One of the most common questions I get is about how to get or stay in shape when you never seem to have enough time. We lead busy lives and it can be hard to find the time needed to train hard, eat healthy, and recover well.
Being busy doesn't have to mean you can't be fit though. Read on and I'll show you exactly how I found myself 18 extra hours per week. More than enough to reach your fitness goals!
Just like money, time is a finite resource. And humans are terrible at managing finite resources.
We all have an idea of how we'd like to spend our time. Hanging out with our loved ones, reading interesting books, working on that cool idea we have, writing articles for Athlegan (guilty), etc.
But then there's reality – how we actually do spend our time – and it very seldom aligns with our idea.
"Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst."
- William Penn
Sadly this discrepancy is often invisible. It's hard to see the whole, combined result when presented with just one small slice at the time. But many small streams make a large river.
"This cat video is only five minutes", "I'll just have one slice of pizza", or "I'll go to the gym tomorrow instead" all seem harmless. But when you take a step back and look at all the small choices combined it often becomes glaringly obvious why you're not getting closer to your goals.
The problem is not your intention. The problem is making sure your intention helps guide even your small decisions, before they add up and work against you.
Rescuetime is a (free!) app which you install on your computer, tablet, smartphone, etc, and which keeps track of what you're spending time on. It checks which apps you're using, what websites you're visiting, and how long you spend on each.
Everything is then sorted by automated rules into categories like Social Media, News & Opinion, Entertainment, etc. Each activity is also ranked from Very Unproductive to Very Productive.
The sorting and ranking can both be customized according to your values.
In exchange you get a dashboard where you can see exactly how you're spending your time. Each week you'll also get an email with a report for the past seven days.
Pretty cool, huh?!
But how exactly does this lead to you getting fit?
If we keep saying that we'll do something but then never do it, someone will eventually call us out on our bullshit. It's how human tribes have kept themselves in check for tens of thousands of years.
However, if we don't say it out loud, if it's something we just keep promising ourselves, then we run into trouble. Who will keep you accountable to your own plans?
That's where Rescuetime comes in.
It's a tool that you can use every week to check in on yourself. What did you want to do? What did you actually end up doing? How can you make sure the next week will be better?
I personally set a recurring task in my calendar to do this every Sunday.
When you start aligning the way you live with the way you want to live there will be some friction.
Often this stems from feeling entitled to things that we have no business demanding from life. Like how you have to check Facebook every day. Or how you must keep up with news and tabloids.
That's not how reality works though.
"Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity."
- Jean De La Bruyere
You have your daily 24 hours and it's entirely up to you how you spend them. If that means an hour of watching a reality show that also means an hour less of doing other things.
No one is forcing you to do anything. If something isn't getting done it's because you chose to do other things instead. Hopefully intentionally so that you spend time on activities you actually value.
Bottom line: be honest with yourself and make sure you live by your values.
It takes time to get or stay in shape. You have to train hard, cook healthy, and recover well.
Time isn't really a problem though. If it's something you really want you will find the time to do it. Now you even have the tool and I guarantee you'll find many extra hours every week.
Get Rescuetime and start aligning your life with how you actually want to live it.
I wasn't sponsored to write this article. Rescuetime is an app I use myself and find super helpful, which is why I want to recommend it to you. It's completely free to use but if you do use my links above and decide to upgrade in the future, I get a small commission at no cost of yours.