Chontel Duncan’s Top Tips For Anyone With A Busy Schedule

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April 12, 2022

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Sweat trainer, gym owner, cookbook author, wife and mum to five kids under six, it’s easy to look at Chontel Duncan and wonder just HOW she does it.

The FIERCE trainer is an unstoppable force and knows a thing or two about managing an overflowing schedule. If you need to wrest back a bit of control (and ensure you can make the time to show up for yourself!) take a look through her top tips.

To-do lists are your best friends

Chontel's number one piece of advice? The second you think about something that needs doing, WRITE IT DOWN! 

"I never rely on my memory to pull through," she says, adding: "You should see my phone's notes!"

Prioritise your wants and needs

Ladies, it’s time to whip out a spreadsheet because budgeting is everything. When life is busy, it’s easy to spend more money on things like takeaway food, coffees and transport. Knowing where your money is going and making some tweaks can have a huge impact!

“I make sacrifices in certain areas to gain in others,” Chontel says.

Her top tips include buying things off of Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree (and selling items the Duncan family are no longer using to make some money back) and making coffee and lunch at home.

Chontel also makes saving a big priority for her family, and says she’s constantly transferring dollars (and cents!) across to their savings account.

“I research the best health, car, home and contents insurance and phone plans,” Chontel says, adding that she also buys in bulk to make every dollar stretch even further.

Set realistic expectations

Chontel’s practical approach to life with five small children and no family ‘on-tap’ to help means she’s realistic about what she can (and can’t) do.

Having a lot of balls in the air means you won’t see her socialising at events every weekend, having uninterrupted morning strolls with a coffee and girlfriends or at the gym for hours. Knowing how valuable that time is, she squeezes the most out of every free minute.

Schedule in advance

You know what they say: failing to plan is planning to fail. That’s why Chontel makes a habit of scheduling those can't-miss appointments ahead of time.

“Everything that is a habitual behaviour such as the boys’ haircuts, dentist checks, skin checks and beauty appointments are booked months in advance,” says Chontel.

“If I’m booking one appointment, I might as well book the next six months or more so I can delete that from my to-do list.”

Routine is everything

With seven people in the Duncan household, Chontel says life works so much better with a strong routine.

“My four and five-year-old both do their chores before they are allowed to play or turn on the TV. They clean up after themselves.

“Sam and I tidy the house, pack the school lunches and bags, turn the dishwasher and washing machine on before we sit down for an evening to relax. If we work together, we increase our downtime for ourselves and as a family.”

If you work out with the Sweat app but struggle to make exercise a regular part of your routine, why not try using the Planner to schedule and track your workouts.

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

Whether you’re juggling life as a working mum to a young family like Chontel or just need to carve out a few more hours of me-time in your day, we hope you found these tips helpful.

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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