Somehow I manage to stay on top of my main job duties while managing triathlon coaching before or after work hours AND still trying to stay on an off season training program and watching what I’m eating during the tempting holiday season.
- Be selective. Don’t try to do everything and be everything to everyone. Don’t stress the small things like dishes and laundry on a daily basis. Focus on what needs to be done that day and be real if someone asks you to jam something in last minute. No is not a bad word if it’s appropriate. Some stuff is just for fun or a space filler. Surfing Facebook (not a waste if you’re doing it to stay tuned in with my blog), twitter, youtube and other social media sites mindlessly without a purpose is a time suckubus. Know what you’re looking for, get it and get out. If that task does not have a purpose and you get off track, make the conscious decision to eliminate it.
- Be ready for anything at any time. Remember boy scouts, always be prepared? Be that way with workouts. Have swim, bike and run gear ready at all times. You never know when an appointment might be cancelled and you have a block of time you could get a swim or run in. It’s hard to carry around your bike, but you can utilize spin bikes at your gym, pools and run on treadmills or outside. People make fun of my huge GYST duffel bag (review HERE) crammed full with swim, bike, run, work clothes, towels for showering, personal hygiene supplies and a change of daily clothes, but when I get it done for the day, it’s worth it. “How do you fit it all in”? I am ready to take advantage of any free time I get during the day for a workout.
- Get your gear right. Garmin need charging? Bike need a flat fixed? Foot pod need a new battery? Do it NOW instead of throwing your gear in a bag or closet after a workout. Spend the time after or when you have the time instead of putting it off until you need it for a workout and in a hurry. Nothing is worse than getting an hour for a quick ride only to find your tire is still flat or you want to run intervals on the treadmill and your Garmin is dead. Have your gear ready and tuned.
- PLAN PLAN PLAN. I cannot stress the importance of looking at your calendar weekly. I live by outlook calendar and planning in advance. I have the big schedule items like work and family, then I fill in with workouts and social media activities. I plan the next week on Fridays and Monday morning I adjust and daily I keep referencing. There’s a lot going on and if you’re not on top of it, you’ll miss something.
- Make a list and use it. To do lists are great, but if they stay a list, they don’t do you any good and can stress you out if the list grows and does not shrink over time. Make the list and then plan your week adding in tasks on your calendar. Outlook again is great as I make my list action items on my calendar. Break big tasks into small items and schedule it. If you don’t it done, keep the reminder live and tick off most urgent and important first (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). Have a way to jot down to do list items so you don’t forget and then plan to have time to fit it into your weekly schedule.
- Start your day the right way. Yes, get a good breakfast, but I’m talking about doing stuff the night before to start your morning off effectively. Nothing is worse than that alarm clock and if you snooze too late, is your day hosed? Can you set your coffee to brew starting 10 minutes before you get up? Can you lay out your food the night before so you’re not using 15 minutes of the morning gathering your breakfast ingredients? It takes 10 minutes before bed, but saves you stress the next morning and starts your day off right.
- Don’t waste your time. Nothing is more ineffective than making trips to stores for forgotten items and multiple grocery store trips. Make your list and be prepared. The less trips to the store, the less time you spend going and shopping and the less time you spend extra by being in the store and seeing something you forgot you also needed. A $20 trip turns into $100 pretty quick. Try to automate your regularly used household goods. Amazon Prime cuts you a discount when you auto ship more than 5 items and it’s way easy to manage, add and subtract. They deliver to your house and Prime gets you stuff in 2 days. That 30 to 45 minutes you would have spent going to the store for hand soap is boiled down to 5 minutes on Amazon and you didn’t have to leave the house. That’s 40 more minutes for work, workout or family time. BOOM.
- Allot your time and move on. If you’re like our house, dishes, laundry and trash pile up quick. My approach is to pick a day on the weekend to tackle as much laundry as possible. Start only what you can fold and out away. Don’t wash it all and leave it sitting around in clean piles where you end up losing time trying to dig out the right clothes for the day. Pick out what’s most needed, wash it and when time is up, you’re done until next weekend. Sounds idealistic, but the same idea with store runs. If you keep trying to hodge podge it here and there all week, you’re not as effective as focusing on one task at a time and doing it. Same for dishes. Once daily. Unload, load, run, whatever needs to be done, but do it once a day. Don’t put it off as it will become a mountain in a hurry and a hassle to spend a LOT of time instead of 10 to 15 minutes each day. Trash… well, just take it out as soon as it gets full. Nothing is more fun than picking up garbage off the floor from everyone trying to cram it in a full can. It sucks too when the bag gets jammed in the can and you have to empty, pull the bag out and refill the trash. Boo.
Some of these ideas are probably not new or original, but they do work if you are really wanting to get the most out of each day. A lot of people claim to be too busy to get in their passion, but we are only on the planet for a short time and if you really want it, you can make it happen.