Every once in†a while I find my schedule packed, with more things to do in a day than there are hours. Being a skier, student, entrepreneur and soon to be Teaching Assistant, I have taught myself some very useful tools to keeping myself afloat during a busy week. I find these are what help get me through the days when training, work, school and a dwindling social life start adding up.
Tip #1: Plan Everything You can in Advance
This first tip goes right from your training to your work schedule. My week starts on Sunday night by planning my week of training and work in advance. It doesn't do enough justice to just think about when you're going to do what, but rather you actually have to write it down. Whether it be on a conventional calendar, a whiteboard (I have one for training, one for school, and one for work), or on your phone or computer, by writing out your weekly schedule it increases your chances of making your work schedule fit with your training, or whatever your priorities may be.
My planner on my phone-Everyday is planned Morning to Night
Tip#2: Prioritize your Activities
When planning your week, you have to set your priorities straight. When I plan my week, I put in my hours which I'm at work followed by my hours of training. I put priority onto the most demanding workouts of the week and schedule those first (these include Time Trials, or other zone3/4 intervals). Next, I figure out when I'll be doing strength workouts, followed by long distance days. I fill in the rest of my training hours with my recovery hours. By placing priority on the biggest workouts of the week, I ensure I get those in, no matter what the week may bring. I then follow suit with my work and school schedules.
Tip #3: Find your Motivators
Everyone has their inspiration to do what they do. Going through a week of training just for the† sake of "getting your hours in" doesn't exactly prove the best result. Nor does going to work to just punch in, and punch out. That's why I think to balance and get the best results, you have to find you personal motivators and make sure those are included in your weekly plan. It gives you something to look forward to, and feeling primed up after doing it and often leads to better productivity. Maybe going to the gym isn't your thing, so plan a nice run, or roller ski to get you in the mood to work hard!
Tip #4: Take Time Away
Taking time away from work, school and training can help you to actually manage your time effectively. By escaping the hustle and bustle you will find yourself more relaxed, and rejuvenated for a time of work. Breaks from your training doesn't necessarily mean to turn into a couch potato either. It's the perfect time of year to try out some different modes of training. Escape for a weekend canoe trip, bike excursion, hike, or exploring some new trails means you don't always have to just "grind through" summer†training.†Instead try planning an active training break, and see the good it can do.
A relaxing hike at the family Cottage
Tip #5: Reflect and Set Goals
Before beginning the planning of your new week, take the time to reflect on the previous week and make changes as you see fit. Maybe you didn't get enough work done at the office, or perhaps you need to budget more time to focus on your classic technique. By taking the time to set "mini goals" each week, you can find yourself becoming more productive in your weeks activities.†
By starting to put one or all of these steps into place, you can find yourself getting more done in your weekly schedule. These five tips can help you in your workplace, or in meeting your training goals. When it comes down to it, it's not worth risking not sleeping or eating†to get everything done. Plan your week, prioritize, find your motivators, take a break once in a while, and remember to reflect and set goals!