It sometimes feels impossible to make time to workout. This isn’t just about Muay Thai or Martial Arts training, this is about any sort of training, aka the stuff you could have done when you didn’t have time to make it to a proper class. You know how it is, you skip one day, then another, then it’s been a few weeks since you made it to a class or off your couch. Obligations, in addition to stress often build up, as do the excuses we make. This is undeniably normal given the (sometimes?) crazy demands of our lives. Often, what’ll help us out of our stress fueled, exhaustion laced, excuse ridden black hole is improving our time management skills. So here are ten time management tips to help you do exactly that.
1. Plan Ahead
Determining a game plan helps you conserve time and feel in control of your life. Less stress equates to more efficient time management. Scheduling your week ahead allows for last minute change of plans while simultaneously delivering the structure you need to relax. So write every obligation you can’t change for the week, then work everything else around it.
2. Batch Tasks
Try to group similar tasks and accomplish them at the same time. For example, batch your errands together. Don’t make unneeded second trips anywhere. Write lists. If you have phone calls to make, allocate a time to do them all. Rather than responding to emails throughout the day, determine specific times to respond to them. Resist the urge to check your inbox and social media intermittently. Meal prep? Do your meal prep and laundry at the same time.
3. Use Email Filters
Organize your inbox by using filters. A filter and a new folder titled Inessential will keep unimportant emails tucked away. You’ll be less distracted and more focused on the emails that correspond to your workflow and your life. Use as many filters as needed. A little initial planning is worth the effort.
4. Get Organized
Ditch early morning planning and have everything you need for the following day ready before going to bed. Off to work in the morning? Have your lunch, your keys, and your outfit ready for when you wake up. Review your schedule every night to ensure there are no last minute or early morning surprises. Do you have to be somewhere after training? Pack everything you need the night before, including a post work-out snack.
5. Cook in Bulk
Late nights, missed meals, and last minute dinners with friends can wreak havoc on any sort of schedule you have in your own kitchen. Preparing easy to make meals in large batches and freezing them will save you time and keep you from devouring the foods that sabotage your training goals. Pastas, chili and stews freeze well. Make the time to meal prep.
6. Mix It Up
Do you keep a strict training schedule but something’s come up that you can’t get out of? Is there a class at the gym you’ve never missed but can’t fit in? Don’t stress about it. Rather, use this as an opportunity to try something new or get your roadwork in. For example, if you can’t make it to the gym at the end of the day, try going in before work or on your lunch hour. Not possible? Then try an early morning workout at home. Run. Use that heavy rope and skip for half an hour. Sharpen your technique by shadowboxing or try that thirty minute body weight workout you’ve been curious about. Just do it.
7. Sleep in Your Training Gear
If you train in the mornings, sleeping in your gear will save you prep time and help motivate you to get out of bed. Being dressed is half the battle making it to train in those early morning hours. You’ll also go to bed with a purpose in mind for when you wake up, and it’ll help.
8. Waterproof It
For those of you who wear make-up, post training make-up damage control can take a lot of effort. Sweating, in addition to steamy showers
(or no air-con for some of us) at the gym rarely do service to a made up face. Wearing waterproof make-up, particularly eyeliner and mascara, can save you the extra minutes you need to get out the door in time. It requires basic touching up rather than post war reconstruction.
9. High Intensity Training (HIT)
Increase the intensity of your workout while systematically decreasing the time. A higher intensity workout will challenge you in new ways and burn more calories than a slower paced workout. A twenty minute interval regimen which alternates between high intensity and short recovery periods is great. If you’re interested in a traditional HIT workout, do your research as they’re not for everyone.
10. Take the Stairs
If all else fails, and life is too crazy right now, take the stairs. Seriously. Skip the elevator and/or the escalators. Although this may seem counter intuitive, choosing stairs will actually save time, depending on your specific circumstances. For example, if you have four flights of stairs to your workplace, walking them a few times during the day (on your way in, out for lunch, back, and out for the day, in addition to any additional trips) may just be enough to replace that workout you have to miss. Note time spent in the gym isn’t always about working out, it includes travel and change room time. Accumulated workouts, like climbing four flights of stairs, in short blocks of time may just be enough to help you maintain your physique during hectic times.
Do you have any tips on how to make time to workout? Please feel free to share them in the comments.