How to find that extra hour in the day… and use it to get mega buff.
A blog of 2 parts:
Part 1- Gaining extra wiggle room in your day.
Part 2- Being as efficient as possible with your training and nutrition for sweet-ass results.
Before we dive in, it’s worth mentioning that any progress you make begins with a decision YOU make about creating change.
Not just by reading a few words on a page.
Because if nothing changes, nothing changes... funny that.
Looking to stumble across more time? Unfortunately that isn't a thing, but you knew that already.
However- We CAN choose to help things run a little smoother by creating more SPACE for ourselves on the regular.
And as a new dad of 2... I’m definitely talking to myself here.
So, if you’ve decided to read on, we can safely assume you’re someone who is ‘time challenged’ and wants to wangle more of it. Somehow.
Maybe you could make a deal with yourself to act on whatever you feel will work for you.
And if you do, let me know how you’re getting on by joining me in this group and keeping me updated- https://m.facebook.com/groups/1127316507286795
Anyway, onwards we go…
PART 1- Creating space.
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"
Meaning if we give ourselves 2 weeks to perform a task, we’ll most likely drag it out for that exact period of time.
In my world, this means ignoring it for 13 days, dicking about for 23 hours, finally getting my act together, deciding to grab a last minute coffee and then spending the last 10 minutes before the deadline rushing through the actual thing.
This begs the question- if we give ourselves less time to perform a task, would we get it done quicker?
Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows!
Whats important is this principle allows us the opportunity to think about how we spend our time when we’re in ‘get stuff done’ mode.
Do you excessively procrastinate?
Could you be more efficient?
Are you often distracted?
Only you can answer these questions. If they’re a yes, think about dedicating specific (and potentially shortened) time slots to your workload and seeing how you get on.
This leads nicely onto point number 2…
Be a single-tasking productivity super human.
(the mortal enemy of any multi-tasking villains out there).
Rather than ploughing through a bunch of different things at once (probably how most of us operate).
Yep, you guessed it- focus your efforts on getting just one thing done at a time. Then on to the next one.
The theory goes that by doing this we’re more efficient and able to either produce better quality results or get whatever it is done in a shorter time, or both.
This makes loads of sense to me and is something i’m actively trying right now.
*Checks Facebook for the 18th time since writing this post*.
Remove distractions, put your phone on silent and do what you need to do to stay on point.
Will it work for you? Again, possibly.
Is it worth a shot? Definitely.
Get your partner/ family involved (Seriously).
This is a fairly simple concept to grasp...
If you can communicate exactly WHAT you want and WHY it’s important to you to your own people, you may find it easier to gain some momentum.
In my experience, the support network and environment we have surrounding us can be a huge determinant of our progress and ultimately the results we get.
Get support, you’re winning.
Don’t get support, your job just became a lot harder.
Putting ourselves first and asking for help are both things that don’t always come naturally to us.
Although when we have pretty big things to accomplish, leaning on others can be a massive help.
Outsource, delegate, get a cleaner… or at least let your partner know that you’d like to hit the gym at 6pm on Monday so he/she can get back from work at a reasonable time.
Action expresses priorities.
By saying ‘Yes’ to certain things we’re also saying ‘No’ to others.
We can’t do everything right?
Over time we will always sacrifice a lower end priority (potentially gym time and healthy eating) for something of a higher importance (eg spending time with the kids/ providing for the family etc).
Want to know where your priorities lie?
Take a step back and look at where you spend most of your time.
Running around after others?
If these aren’t conducive to your idea of a happy and purposeful life, change them.
I know, I know, its not that easy right?
But its not about discipline, motivation, willpower or commitment… these will constantly fluctuate over time.
Its about recognising the links between what we WANT and WHY we want this.
Because if something is truly important to us on a deep level (and we know why), it becomes a hell of a lot more likely that we’ll do the things necessary to reach/ keep it.
Here’s a task, write some stuff down:
- Understand exactly WHAT you want (Be specific with your goal).
- Understand WHY this is important to you (Go deep, like really deep).
- Think about how this fits in with whats most important to you (your Values).
Will being fitter/stronger/leaner allow you to have more quality time with your partner?
Make your kids proud?
Add more more life to your years?
Give you more self confidence?
Align your purpose and values with your actions- that's the golden ticket.
Part 2- Getting mega buff lickety-split.
Workout efficiency 101.
Most people I work with are busy (the reason for this post).
They have careers, kids, busy social lives and better things to do than spending 3 hours in the gym each day.
Cool, me too.
This means we need to get the most out of our workouts in a short amount of time, here are a few tips-
- Work your whole body and use the big muscles first.
- Use multiple exercises in one set. Super sets, Giant sets, Circuits, AMRAPs etc.
- Keep your rest time low, this keeps your heart rate elevated, means you’re working harder throughout and most importantly gets you through it all quicker (duh).
- Train from home. This takes out the need to spend time driving to a gym. You can get any result you want by working with just your body weight and/ or minimal equipment. I recommend getting a kettlebell, suspension trainer (TRX) and a few bands as a start.
- Hit the gym on the way to or back from work/ the school run. Shower there, then go about your business. This eliminates the need for extra driving time (and takes away the temptation to stay home once you walk through your door).
- Think REALISTICALLY and not IDEALISTICALLY. Or in other words, don’t over commit to training 8 times a week when it most definitely isn’t going to happen. Start small, create some momentum and go from there.
- If in doubt and you’re really struggling for time, just move more. Increasing your N.E.A.T (non exercise activity) is a great way of expending energy when you don’t have time for a workout that day. Go run around with the kids and that.
Want to spend a whole Sunday cooking food and organising it into tupperware for the following week? Nope. Me either.
Want to know my 2 step system to eating in a way thats convenient and conducive to your goals? Cool, here it is.
Step 1: Buy the food. Ask me for my shopping list pdf and i’ll email it to you.
Step 2: Eat the food (The best step).
*I’m going to go ahead and assume most people reading this want to be lean and in 'great' shape. This means staying in an appropriate calorie range, getting your protein and eating lots of fruit and veg. Now thats cleared up, carry on…
In my experience, we’ll (eventually) eat whatever food we have lying around in the fridge/ cupboards.
So this is as simple as I can put it- have good food available to you.
Honestly, we all know what ‘healthy’ foods are right?
I’m not going to sit here and type out a list of foods you already know about…
But here are a few ‘hacks’ to help you along the way-
- Make big dinner portions and save some for lunch the next day. This works if you can resist eating everything straight away, if not… not so much.
- Fruit and veg is ready to go with minimal prep… true story. Plus higher volume (nutrient dense foods) fill you up for longer so you save time from having to graze all day- double win!
- Protein shakes. Cheap. Easy. Portable. Low in cals. Macro friendly. Taste good. No brainer.
- Give away or throw out foods that you struggle to eat in moderation… and don’t re-buy them. Temptation avoided.
- Find foods you can eat on the move- Aim for low calorie, high protein stuff (Protein bars can be good/ biltong too). This may involve a bit of trial and error.
- Aim for better, not perfect. This helps to avoid the ‘fuck it’ mentality and giving up if things don't go your way.
Bonus tip: its perfectly OK to skip a meal (The basis of Intermittent fasting).
You don’t HAVE to eat little and often and actually for convenience/ results it can be a good thing to take a meal out every so often.
Have you tried this?
My eating habits became a lot more relaxed when I realised the world doesn’t end every time I miss a meal and get a little hungry.
And lastly, if all else fails, thats what meal prep companies are for. A little pricier of course but still a great option for you busy peeps!
Lets end this, you’ve got stuff to do.
To wrap up, I’ll loosely recite some advice I got from one of my own coaches.
It went something a little like this…
Work never finishes.
The washing up will still be waiting for you when you get home.
You can’t/ won’t please everyone, and thats not your job.
Close the laptop, skip the chores (sorry Sarah) and get out and do the stuff that means the most, and moves you closer towards a better you.
Cheesy and cliche- yep! Doesn't stop it from being right.
If we’re constantly focusing on everything and everyone else, we’ll be the one who gets left behind.
If you take one thing from this post its to prioritise what YOU want and what you value the most. Nobody else will.