleep Affect Your Time Management

This post is all about improving time management through your HEALTH, as seen through the lens of the sleep and the physical activity that you are getting on a daily and weekly basis.

We’re not going to go into this like a medical doctor because I’m not one - but sleep and fitness are SUPER important to your overall ability to manage your time!

The problem is for about 99% of us these days, sleep and fitness START getting pushed back in high school and it just gets worse through college and then into the working world, you never really have the time to change your habits and get healthy.

It’s URGENT To Stay Healthy and Well-Rested!

It doesn’t SEEM urgent but it is…

It is really, really URGENT to make sure that you have good sleep and fitness habits because in the blink of an eye you will be 10 or 20 years older and you will FEEL good or bad based on how you’ve been treating your body during that time.

Sleep and fitness EMPOWER everything else we are talking about in this course, like having the clarity to set your goals, the energy to pursue them and the tenacity to overcome the obstacles along the way.

If you are healthy and rested, managing your time will become significantly easier –

Or to put that another way, if you’re tired and sick, it’s virtually impossible to use your days to maximum effectiveness, right?

Tips On Good Sleep Habits

Now when it comes to sleep, I’m no sleep expert, but common wisdom and my own experience suggest that seven to ten hours of sleep every twenty-four hours is about right for keeping your health strong and your energy levels high.

Now notice I said “every twenty-four hours” not “every night.”

A mid-day NAP is a great backup option to get some extra sleep, particularly if you were unable to get a full night’s sleep for any reason.

If you have an off-period in the middle of the school day, sometimes the best use of it simply to get a 45-minute power nap in a quiet corner.

Likewise, sometimes the best use of a weekend is simply to catch up on a bunch of sleep after a particularly insane week.

Plan Ahead To Get Your Best Sleep

Now it’s not always easy to find time for a midday nap –

So the key is to PLAN AHEAD whenever possible and try to make a habit of finishing your work EARLY.

That reduces emergency situations that are going to eat into your sleep AND prevent you from catching up with naps when you need it.

Basically, as always, getting BEHIND just tends to snowball and get worse if you start to slide.

Good Sleep Is NOT Optional

There’s a lot more we could say about sleep habits –

For example, we could discuss the ENORMOUS impact that all the constantly-glowing TV and computer screens, video games and social media have on our sleep health..

But for now let’s just agree that getting good sleep is incredibly important and not optional.

If you have to get up EARLY for school, there’s only one option and that’s to go to BED early - because if you go to bed LATE and you have to wake up EARLY you WILL be tired.

It’s just MATH - nothing personal.

So you have to avoid that situation if at all possible; the lack of sleep will ripple outwards and probably you’ll struggle to get back on track for a few days afterwards.

Exercising Helps You Stay Healthier and Sleep Better

Now, one really cool thing about my next suggestion, which is EXERCISE, is that it also helps with my first suggestion about sleep – because when you EXERCISE during the day your body is more ready for SLEEP at the end of the day!

Now don’t misunderstand me - I’m not saying that exercise will STEAL your energy and make you pass out at the end of the day.

In fact, quite the opposite - daily exercise GIVES you energy, rather than taking it away.

But hard exercise ALSO helps you get a good night’s sleep at the end of the day.

Again, this isn’t the time to talk in detail because I’m not a doctor or health professional, but I just had to point out the importance of physical activity and remind you that it needs to form part of your time-management plan.

Not only do you need to schedule in some physical activity on a regular basis, it’s also going to pay itself back in the form of additional energy and clarity to pursue your goals.

There Are Many Enjoyable Ways To Stay Healthy

There is nearly an INFINITE variety of fun and cool ways to stay healthy and I promise there’s at least one thats fit YOU perfectly if you go and look for it.

Humans have been making up games, sports, exercises, and stretches probably since the dawn of time, so you have TONS of choice in what to participate in.

Decide on your health goals and then do your research.

Set Clear Health Goals And Pick Activities You Like

For example, do you want a stronger heart and lungs? Check out cardio exercise for endurance.

Maybe you want to bulk up and get stronger - go for strength training and muscle-building.

Perhaps you don’t really care about exercise unless there’s COMPETITION: you should be on a soccer, football, or volleyball team!

There are so many options: individual and team sports; competitive or friendly teams; or even competing against yourself.

For example, have you thought about rock climbing as a form of exercise? Hiking and camping? Dance? Cheerleading?

Don’t lock yourself into pre-established molds of assuming you hate sports and exercise just because you’ve had a few bad experiences in the past.

Try To Include A Variety Of Exercise

For me, sport motorcycling, archery, bicycling, long walks through nature, and low-key jogging are my favorite ways to get exercise.

I also throw in some simple bodyweight exercises I can do at home which basically means stuff with a minimum of equipment like pushups, pull-ups, and walking or jogging.

I do this because it makes me feel good and it’s a nice stretch in between typing on the computer, answering phones and emails, and work stuff like that.

Know Your Fitness Goals, Strengths, And Weaknesses

Now, speaking of finding activities that FIT you, I’m not the biggest guy on the field, so although I’m competitive at heart I can’t really crush it in basketball or football or whatever so the so-called “standard” team sports –

That’s probably not where I’m going to enjoy myself the most.

That’s not actually a big deal because at the same time I don’t LOVE to run around and sweat a ton, I prefer to eat right, get some daily moderate exercise in ways I enjoy, and I’m not trying to be the next big movie or sports star with my physique.

See? Since I know what my REAL life goals are, I’m comfortable accepting a decent level of fitness.

Even though I’d LIKE to be a super-human, the level I’m currently at SUPPORTS my life goals without taking too much time and attention away from them.

How To Find TIME For All This Exercise and Sleep

Need help finding time for all this sleep and exercise stuff?

That’s just one more reason you need your top priorities set straight.

SOMETHING may have to get dropped from your schedule, but it CANNOT be your health.

NO human can afford to ignore sleep and fitness. To do so is ultimately counterproductive.

Being sick is just a HUGE waste of time. Make sure to get the nightly sleep and daily physical activity it takes to perform at your peak.

The time you invest into your health will pay itself back with longer life and increased energy, and you’ll have fun along the way when you spend time on activities you enjoy.

What Do YOU Do To Stay Healthy and Well-Rested?

So, what are YOU doing to keep yourself healthy and well-rested?

Have you been playing sports your whole life… or are you more of a couch-potato? Somewhere in between? Do you have any new health goals or resolutions that you want to start following up on?

Take a moment to pause and share your health, sleep, and fitness routines in the comments section and I’ll see you in the next post!

Make this year your most productive year ever! Get the complete Time Management Online Course or order the book on Amazon today.

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