At the beginning of every session with my clients I ask a variation of the same question: "How's your day going?" It's a simple sentence and the response can often tell me all I need to know to tackle the next 30-60 minutes.
If somebody is tired I know we'll need to ease into the workout. If somebody is feeling good I know it'll be a fun and energetic session. If they've had a bad day and are angry I may or may not smile a little (sshhh, don't tell anybody) because I know they'll have a little extra aggression to get out.
Unfortunately there seems to be one answer that's gaining more and more traction among the health-minded: "Busy!"
I think I just heard an audible whooooosh as almost everybody reading this began nodding their heads in agreement. See what I mean? So many people are busy with work, busy with family, busy with second-job work, busy with social engagements, busy with being busy. It's enough to drive ya crazy.
So let's do something about it today, mmkay? It may be a little painful, but it will ultimately pay off exponentially down the road. There are two things we're going to look at, so let's dig in.
First, let's look at how we spend our time. Much like you can track your food to find how healthy you are or are not eating, you can track your time spent throughout the day. This will allow you to see, objectively, where your time is going.
It's quite simple to do. Choose a time amount, 15 minutes, a half or full hour, etc. The more frequent, the more your accuracy will increase but it is obviously a little more demanding. The less frequent, the more you risk forgetting (or omitting, nudge nudge) an activity, but it won't be as intense for beginners.
Next, when your chosen time amount has passed, make a note of the activities you took part in for that time. So if you choose to track every 30 minutes it may look like:
- 5 minutes texting
- 5 minutes emailing
- 15 minutes Facebook
- 5 minutes wondering why I get on Facebook
Now you've got your data. Now you can clearly see what you do every day. This is where the fun begins. The next step is much more subjective. You can even bring in a second party to make judgment calls here, as some things may get tricky.This is an idea I got from Precision Nutrition that has helped me to increase my productivity and happiness tremendously. The idea is to gradually (or cold-turkey, whatever your style) reduce the Time Wasters and increase the Time Warriors.Bottom line: we all have 24 hours in a day, every one of us that has ever lived. And there have been some pretty amazing human beings to walk this earth. There's no reason you can't become one of them.
Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at www.FreshEvolutionFitness.com and has a budding YouTube channel.
There are apps that can help you, as well, even going as far as giving you visually impressive charts detailing your internet and app usage so you can see that yes, you actually spent 3 hours on Instagram during your 30 minute lunch break.
Let's take that data and break it into "Time Wasters" and "Time Warriors." The former includes things that don't help you in the long run, use your precious time with little to no return and can leave you feeling drained. The latter entails activities that help you do more, learn more, grow more and live a happier life.