Sunday, 17 June 2012

How to Balance training and your Job

Life is how I like it at the minute, busy and interesting however since starting my new job in February I have been struggling to stick to my training routine.
As there so much I want to do and achieve at the minute, I thought I would take some time to get organised and share some of my time management techniques and ways to keep motivated even with a busy work schedule.

When I used to work for Bupa people would always moan that they didn't exercise because they just didn't have any time due to work. My response would always be "oh it must be horrible having no free time what so ever!" to which they would always catch themselves and start to think about what they had just announced. More often than not they would begrudgingly admit they had a bit of free time here and there which they could be using more efficiently with a little bit of effort.

And a little bit of effort is really all it takes. I usually do my planning on Saturdays or Sundays and go through the following tasks. At the start of the month I might take a bit longer to review events and appointments that I may have agreed to (facebook is good for this) and when I know I have a fight or competition coming up that is when I really need to put in the extra effort to stay organised.


1) Keep a diary: I like one with week and month views so I can see what I'm up against with one quick glance. Also it is a good idea to develop a monthly and weekly plans for the things you want to achieve in work and training to help keep you focused.

2)Make a time table of it all. I use a simple table with days of the week in the vertical column and the following heading on the horizontal:

Appointments/events: This immediately lets me know if I have anything important on that day and often effects how I plan my day/week.

To do/reading/study: This is where I add anything I really need to do that day usually its to write articles and blog posts or read up about something, practice my Portuguese, make a batch of healthy meals or whatever

Remember: An extra hint to remember training kit, extra snacks, an important document, call someone

Training: I like to know what training I can fit it and make sure I'm getting enough in especially when I have a fight or competition coming up

Scheduling your appointments like this lets you see if you are being overambitious and helps you iron out the finer details of your week. Make sure you factor in time to relax and just chill or see family and friends, it sounds obvious but rest and leisure can help reduce stress and help prevent over training. *If I'm feeling extra geeky I will also note down the weather, helps with making outfit choices for work

3)Prepare things:
Making plans are all well and good but the important part is executing them. This can take a little bit more thought and consideration but if you have taken the time to get the first steps right it shouldn't be too difficult and you will get into a routine soon enough
For me sticking to my routine is aided by making sure I have meals and clothes planned for the week ahead. It sounds silly but its so easy to make excuses not to go training if you've eaten badly and don't have energy or if you have to stop off home first to get training kit.
Try planning meals and stash some extra snacks in your bag, at work, (at the gym if your lucky enough to have a locker or somewhere greedy boxing coaches won't find)
I make sure I have enough training gear for the week and typically might stash some stuff at the gym so I don't have to lug it into work every day *hard to look stylish with a huge backpack on! Make sure your training bag is stashed full of useful bits and bobs (hairbands nail clippers, towel etc.)

4) Motivation:
Long stressful days can leave you with a lack of motivation to go to the gym, some days I actually fall asleep on the train home but when I get to training I always feel better.
A strong black coffee first thing when you get in and right before you leave can help Try announcing your plans to go train on facebook or texting your coach, once you feel you have committed yourself it will be make it harder to make excuses to go home and vegetate!
I collect my favourite motivational quotes (twitter is good for training quotes) and write them on post it notes for when I'm feeling particularly uninspired.
Make a playlist: Nothing makes me feel like hitting the gym than listening to some dubstep or heavy metal, if someone on the train asks you to turn down it down you have that instant can only be fixed by training irritation :)
Head to youtube and watch some videos of people that really inspire you or your favourite fight, I always get that must smash feeling when ever I watch a really good fight.


Feel free to share any tips as these are just some of the things that have been working for me.