Do you have enough time?
If you don’t, are you doing what’s best and right for you?
Time is valuable. Are you spending it wisely?
Here are some quick thoughts about how you might mitigate the incredibly frantic, insistent demands on your time.
If you feel overwhelmed or stressed about your ever growing ‘todo’ list or getting stuff done whether it be at work or within training, be sure to start small. By small, I mean get the small things done, and get the ball rolling... this doesn’t need to be an activity necessarily... a small thing could be taking two minutes at the start of your day to relax, contemplate, and be in the moment. Do the small things well and the rest will take care of itself...
Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves...
The 2 minute rule
If something is going to take less than two minutes... do it there and then. Just trust me.
The 10 minute rule
If something is going to take longer than ten minutes, just do the first 10 and see how you feel. This gives you the option of turning back or stopping... but i guarantee you won’t. It’s a rarity that I struggle to get going with training, but work on the other hand... whilst I love what I do, sometimes I’m tired or slightly unmotivated. This is a simple trick of the mind to get started with a task or activity and it never fails. An hour or two later and I’ve done the vast majority of whatever it was that I started...
... This can also be applied to training. If you’re struggling to get out the door the first thing you want to do is apply the 2 minute rule... Get dressed and put on your shoes.
Then apply the 10 minute rule. Get out the door and do the first ten minutes. See how you feel. If its not happening... you always have the option of turning back.
I’m not sure about this and can’t say I’ve actively practiced it myself... however I do agree with the principle and I find myself uncounciously / consciously being mindful without really labeling it.
Be in the moment.
Being mindful or practicing mindfulness is paying attention to that present moment. Take it all in. Take the time to experience your environment and surrounding and appreciate what’s going on either in or around you.
My advice would be to select a particular moment within your daily routine. Maybe your morning cup of coffee / tea ... whatever floats your boat. Take the time to pay attention to the heat of the cup, the smell, taste, aftertaste... Sit with it. Don’t do anything else. That is your time. No one else’s... Don’t let anything disturb it.
Stop Trying to do everything perfectly.
Nobody is perfect... don’t ask yourself to do something that isn’t possible... it’s stressful.
Stop trying to do everything full stop.
Today I’m going to achieve! ...
Yes, maybe you will... but set your standards as a realistic goal. Don’t try and do everything at once... again... its stressful and unnecessary.
On that note.
Make a note. To yourself. Give yourself permission within your day to take some time back for yourself. Put your feet up... athletes take note!
Put it within your ‘Today List’ ... schedule it in.
I’ve never truly noticed what a meticulous planner I was until recently. I make lists within lists within lists... all organized and relevant to specific goals and ‘topics’ / agendas. They range from ‘today lists’ to 4 year lists...
Training peaks is meticulously planned weeks and even months in advance
It’s one of the most valuable things I can recommend getting good at...
Plan your time wisely.
My general rule of thumb that I’ve acquired from my architectural studies is to estimate how long you think something is going to take you, and then add 25-50% (dependent on how good or practiced you are at estimating times) to that time... and that’s probably realistically how long it will take.
It’ll also allow for abnormal circumstances that cause delay, and give you a buffer of time relieving stress.
We are creatures of habit. Make things easy for yourself. Build a daily / weekly routine that works well for you. This will reduce the decisions you have to make and allow more headspace for the important things.
Stop OVERTHINKING! This is a big one. We can all be subject to a certain amount of ‘decision fatigue’ ... I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but I first heard it from a fellow athlete Matthew Wright. The idea is that you stop second guessing yourself about decisions and just go with your gut more often than not.
It’s fatiguing having to make constant decisions so try and minimize this as much as possible...
... should I have that cake or not... give yourself a split second and then stick to that decision.
I want, therefore do. Action not activity.
That’s not to say my plans don’t go astray ... but I’m also flexible with a plan...
These two big takeaways are invaluable to me and I think others.
1. Make a well educated plan and stick to it...
2. but be flexible (within reason).
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