Ep. 93: How-to Get Your Day Back

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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On today's episode, we’re talking about how to avoid the feeling like we’ve lost control of our day and the things we can do right now to get our day back on track.


We're back with our 93rd episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 93 Transcription

On today’s episode, we’re talking about how to avoid the feeling like we’ve lost control of our day, and the things we can do right now to get our day back on track.

Cassy Joy: Welcome back t another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your hostess, my name is Cassy Joy Garcia. I am the blogger and the author and the nutrition consultant; gosh, what else do I do? The podcaster, and the recipe developer, and the program coach behind the brand Fed and Fit. You can find me on the web over at https://FedandFit.com. And then you can also find my book in stores nationwide right now, it’s called; you guessed it! Fed and Fit. You can find it on shelves at Barnes and Noble, you can find it on Amazon, and also in Costco right now nationwide, which is pretty dang cool if you ask me.

I am pretty excited about today’s episode. We are getting back to one of the real; I guess original purposes behind this podcast was really to talk about mindset. I like to sprinkle; between a bunch of really fun interviews, and every once in a while we get really geeky and we get really science-y into some really interesting topics, I also like to sprinkle in some mindset shows where we just talk about how to maintain a healthy, positive mindset. If you’re a new listener here, you know that I’ve been doing a little bit more of this towards the beginning of the year, the beginning of 2017, because this seems to be the season when we set a lot of expectations for ourselves, and then if things don’t go exactly as planned, we almost want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, right? We’re like, well, that’ didn’t go exactly as I planned so let’s go back to where we were before. I’m going to learn nothing from this, and we’re just going to have to start all over again next January, or {laughs} whenever the timing is.

So, today’s episode we’re just going to zero in. we’re not going to be that grand and talk about resolutions or anything, but I just want to zero in on a very small, very approachable topic that I think is relevant to most everybody. So we’re going to talk about how to salvage an almost lost day. Now, what do I mean by that. Think about those days when you wake up, and you’ve got a really good idea of what you want to do in the day, or maybe you have some hopes. You have some hopes, your feet hit the ground, you get out of bed, you have that cup of coffee in your hand, and you think to yourself; “Yes! This is going to be a really good day. I’m going to do all kinds of awesome things, I’m going to feel so accomplished. Maybe I’ll even squeeze in a workout and I’m probably going to eat really well because I’ve been building some good habits. It’s going to be gravy!”

I’m one of those people; and maybe not everybody is like this, but I tend to always wake up thinking, “This is it! This is going to happen! It’s all going to happen.” Instead of the opposite. And then real life comes into play, right? And then sometimes the day takes off, and all of those tasks that I had in mind that I wanted to accomplish start getting pushed further and further down the timeline as I get distracted with other things that I have to do. And they feel really important. They feel like tasks that I need to focus on as well, but for whatever reason you get that kind of like you missed something in your day. You know what I mean?

I think, when I talk about this, I think about for example my mom. She is such an amazing worker. She’s got a great work ethic. The girl just works so hard, and she works really smart. She and my dad both own an architectural engineering firm based here in San Antonio, Texas. And they started this firm back in 2007, and that was actually when I was in college, and it was an all hands on deck kind of experience, because they needed help. I remember; I was in school, I was getting a job so I could help support myself as much as possible while they pursued this venture. And I was sitting in my dorm room; or I guess I was in an apartment by then, and I was helping them write congressional reports {laughs} from my ratty old college couch just so I could help; I could help in any way possible. The business has grown wonderfully; they’ve done a wonderful job. They love their clients, first and foremost, and they take really good care of them, so business has followed. And they’ve grown from just the 2 of them, and their part-time daughter helping write congressional reports from college; they’ve grown from that to now they’re well over people and they have even happier clients, and it’s just really, really wonderful to see.

Well, my mother is the operations manager for Alpha; the name of their company. And what does that mean? What does an operations manager do? Some of you listening probably have a really clear picture. An operations director or manager for a small business, you might have an idea of what all that entails. And for those of you who don’t know what that entails, it pretty much involves everything. It’s all the things that go on behind the scenes that need to be taken care of that’s not very glamorous, doesn’t really get a lot of credit. She just takes care of it, and she’s the perfect person for that. She’s one of those people that has incredible intuition, and she’s always thinking about the next step or the big picture. It’s just the exact perfect mind and skill set to have in that position. And I promise this has an application for today’s episode.

So my mom and I; of course, we’re really great friends and we talk all the time; one of her common grievances is she will be calling me; she’ll call me on her way home from the office. I work from home for my business, and they have an office here in town, and she’ll call me on the way home for one reason or another. Maybe she needed me to go feed her puppy; or who knows, because she and my dad are running late. So whatever the reason is, I’ll always ask her, “How was your day, mom?” And she’ll say, “Oh, it’s just the same as always. I got nothing done that I wanted to do.” {laughs} Is her answer every single time. “I got a lot of stuff done, but it was nothing that I wanted to do, and now it’s going to be another late night trying to do these things.” And then you talk to her the next morning, and I’ll ask her, “Well, did you get those things done that you wanted to do?” “Nope! I got home, and then I had to do all these other things. I had to put out all these other fires, and I still don’t have the things done that I wanted to do.” {laughs}

Bless her heart, she works so hard, but she has that feeling that her days get out of her hands every single day. Now, all of her children are grown, we’re out of college, we’re in the working world now. She doesn’t have us to come home to and care for, so I’m sure that adds another layer of complications when you do have younger kids at home. So she has my dad and then her arm of miniature schnauzers {laughs}. If you follow me on social media you’ve probably seen some of them; and then she’s got her business. Which she’s argued that she once had 3 children and a husband, and now she has over 100 of them that require a lot of TLC. And she loves the job. But she constantly has this feeling that her day gets away from her. Her days are lost. She goes to bed at night thinking, “I got nothing accomplished.”

Because she didn’t accomplish the things she wanted to do when she woke up, right? And even though she got a lot of really good work done, she still has that feeling of longing and that feeling like she missed something or like the day was lost. And I know she’s not the only one who feels that way; I definitely have days when I feel that way. She’s a little bit more of an extreme example, but I think it’s a good picture to paint. There are a lot of times when we get to that point; whether it’s mid-morning and we think; “Oh no, where did my morning go? I wanted to do all these things!” Or, it’s afternoon and we think, “Oh no! {laughs} I wanted to do all these other things, where did the time go?” And the next thing you know it’s dinner time, and then family time, and then bedtime. And you think, “I got nothing accomplished that I wanted to do today.”

I have those days often. So what I want to talk about is how to salvage those lost days. Not just prevent them from happening. Sometimes they’re always going to happen, right? So let’s be realistic. Wrap our minds around the fact that some days, our days are just going to go in their own direction, and we’re just along for the ride.

Now there are some things we can do to help prepare ourselves for a day where we really feel like we’ve got a better handle on our circumstances, and there are also a couple of things we can do to help stop it mid stride; right? Mid day. Whenever you realize that your day is getting away from you, there are some things that we can do to try to redirect and get things back in order to where you're going to feel really good about it. Because at the end of the day, that’s what I want. I want you to feel good about your day. I don’t care how many things you cross off your list, and I really don’t care; I don’t care if one of them is working out or heating healthy; I really don’t. What I want is I want you to feel accomplished every single day. And you can get that way with just a couple of tricks.

Ok, so first let’s quickly discuss the things that could make our days kind of spin a little bit out of control. Number one; maybe we did not start off with a clear plan. Now, what do I mean by that? You might wake up and think, “Oh yes, I want to do all of these work projects today. And I want to go workout. And I want to get some cooking done. And I want to dogs for a walk. And I want to be the first in line at the pickup line for the kids.” {laughs} Whatever it is. We have all of these grand ideas. But if we don’t actually take pen to paper; bear with me here, ok, because for those of you who are a very, very Type B personality, this is going to be a bit of a stretch for you, but just hear me out. If we don’t take pen to paper and put all of our goals, and all of the things we want to accomplish, and all of the things that we want to do in a day; if we don’t actually write them down, we might find ourselves over committing emotionally.

Because if we actually write down all the things we want to do, and we actually put; let’s say we put timelines on them. It’s going to take me exactly an hour to make tonight’s dinner; in the kitchen time. And I’m going to have to leave the house at 3 p.m. in order to pick up the kids at 3:30, and then I’ll be back by 4:15. You know, that’s an hour and 15 minutes that you’re out of the house, and you’re in the car, and you’re away from the things; maybe away from your computer if you’ve got work to do, right? So let’s be realistic. How long does it actually take you to put together that report?

And how long will it take you to actually empty your email inbox? Which I get, you never know. Because you don’t know what little nuggets are lying in there. But give yourself an approximate. And when you actually put time stamps and time windows on those tasks, you’ll be able to look at all of the things you woke up thinking you emotionally really wanted to do and you felt like you could do it that day. And you see you would need a day with 48 hours in it, of awake time. So what I mean by we’re not starting off with a clear plan means that we’re not being realistic about our wishes and the things that we want for the day.

Another thing that could cause our day to spin out of control is; this is my favorite one. Is that we’re avoiding something. What are we avoiding? What are you avoiding? What is your ugly frog? And what I mean by ugly frog; if you guys have ever read, I think it’s a business book, Eat the Ugly Frog First. The concept is; let’s say you write down your to-do list, and that will be an activity we’ll talk about in a second. But let’s say you write everything down that you need to do in a day. Or in a period; a week, or a month, or whatever it is. All the to-do’s that come to mind. All the things that you need to do. There’s probably something; one of those items on the list. And sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one it is; which task it is that you’re avoiding that’s causing this block. But oftentimes there’s a task on that list that you are avoiding. Whether you’re avoiding it because it’s a new thing and it scares you, or it involves maybe apologizing to somebody or having a conversation with somebody that you’re not looking forward to that conversation. You know it’s not necessarily going to be a really fun activity. Maybe for some people it’s folding the laundry {laughs}. It could be that simple. Something you’re avoiding; what are you avoiding?

Are you avoiding submitting that book manuscript proposal? Are you avoiding emptying your email inbox, because you know that there are some nastygrams in there and you really don’t want to answer them? Because you don’t want them to dampen your day, ‘yo! {laughs} I totally get that. But here’s the thing; when we avoid those items, and we go on and we do other stuff on our day. So let’s say I’ve got 13 things on my to-do list, and one of them; let’s say one of them is emptying my email inbox. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. but let’s say my ugly frog, the thing I really don’t want to do is empty my inbox; because maybe somebody sent me a note that’s not every nice. And I just; the childish part of me wants to avoid reading it and avoid dealing with it. So I do; but none of this is conscious, you guys. These are all subconscious decisions that I make. Because I look at my list, and I think; “oh, emails. I’ll get to that one, and I’ll get all these other 12 things knocked off, and that will fill up my full day. I’ll get so much done, right? I’ll feel so accomplished if I do these 12 other things.

But when I go to bed at night, there’s a piece missing, and I feel like I didn’t do something that I was supposed to do. And rationally I can think through it, and I can think; but emails aren’t that big of a deal. And the email I’m thinking about that might be hiding in there isn’t that big of a deal, but I avoided it and I distracted myself with other important to-do’s. But it’s that one task that you’re avoiding, that we’re hiding from; that can actually have a huge impact on our day, feeling like it’s spinning out of control.

And then the last thing I want to talk about today; there are other things that can jump in and throw our day off. But the last one I want to talk about in the context of today’s episode that could cause our days to spin out of control is when we let somebody else derail us. Ok, now this doesn’t have to sound like such a bad ominous thing. You know, “Oh, how dare you derail my day!” because sometimes those people are maybe young children, and that’s their job! That’s our job to care for them. Or maybe it’s a parent, or a friend in need, or a colleague that really needs some help. Or work project that shows up that’s really exciting that takes an unexpected amount of time. We let others in to derail our day.

Now here’s the thing; we need to plan around those times. We need to expect them. If we expect some of our time to be derailed, then it allows us control over those other hours, right? I hope this isn’t too ambiguous, because I'm going to get into some more detail in a minute. but if you’re planning out your day, and you know the hours in which you’re going to be the least likely to be interrupted by another person are maybe between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m. Those are my hours {laughs}. That’s when I start my days, at 5 a.m. Because I know that it’s very, very unlikely that I get an email that requires responding right away, or I have a project to prepare for, or a video to prepare for, or social media hasn’t really woken up yet so I don’t really have to devote a whole lot of time to it at that time.

So if you know that people are going to interrupt your day, and you’re emotionally ready for it, it also causes you to open your eyes to times in your day when you can schedule focused work time that are less likely to be interrupted.

So those are the things that have a tendency to cause our day to spin out of control, with a couple of tips on how to avoid them. Now, let’s talk about what we can do when we’re in the middle of the day. Let’s say you’re listening to this podcast on a Wednesday afternoon, it’s 2 p.m., and you’re like; I’ve done nothing today. I’ve done everything, but I’ve done nothing! I’ve cleaned the house, and I answered all these phone calls, and gosh, what else can we do. I did all these things, and I went to a doctor’s appointment, but I feel like I’ve done nothing today. I didn’t actually go and; {laughs} what are some tasks that people sometimes need to do?

I didn’t go get my driver’s license renewed. And I didn’t sit down and write that blog post; or I didn’t develop that recipe in time to take photos of it in the daylight. Whatever it is; it’s 2 p.m., you’re in the middle of your day and you feel like you’re losing it; you feel like you’re losing the day. Here’s how we’re going to stop from losing the day. Ok. You ready for this?

What we’re going to do; I want you to stop everything that you’re doing right now. Stop what you're doing right now. Put down the broom. If you found yourself that you just needed to sweep up a bunch of stuff all of a sudden; stop what you’re doing. Stop, and get out a pen, and get out some paper, and sit down. We’re going to go through these steps. What I want you to do first, is on this piece of paper, pause the show if you need to pause the show and then rewind it to this part. Go get your pen, get your paper, and then sit down. I want you to write down on a piece of paper all the things that you want to do today. And this can be completely unrealistic. I want you to write down everything. I mean, really unrealistic. Go ahead and be true to yourself and be true to your heart.

What are the things that you had a glimmer of a hope to do today, if you did have a 42 or a 72-hour day. What are the things you would want to do today? Write them all down. Get them all off your chest, get them all out of your brain, and put them on paper. Write all of those things down.

And I know what you’re thinking, because as soon as you get them all written down you’re probably like, “Oh, there’s no way that I can do all that in one day.” Sometimes when I write my to-do list on a Monday, it takes me until Friday to actually finish everything that I had on there. And I always laugh at myself, because I do it over and over again. I think; I’ll write my daily to-do list that actually should take me a full week, but I always write it with a days’ expectations. So here’s our excuse to write it down and indulge that fantasy that we can get it all done in a day. So that was number one; write it all down.

Number two; review your list, and then circle the two to four things that are the most important that you must get done today. And I challenge you to make one of those two to four tasks. I said two to four, because if it is 2 p.m., then you probably only have time for two more tasks. Now, if it is 11 a.m., you might have room for four tasks, ok. So you choose accordingly based on how much time is left in your day.

Now I challenge you to make one of those two to four your ugly frog, ok? So also, at this time, read your list of all the things that you need to do, and star, highlight, bold, the one thing on there that you think you’re avoiding. Which task are you avoiding? There’s got to be one. Dig deep. And if you're thinking, “I’m not really avoiding anything,” then great. Just circle two to four of them. But if there is one on there that you’re avoiding, or several on there that you’re avoiding, I challenge you to make those two to four tasks that you’re going to circle, make them those.

Ok, number three. Now, we’re going to grab a brand new sheet of paper. So whether that means you’ve got a notebook and you flip it over to the next page, or you flip that current page over. I want you to flip it over and I want you to write a timeline for your day; the rest of your day. What time do you realistically have available to you right now? If it’s 2 p.m., I want you to write 2-2:30, 2:30-3, 3-3:30. We’re going to get super duper detailed, right? And the reason we’re doing this is because this is triage. We’re trying to salvage our day; we’re patching a hole and we need to be really specific and really strategic. So write down the times on a piece of paper that you have left. The time that you can take to apply to your day. Ok? As soon as the kids come home, or as soon as you get ready to start dinner, or as soon as your honey is home and it turns into family time; don’t put down those hours. Be realistic. What time do you have left that you could actually use to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish?

Write down those windows, and then schedule it. Schedule those two to four things, on the time that you have available left to you. And be really honest about how much time it will take you to do those things. Don’t give yourself too much wiggle room; right? Because this is triage, again. We’re trying to salvage a day. So this is going to feel like hard work to get this day back, but you can do it. So be honest, but don’t give yourself too much wiggle room. If you’ve got 3 hours left, and you know it’s only going to take you an hour to do a blog post, then schedule an hour for your blog post. Give yourself a 10 minute break in between, and then schedule your next activity.

So that’s it. Now is the time to show some discipline; execute it. Go out and do this! You have got this. You can salvage your day. And I guarantee that if you accomplish at least some of those things that you have just outlined as the top priorities for today, you’re going to feel tremendously better. It might be miserable while you’re doing it; it’s kind of like going and working out sometimes. You just don’t want to do it because you don’t feel good, and maybe it hasn’t been the best day, but you just need a win, by golly. And this is the way to give yourself a win that means something. So do something for yourself, schedule it and make it happen. And don’t play any games on your phone; don’t use this as an excuse to waste away the rest of your day. You can do this; we can salvage the day.

Ok; now, the next thing to do is let’s say it’s the end of the day. And let’s say you’re listening to this and you think; “Oh, well, I’m on my drive home from work and the day is already gone.” {laughs} “There’s nothing I’m going to do to change the outcome of today.” Well, I bet there’s something we can do for tomorrow! And the activity looks very, very similarly. You can be as detailed as you want, but if you really want to get back, you really want to get; let’s say take a giant chunk out of that to-do list. Let’s say it’s a Thursday, or a Friday of your week, and you feel like you’ve been so behind this week. Let’s take a huge chunk out of that list tomorrow, and let’s use the same method to write down your schedule, be honest about the times that you have available to do work, and then schedule the activities that are the most important. And don’t be afraid to do the activities that you’re avoiding; just do them. You’ll be so glad once it’s off your list.

And then, a couple of bonus activities to always help with a day. Now that’s the way to salvage a day, but there’s a couple of things that we can do; let’s say you’re driving and you’re thinking; “I don’t have time to sit down and get out a pen and paper and to write this stuff down.” Here are some bonus things to think about, that could maybe help improve your day. Ok, maybe we’re not going to get the train entirely back on the tracks, but we can at least point it a little bit closer to where it needs to be.

Number one bonus activity would be to go do a workout. Whether it’s a quick 10-minute workout in your living room, there’s a bunch of really wonderful workouts in the back of the Fed and Fit book that Juli Bauer designed. And if you’re a member of the Fed and Fit Project online, we have modifications for all of those workouts in the library online, so you can get those. So whether it’s a quick workout at your home, whether you just strap on your running shoes and you go for a run around the block; even if it’s 400 meters, just get out there and just do something to get your heart rate up for a little bit. Whether you’re going to go drop into a Crossfit class; you’re just going to say, “Forget it. You know what; dinner’s on you, you guys. I’m going to go workout. I’m going to go to the 6 p.m. workout, and it’s going to be really inconvenient, but I’m going to do it because I need a win for today. I need to do something.” So schedule a workout as your first bonus activity.

Second bonus activity is to drink a bunch of water. {laughs} Ok, I sound like such a broken record on water; and I don’t care. Because it’s important and it can do a lot to really help your day. So if you’re feeling behind on stuff, at least have that win in your back pocket. At least go to bed at night thinking; “You know what, I had a crummy day, but by golly I drank a bunch of water and that was awesome!” {laughs} Ok? Give yourself that win. You can have that win; you can have that win, you can easily have a workout win. So go for it.

And if you’re unsure of how to calculate how much water you need to drink in a day, there’s a calculation in the Fed and Fit book, but the approximation starting point is to take your total body weight, divide it by 2, and then that equals the number of ounces of water as a starting point to drink in a day. So if you weigh 140 pounds, that would be 70 ounces of water in a day. And a really good way to measure that is to get some big jugs of water. I have one sitting here right now, and it holds 40 ounces of water, it’s one of my new favorites. Takeya; I don’t know how to say this name. Clearly I’m not affiliated with them, but I really like this bottle; 40 ounces. So I try to make sure I drink two full of those bottles a day.

Ok, and the last bonus activity, number three; just eat some leafy greens. {laughs} It might feel and sound so trivial me saying this, but if you just need a win for the day, your day spun out of control; when it comes to dinner, just make yourself open up that bag of frozen spinach, sauté it, put a little lemon juice in it, and put some spinach on your plate. Or put some kale on your plate. Or put some sort of salad on your plate. Get some sort of leafy greens in with a meal, and least have that win in your pocket. If nothing else goes right. If you feel like the day was totally lost; go to bed at night knowing that you at least got your leafy greens, ok? {laughs} You can have that win, and it can actually make a difference. At the end of the day, what I want for you; like I said before, I don’t care how many things you cross off your list, and I really don’t c are if you’re eating what you consider perfect; your perfect you plan or even paleo perfect. I don’t care. What I care about most of all is that you’re confident and you feel good about your day. That actually probably does more for your health; positive things for your health than any of the other things that could show up on a plate.

So just keep that in mind. I’m here for you, I’ve got your back. You can salvage this day; you really can. And if you feel like today is lost, it’s too far gone; take a sip of water, drink a glass of water, and start planning tomorrow. Get a head start. Use today as an excuse to get a head start on very, very carefully and very strategically planning tomorrow. Write it down to the minute, and then do it. Go and execute that day; and I guarantee that if you follow through on at least 70% of the things that you have realistically outlined and drawn on paper, 70%; that means 30% is going to get messed up because you’re going to get interrupted some of the time, and some of the tasks are going to take longer than you think. That’s normal and that’s real life. But if you got 70% done that you actually outlined and put on pen and paper and scheduled; you’re going to feel amazing. So go and do it! Go do that for yourself. You deserve it. You really, really do.

Thank you guys so much for joining us on today’s show. If you like today’s podcast, I ask that you go onto iTunes, leave me a review. I read all the reviews and the really do mean a lot, but the more you review the show, the more this show is made available to other listeners, which is really exciting. And it’s because of you guys who have reviewed the show that we have new listeners. This is their first introduction; and that is so fun! There are so many listeners here who found me through my blog, or they found me on social media and they started listening to me that way. And we’re actually getting organic listeners of the podcast; this is their first introduction to the Fed and Fit world. So thank you for reviewing the podcast, keep it up, more of this is getting out there in the world. So if you want to find some way to help and some way to give back, that’s a really, really great and easy way to do it.

Thank you so much everybody for joining us. We’ll be back again next week.


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  1. Sara says:

    LOVED this episode, as I always do! You had me motivated to wake up early this morning and complete so many of those easily avoidable tasks. I’ve gotten so much accomplished already and it’s barely 9:00 am! Thank you, Cassy!!

    1. Cassy says:

      I’m so glad to hear it!!

  2. Linda says:

    This podcast was so timely for me. I listened last night, made the notes, started today with a plan and I’m ahead of schedule and feeling fantastic! Keeping commitments to myself is my highest form of self care. Thank you so much for all you do and share. Since I am old enough to be your mother, the intro was totally relevant!

    1. Cassy says:

      Thank YOU so much for such a thoughtful comment! I’m so glad my tips were helpful. Keep up the great work!

  3. Melissa says:

    I am a total type B! I am constantly forgetting things I need to do! Thanks for the tips!