One Thing at a Time
Studies have shown that most people can only really dedicate a huge focus to one or two things at a time.
That may have to be work on occasion and that is OK.
Perhaps your fitness and training must go on the back burner for a few weeks. But if you can’t find 3 or 4 hrs from a 168hr week to put towards your fitness and well-being, then I’d suggest there is something very wrong with your priorities.
If you are working 12hrs+ every day, I’d suggest there is no way you are giving your work 100% focus and dedication 100% of the time anyway. Therefore, giving yourself and hour or so to hit the gym, go play football or head out for a run may increase your productivity far more than slogging it out for that extra hour possibly could.
Unfortunately, the people who really need to be reading this will most likely be the people who have decided to ‘read it later’ and never get around to it as they have ‘too much work on’.
However, if you are currently in this trap, I’d encourage you to take a step back and re-assess your situation.
Or perhaps you know someone who needs to take a step back? Then please pass this article or its message on and do all you can to encourage them to evaluate their priorities.
As I said, I’ve been there, caught up in the professional work spiral. It took several years of late nights, poor diet and constant exhaustion before I took the decision to change.
And do you know what happened when I did?
Notice Your Fears & Overcome Them
The world kept turning and the work still got done.
I decided that I would never work late more than 1 day in a row and if the deadlines weren’t going to be achieved as a result, I would put the emphasis back on my employer to ensure additional resources were put on the job.
Occasionally they wouldn’t appear at first. But I would hold my ground and leave at (or close to) my contracted time and as the deadline approached, suddenly the resources would become available.
So, long as you are upfront and ensure that the situation is clear early on and you do all you can within your agreed hours, then a good employer will accommodate you.
Think of it this way.
Are there people in your place of work who leave to collect their kids from school?
Would they be expected to stay behind and leave their children stranded to put a few extra hours in on a project?
If you had tickets to a concert that you had booked and paid for a year in advance, would you stay behind and miss the concert?
Then why should your gym appointment be any different?
Yes, it might be ‘just this once’ and if that’s true, then so be it. But all too often, ‘just this once’ becomes, ‘just this week’ which then becomes a couple of weeks, then a month. Before you know it all the effort you had previously put in with training and eating well has been completely undone.
Remember, you work to live, you do not live to work.
Everyone in the world has the same 24hrs per day.
It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that you have chosen to give your time to something else.
But it’s always a choice.
If you make the choice to sacrifice your health and fitness, so be it. But, accept it and own it. Don’t complain about the fact you feel awful, are overweight or don’t have energy.
If, however, you can recall what you wanted to change. And more importantly, why? Re-connect with that emotion. Make it stronger. Make it bigger. Make it more important than anything else. If it is really that important to you, then give it the priority it deserves.
Your health and fitness are not a luxury.
Your well-being is not of lesser importance than your job.
It may feel like it sometimes, but take a step back and really think about it.
What are you working for?
Don’t let your job control your life.
Don’t let your fear of losing your job or your desire for promotion destroy your personal life, your health or your self-image.
I’m not belittling your work. It may be very important to you. But always remember, you will not be able to carry out any activity, work related or otherwise, if your body doesn’t function properly.
So not eating properly, not getting any form of exercise, lack of sleep or any combination of these things because of your job are simply excuses. And they are excuses borne out of fear, stress or implied obligation.
Don’t be weak, don’t be a drone, be what you need to be.
Be what you want to be.
Be your best self and you will reap the benefits.
In the end, the improved energy, vitality and vigour will transfer into all aspects of your life, including your work. That way, everyone benefits.
I’ll leave you with that for now and next time we’ll take a look at the issue of training and nutrition choices you know would help, but you simply don’t like.
Until then I encourage you to have a real think about whether you have used the ‘too much work excuse’ or are currently using it and take some time to really assess your priorities.
Hopefully you will begin to put yourself a little higher in the pecking order and you’ll feel better as a result. Stop making excuses and start being the person you want to be, not the one you feel you should be.
If you want to jump straight on to part 3 of this series, you can find it HERE
And if you missed part 1 introducing the series, you can find it HERE
And if you genuinely do struggle for time, then have a look at this article for some thoughts on how to prioritize the important stuff, whilst outsourcing elements of your life. There is always a solution if you are willing to see it.