How to manage your time and fit training into your lifestyle
Firstly you need to decide how much of a priority strength and conditioning training is to you right now. Think of time as a jar, and within that jar, you can fill it up with rocks, pebbles, sand and water. Rocks represent the big things in life: work, family, study, eating, paying bills etc. Pebbles are your smaller pieces to life, they’re still important but not absolutely critical, such as socializing with friends and self care. Then you’ve got sand which fills up the other little bit of space, and these are your small, filler type things throughout your day, like you’ve got to go and pick up some shopping, maybe even going to the toilet. Lastly you’ve got water which can fill up the tiny spaces left, this might be things like playing on the PlayStation, watching Netflix, social media etc. It’s fun to do and it’s a great leisure time, but should you spend all your time doing it? It depends on different things and different people, but it’s really important to establish what sports and gym training is in your jar (it’s okay if it’s not a rock). Knowing what it is for you (a rock, pebble, sand or water) will help you manage your time better and help you decide where to fit your training in.
Have a plan
Once you’ve decided how much of a priority training is for you, you need to create a schedule to determine when you are going to train. You can use a calendar, an app, a large planner, google calendars, outlook, a white board or diary. Technology is a beautiful thing these days, there’s plenty of awesome apps and calendars on your phone that you can use. Regardless of what you use the main idea is to map out your day, do it hour by hour and know exactly what you’re doing. Having a busy schedule means you need to be organized, otherwise you may not be utilizing your time as effectively and the “I’m too busy” excuse pops up. Once you’ve laid out your weekly schedue look at the free time that you might have and determine what is the best time for you to go to the gym, or go to training. If you’ve planned your gym program correctly, you’ll know how long it’s going to take and how much time you need to allocate to those sessions. A great mnemonic that may help you stay motivated to plan your life is the 6 P’s – Poor Prior Planning leads to Piss Poor Performance.
Creating the plan is step one, step two is to turn it into a habit. To help create a planning habit set reminders to either plan your day. Keep the time you do your planning consistent and with in the plan keep the time you train consistent i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, at 6:00 a.m. If it has to change from day to day because you have a different schedule on those days, then so be it, that’s fine, but if it’s Monday at 6:00 a.m. every Monday, try to keep it that way. Consistency creates routine which means you’ll be less reliant on motivation as it’s simply a part of your life. If something happens in your life that means your priorities need to change it’s important to realise that something is always better than nothing. There’s definitely more important things in life than training and strength and conditioning, so even if you can only do 15 minutes at home of push ups, split squats, and planks that’s always going to be better than nothing. Something is always better than nothing and when time permits, you can always go back to what you were doing before.