Everybody knows that it’s important to spend your time in the gym wisely, but what about all the time we spend outside of the gym? Most people spend 1-2 hours working out, and sometimes even more, which still leaves 20+ hours to be spent doing other activities. As with anything in life, the more preparation you do, the better you will perform; therefore, it is critical to make smart decisions about how you will spend the rest of your time, outside the gym.
Time Management 101
✓ Get Enough Sleep
It may seem challenging at times, but balancing your schedule is crucial to your success when achieving new goals. One of the things people find most difficult is finding the time to sleep. Research has proven that most people need 8 hours of sleep, if not more, for optimal functioning. Despite this well-accepted fact, it may seem incredibly common to end up staying up late and waking up early because one feels crammed with work.
✓ Get Organized
While I can’t give the answers to individual problems, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with work, there are things you can do to change direction and get on top of things. First and foremost, get organized. This will help you find the things you need more easily and make sure that you stay efficient during the time you actually spend working. If you’ve already got that covered, the next thing you can do is set daily goals as well as weekly ones, and schedule your priorities. By doing these two things, you will be able to look at your time from a wider perspective and see what you want to do with it and what tasks need to get done first, allowing you to sleep rested, knowing that you’ve got everything under control.
✓ Be Productive With Your Time
If efficiency and productivity are your obstacles, you may want to take another look at how you spend your time in the mornings. How much time do you leave yourself to get ready for the day ahead? How often do you feel like you’re in a rush to get to work/school?
These are two questions you should consider if you find yourself lacking productivity, as the preparation you do for the day ahead of you will dictate your success during the day. Instead of allowing yourself the minimum amount of time required to get dressed and eat before you leave for work/school, you may find that by allowing yourself more time to wake up and relax, you will be more efficient when you need to be.
✓ Mentally Stimulate Yourself
By engaging in mentally stimulating activities after waking, you will speed up the process in getting your brain out of the early morning, tired stages and you will increase your cognitive performance for the rest of the day. Personally, I like to walk for an hour and listen to motivational videos and seminars before I eat. By doing this, I am able to establish the positive and determined mindset that I need to achieve peak performance in the weight room, and in other areas of life too.
If you live in a colder environment and don’t want to go out in the mornings, or you’d prefer something else instead, you can also read or write. I would recommend picking up a book on a skill you’d like to learn and reading it every morning before you start your day. Any genre will suffice though because the important thing is that you are stimulating your brain before you begin the much harder tasks at work/school; it’s very similar to warming up with light sets before the heaviest sets when you work out.
Additionally, if you spend more time writing, you may find that self-reflection becomes easier and you will begin to consider various aspects of your life from different perspectives. All of these activities will increase your productivity and efficiency throughout the day and should be considered by anyone looking to get a mental edge when it comes to managing his/her time.
Now that you know how to start your day effectively, you may be wondering, “How can I stay productive all day?” There are many tips and tricks people use to do this so your only solution does not have to be a crippling caffeine addiction.
Everybody knows the simple things like keeping a to-do list and a schedule, but one of the things that is often overlooked is taking breaks. If you find yourself stuck on a tough obstacle, take a step back and relax for a couple minutes. By doing this, you will not only come back to the problem without stress but also with a clear head to help you find new solutions that you may not have thought of before.
During the break, rather than aimlessly perusing the internet or playing a phone game, you can do certain activities to increase your productivity and de-stress. Two things you can do are stretch and step outside, whether it’s for a quick walk or a breath of fresh air. By doing this every couple hours, you will be able to keep a clear head and minimize stress levels, both of which will have a positive effect on your workouts and recovery.
Take Home Message
Ultimately, we all live busy lives and managing them can prove to be a challenge, but the ones that are able to do this successfully will always reap the benefits of a comfortable schedule. If you keep on top of sleep, work, and stress levels, you will find that your workouts will greatly improve from the tighter grip you have on your time.
When you take lead of your life, you will find that the positive impact carries over to all aspects, whether it be athletic performance, relationships, or overall mood. Balancing your time successfully is a skill that anybody can learn and when you look at the benefits, there’s no reason not to take control of your schedule and stop letting your schedule take control of you.