We lead busy lives and use our limited time as an excuse to procrastinate and avoid getting things done. But, often claiming we don’t have time is a lie. It’s a lie we tell others and ourselves. It helps us believe we’ll never get anything done, and this is a problem.
If we don’t have enough time to work out, it’s easier for us to be okay with wheezing after a flight of stairs.
If we don’t have enough time to prepare healthy meals, it’s easier to accept our next unhealthy meal through a drive-thru window.
Starting today, you are no longer allowed to utter the words: “I don’t have time.”
Instead, you will say, “It’s not a priority.”
Watch how quickly your perspective shifts when looking at life’s challenges this way:
“I’d love to work out, I just don’t have time” becomes “exercising isn’t a priority.”
“I’d love to eat healthier, but I don’t have time to cook” becomes “eating healthy isn’t a priority.”
I can see you begging and pleading right now.
“Cecilia, these things ARE a priority, but there aren’t just enough hours in the day.”
We have 168 hours in a week.
Time is our most precious resource.
Your priorities, whether you say so or not, are where you choose to spend those hours. Make the most of them! It’s amazing how much time you can find when you minimise the things that aren’t important to make room for the things that are.
Where do you spend your time? Just like keeping a food journal can be eye-opening, try tracking your time over the next few days in 30-minute blocks. How much time do you spend on the computer, watching TV, etc? I bet you’ll be surprised.
Suddenly…wild productivity appears!
The 10 hours of TV each week become less important.
The late nights on Facebook and WoW become more apparent.
The unproductive hours spent sitting at your desk, “working” without actually WORKING become clear.
It’s not what you say that’s important to you, it’s what you DO that’s important to you.
Over the years in my job as a trainer and coach, I have found that those who don’t exercise have one or two excuses. The excuses are: they don’t have time, or they don’t like it. I know there are many people who would like to exercise, so here is my top tip to make exercise your priority and include it in your busy lives :
Wake up 20 minutes earlier:
Have your exercise clothes laid out ready the night before (or even sleep in them), set your alarm, Warm up for three minutes with some slow jog on the spot. Then do a 20 minute HIIT session. This session doesn’t take long. It will wake you up and energize you for the morning, and is a great way to burn fat and boost your metabolism.
When the kettle is boiling:
You have a minute or two here to pair some push ups with some squats. Do 10 push ups followed by 10 squats. Repeat this as many times as possible while the kettle is boiling for your morning cup of coffee. Keep track of how many rounds you can do this for, and aim to increase this each morning.
Commuting to work
Walking to work would be perfect, but not everyone is able to do that. Whether you’re driving or catching public transport, now is a good time to do some ab work. Don’t worry – you don’t have to bust out some sit ups on the floor of the train carriage.
While you’re sitting, simply brace your abs as hard as you can for 10 seconds. You can make this quite tough with a very strong muscle contraction. Do this 5–10 times.
When you have meetings at work, see if you can introduce walking meetings. This is a great way to get some fresh air while talking, and can often be more productive. As you return to work, the meeting naturally winds up. So not only can this be a more productive meeting, but it can be shorter too.
Standing instead of sitting in meetings also improves time and productivity in the meeting. Although standing is not exercise, it’s better than sitting. If possible, you can practice your ab bracing.
Lunchtime is the perfect time for structured exercise. You will feel refreshed and more focused after exercise, so you will work better in the afternoon.
While dinner is cooking
Most meals take around 15–30 minutes to cook. If you plan your meal so that it simply sits in the oven, or bubbles on the stove, then you can do some activity instead of watching the pot boil.
During this time you can do some high intensity intervals such as skipping, running on the spot, bodyweight exercises such as mountain climbers or burpees, or even some kettlebell swings if you have a kettlebell.
Choose two or three intense movements, and alternate to A good format is 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat this 10–15 times. Once you’re done, dinner will be ready!
As you can see, it is very simple to include exercise in your day, even if you are very busy once you make it your priority Pick one or two of these ideas and give them a go. You do have time to exercise – you just have to be creative about it.