I can relate! I also work full-time and am working on a graduate course (feels like 3-4 undergrad courses). While I only have one child, we homeschool him so that's top priority. We're also renovating a few rooms in our house in our "spare" time, mainly weekends.
What works for me is to have a minute-by-minute schedule for the day through the week and a rough sketch of weekend days, from waking to bedtime, that includes everything from the big things like kiddo's lesson time, work, mealtimes, to the little stuff like taking a shower or unloading the dishwasher. You know as well as I do that the plan will go awry every day, but having a plan means I have something to refer back to when things get chaotic - as they always do - so the rest of the day doesn't spin out of control and end with only half of my to-do list done. That schedule, if it works as intended, has all household cleaning, all lessons for both kiddo and me done between Monday morning and Friday evening at 7PM, which leaves Friday at 7PM to Sunday night open for things we missed (due to chaos), weekend reno work, a long workout or two, and general R&R.
When first incorporating exercise into my days, I treated it like brushing teeth and literally did it right before brushing my teeth. So in the morning, I did 10-15 minutes and just got up a few minutes earlier, and at night I exercised before brushing my teeth for 10-15 minutes. That got it worked into my daily schedule so it stopped being one of the optional things I'd slide to the next day. Once that was done, it became more natural to work it into other times of the day.
As far as housework and balancing that into everything else to free up some more time, our household adopted a lot of philosophies found at Flylady.com Many of those ideas seem geared towards households where someone is home all day, but there are some basic concepts that can be adapted to suit a much more restrictive schedule. For instance, I clean one room each night and repeat that every week. My husband and son have a room they're responsible for as well and must do that every week. Since starting that, we're all more diligent about keeping clutter under control through the week so we don't have a big project when we get to that room, and each room is typically done in 15 minutes or so. No more epic weekend cleaning frenzies since we started that. I grocery shop on my way home from work every Friday so it saves another weekend activity. We have a schedule of household maintenance we keep on the side of our refrigerator (thinks like cleaning the drain on the washing machine, replacing the filter on the HVAC, etc.; things not done weekly but that shouldn't be forgotten or it'll result in a major project) so we don't end up with a bunch of projects stacking up.
I said all that to say...the busier you get, the more defined you need to get with how you budget your time. If you take some time to make a list of all the things you do regularly in a week and how long it typically takes you to do each of those things, then look around for ideas of how to do those items more efficiently, I'm sure you'll find some windows you can free up. For me, when we did that, evenings right before bed turned out to be my ideal exercise window. Sometimes I'm exhausted and just relax on the sofa, but each time a commercial comes on, I jump up and do "something," whether it's prepare lunches for the next morning or spend 5 minutes jumping jacks.
You might have to get creative, but there's time for exercise if you study your commitments and schedule it all. You don't have to stick to it religiously. In fact, you won't be able to; things will always go wrong that make the plan a mess, but you'll have something defined to work back towards.
Fitness Minutes: (16,996)
771 7/16/14 12:00 P
You mention course load, does your school/uni have a gym? It would be more efficient to do your exercise right after class. Save travel time. You could then go straight home to shower. Also saving time.
7/16/14 10:13 A
Great suggestions! Thank you all!
Fitness Minutes: (9,224)
7/15/14 10:36 A
Get creative, use your break or lunch time at work to go for a walk. When standing making dinner or folding laundry do some squats. Try to fit in some exercise daily, even if its just 10 minute walk before bed.
7/15/14 10:26 A
One thing you might consider is breaking your workout into 10-minute segments throughout the day. Everyone has 10 minutes here and there, and doing this 3-4 times daily can give you the same weight loss results as doing a 30-40 minute workout all in one chunk.
Hope that helps,
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
7/15/14 10:14 A
I love Google Calendar for this type of thing (or any other visual scheduling aid). When I block out all that I need to do and all of my commitments, I can see where my blocks of free time are and work my schedule to fit in my gym time.
7/15/14 9:57 A
I've been going to the gym since November and have recently started tracking my diet to help lose weight. Lately, though, I feel like I just don't have enough hours in the day! I work full time, have three kids, and take courses to try to finish my degree. Between work, housework, and homework, squeezing in gym time is getting harder and harder! The only way to get it in is to just get less sleep (5-6 hours at most), which I keep reading is horrible for weight loss efforts as well. I'm hoping a lighter course load in the fall will help free up some time, but I am also open to suggestions and advice from others about some time budgeting tips. Thanks in advance!
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