Spring Ahead…When Every Minute is Precious Don’t Lose an Hour
With the coming of the time change I thought it would be appropriate to write about time management. A major obstacle with maintaining a consistent activity or exercise regimen is time or lack thereof. I speak to so many people who claim the reason that they are not exercising is because they just can’t seem to find the time. The amazing part is that they somehow know who was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars, can quote verbatim Sports Center analysts and anchors, or have found the time for some online shopping. The key to success in most areas is efficiency; so the answer is not just about having time, but about how you use it and just as importantly how you manage it.
As I know you’re aware of there are 24 hours in a day. If we sleep for 8, which very few of us do, and we work for 10, which unfortunately has become the norm, we are left with 6 hours. Many of you are probably looking at this as fuzzy math, because you feel stressed and overscheduled with not enough time to complete everything already on your “list.” I put “list” in quotes, because many people do not physically write actual lists and they should. First it will keep you organized and on task, and second there is something empowering about visually watching yourself cross an item off a list as completed. Below are 4 time management strategies that I find helpful in becoming more efficient:
1) ITEMIZE – take inventory
The first step is to freely and in no particular order write down all of the things that you need to do on a daily basis as well as special projects, events, and any miscellaneous items that come to mind. This exercise may be familiar to you as brainstorming.
2) PRIORITIZE – put the inventory in order
This is where you have to assign value to each of the items on your list. It is here where you will move the important items to the top of your list, drop less important items towards the bottom, and hopefully eliminate items that you can either delegate to someone else or just scratch completely. Like cleaning and organizing your closets sometimes you have to give stuff away or put it out on the curb for trash.
3) MAXIMIZE – account for all available time
Now you have to divide up the 24 hours and allot time frames to complete the items on your list. In other words you have to sit down with a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar and create a schedule for yourself. In writing this schedule for yourself you will further refine the items on your list. This process will force you to be more introspective and get you to differentiate between what is absolutely necessary versus the fat that needs to be cut. Make appointments; not just for work, but with yourself for things that you need to do for yourself, such as exercise.
4) EXERCISE – put into action
It is time to keep the appointments that you have made. Make sure to keep track. In order to assess how you are doing it is important to keep a score of sorts. This will give you the feedback you need in order to make any necessary adjustments.
Initially, these time management strategies will take some time and effort. The more you put them into practice the better you will get at them and the more efficient you will become. With increased efficiency you will find that you can get more done in less time and still have time for some guilty pleasures. For fundamental health and function I believe it is possible to get a quality workout in 20-30 minutes. If you’re not sure how don’t be afraid to ask: Jason@trainwithj.com. Another reason that people give for not exercising that goes hand in hand with a lack of time is a lack of energy. You don’t exercise because you have no energy, but what you’re missing is that you are low on energy because you don’t exercise. The initial hump to get over to exercise is well worth the positive energy benefits exercise has to offer. I can’t count the number of times I didn’t want to workout because I was exhausted, but got myself moving anyway, and felt fully energized when the session was complete. I truly believe that exercise is the body’s way of self-medication.
In closing, there are many things in life that we can control, time unfortunately isn’t one of them. Although we can’t stop time, go back in time, or move ahead in time the thing we can do is try and manage it and as a result maximize the time we are given.