Your Life for Time
Managing Your Schedule to Live a Life You Love
If you are reading this article, you value yourself enough to be working out. Maybe it is to take care of your children, maybe it is the one hour out of the day that you don’t have to be the boss, or maybe it is the one hour out of the day you are the boss! Or perhaps you workout to you look good naked. Whatever your reason might be, you love yourself enough to exercise. Let’s take it one step further… What if you loved yourself enough to start living a life that you love?! Not just getting one hour to workout every day, but cherishing your relationships, doing work you love, and spending time where it matters to you. Consider that it is a possibility if you simply learn how to manage your life and time to its maximum potential. As CrossFitters or athletes, we are always trying to maximize output across time domains…so consider your scheduling like a WOD – for time.
Becoming a mom has made scheduling seem like a cruel joke of late. The second I brush my hair (every third day, let’s be serious #aintnobodygottimeforthat) the baby has decided it is time to have a massive blow out. Suddenly, my glorious plans of working out for 2 hours are foiled. Emails? FAH-GETTABOUT-IT. Laundry? Not on her watch. And while I have yet to find perfect balance, I am still managing to make it into the gym. I’m also managing to LOVE my life. It’s not perfect, a bit dirtier and certainly not as glamorous, but I am making time to love every aspect.
I see a lot of mothers become mothers and then all the sudden, lose themselves. It’s not until years later that they realize they have forsaken their own needs. By that point, the road back to ‘YOU’ is a long one.
So let’s say instead that you’re a dad or maybe you are a hopeless workaholic or you are just plain busy. We all have those things that take up a considerable amount of time and energy, leaving us asking, “HOW THE HELL do I fit that 25th hour into a day?” There’s never enough time! Something always comes up … Sound like you? There is always time, it’s simply about managing it. In fact, if you want to have #realtalk – time is all we have, so best use and invest it wisely.
So how can we best manage our time? We have to construct our lives like a mobile (or for the fitness types, like an uneven barbell). One limb might be longer the other shorter (or heavier or lighter), so we simply have to counterbalance and shift where necessary in order to carry the load efficiently. If we can strike that delicate balance, we can really begin to thrive in a life that we love.
So here ya go. Here are 6 tips to help you start fitting in your workouts and beyond that: living a life that you love by maximizing your time!
1. Plan your big rocks: If you have read Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, then you are familiar with this concept. If you have not read the book, here’s a brief overview. Look over your calendar for the week every Sunday (or at the start of your work week). Consider what MUST get done. These are the “I will go bankrupt, starve or die if I don’t get these things in” items. Make working out one of them. Decide how much time you can reasonably afford to include working out in there, but make it a priority alongside the meeting with your CEO. Make sure you WRITE THESE DOWN in your planner and allow a little extra time for them to ensure you are on time, prepared and successful.
2. Do the math: Just kidding, I did it for you #yourewelcome. There are 168 hours in a week. Break it down – how many hours do you need to sleep a night (spoiler, I did that for you too: 56 if you get 8 hours a night). That leaves 112 hours to get to work, work, shower, eat, socialize, WORKOUT, Netflix and chill, etc. Be realistic with yourself and write down time spent with each. Are you working 90 hours a week? Do you need to be? Are you taking 2 hours to eat lunch every day? Could you cut that down to an hour? Consider where you are wasting time and where you should be investing it. Think back to the mobile, what part of your week is throwing it off balance?
3. If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no: Another great book, Essentialism, outlines a wonderful concept of ‘hell yes’ or ‘no’. It’s simple, if someone puts a calendar invite on your GCAL and you groan and roll your eyes- it’s a no. Cancel it, change it, tweak it… do what you have to do to either get rid of it or make it a hell yes. Life is SHORRRRT people. Life is too short to dance with ugly people (ugly on the inside, obvi), and it is too short to do things that you dread. Start saying no more, and you might just have more time to do the things you want to say yes to.
4. Consider which you want more, x or y: So after bullet point #3, I can hear you grumbling. “I can’t say ‘NO’ to a meeting with my boss! I’ll be fired!! But if I don’t, I simply cannot make it to the gym.” Oh, what’s that I hear? The WHAMBULANCE COMING FOR YOU?!?! JK, that was harsh… But seriously, consider – do you love making the amount of money you are making, the opportunities you are getting for fame, fortune, etc. more than you love what you are also saying no to? If you say NOOOOO in your head every time a meeting is put on your calendar, but you accept it and miss other things you would rally and rage a ‘hell yes’ for, then what do you really want more? Start letting go of things that are a waste of your time and embracing things that enrich your life. You may end up poorer, less prestigious, or whatever you may be risking, but you also might end up happier and stress free. Which do you want more, x or y?
5. Prioritize or jeopardize: I’ve said it before in this article, life is short. Do you want to wake up 30 years from now realizing you didn’t prioritize your health, your family, your friends? Where will that land you? Sick, sad, and lonely? What are you prioritizing now that won’t matter in 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years? Consider that rule when considering your choices: how will I feel about this 2 weeks from now, 2 months from now, and 2 years from now? Will it matter? If it does, then maybe it is a hell yes for now. Also consider that if YOU don’t prioritize something, someone else will prioritize THEIR wants and needs for you. You have to start prioritizing your own needs, or you will jeopardize many of them to someone else’s priorities.
6. Be Flexible: easy for me to say, I’m a yoga teacher ☺. Be flexible with your time. Shit happens and stuff comes up. Go into this knowing that, and be ready to roll with the punches. If you have a solid foundation of what you want to accomplish, how much time you have, your hell yes’s and no’s, what you really want in life (x or y) and your priorities straight, then you will figure out a solution. Sometimes the gym just doesn’t workout (see what I did there??).
I’m not perfect. I am late to things, my hair is usually a train wreck, my house could be on an episode of hoarders at this point, my back squat is far from where I want it to be and my email response time is shameful… but I love my life and everyone in it. I know these 6 rules work because I’m living them.
Think about when you are on an airplane and they advise you to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others – that is a GEM of a life lesson, y’all. #DOYOU first. Figure out what you need in order to make yourself happy and you will be much more available to make those in your life that you love happy. Make your life all about maximizing your time on this planet. Workout more, be with your loved ones more, say no to things that don’t elevate you to greatness and give yourself permission to live life on your terms and time. Start living a life that you love. You deserve it!
Ok now: 3,2,1…GO!
By: Shannon Brasovan, yogi goddess, mother of Magnolia Jean and Brindle Banks, walking mermaid