Make More Time to Work Out
This article topic requires a big shout-out — my business coach, Alexis Craig, turned me onto Tomato Timer.
If you’re a fitness professional looking to get an extra edge to your business or fitness, contact her! She works with professionals in and out of the Bay Area and trains in San Francisco.
We’re taking a little detour from the food and exercise posts to touch on a big part of everyone’s lives: getting more out of our day.
Time, Why You Punish Me?
A big roadblock in people’s lives is: time. Too much to do, not enough hours in the day! Picking up the kids, grabbing groceries, walking the dog, taking classes, going to work, studying, reading the news, and still needing time to sleep! Whatever it is you have on your plate, we can all benefit from a little more time in the day.
I’ve been paying attention to how other successful fitness professionals (and, well, professionals in general) take on their tasks for the day, and everyone has a similar but different approach. The basics have been:
1. Focus solely on your task, avoid distractions
2. Schedule out your day, however loosely or tightly
3. Delegate tasks that are not crucial to you personally handling them
4. Taking breaks to avoid going nutso
I’m focusing on 1 and 4 as a personal trainer. My forté is fitness, and people want the most bang for their buck while they are working with me. I follow these four notes during these training sessions and during our off-time.
A big part of our “off-time” is making sure people are still doing their homework and continuing to exercise when I’m not standing right next to them cracking jokes and correcting their form. Here’s something that helps me create more time in my life: the tomato timer.
Remember the little plastic tomato your grandma had in her kitchen? Maybe it was an egg. Maybe it was a regular ol’ clock timer. I have a ladybug (thanks, mom!) Several someones took that little timer and stuck it on a website. The one I use is tomato-timer.com. The timer is set for 25 minutes.
The Importance of 25 Minute Increments
The specific time was set by Francesco Cirillo, who called it the Pomodoro Technique. He figured out that doing 4 of these timers in a row created the best result with productiveness and effective work, then allowing for a 15-20 minute break before returning to the next session. Taking a few minutes to break between each pomodoro helps, too.
Timing Relating to Fitness
For those with office jobs, with a lot of writing, or just have a lot to do during the day, this helps the user be mindful of taking pauses, allowing the brain to reset and refresh. For those who do not move much during the day, I really like the timer idea because the handy little “beepbeep” reminds the user to stand up, stretch a little, then return to work.
F O C U S I N G
I find it particularly helpful when doing research or writing blogs or emails. Knowing there is a break coming up allows me to focus on what’s in front of me. That, plus exiting out of Facebook and turning my phone face-down so I can’t see the screen for those 25 minutes. We can take 25 minutes away from our phones, right?
By the same token, walking into the gym after a shitty day to do a workout is less awful if you tell yourself, “I’m only exercising for 25 minutes.” Yes, it works while you exercise, too. Put your phone in airplane mode, set your timer, and go! Don’t know what to accomplish in only 25 minutes? I have a few workouts to help you with that.
Result: More Done, More Time to Do Fun Stuff (Like Work Out!)
Okay, I don’t expect everyone reading this to just jump for joy at the thought of making time for their sweat session. I do expect them to be happy they are taking care of their hearts and avoiding the posture trap of sitting at a desk all day by taking breaks!
Whatever your training focus may be, you can’t work on it unless you throw on your shorts and get going! With the Pomodoro Technique, or something like it, you’ll get your daily tasks done faster so you can make the time you need to take care of yourself.
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